Hand me a bucket?

Sometimes, it feels like you’re in a boat, floating along, and all of a sudden it springs a leak, and you’re in the unenviable position of trying to paddle, steer, and bail out water. And if you stop doing any of those, you’re going to sink. Life does that sometimes. And it sucks.

I’m currently in that kind of boat, feeling like I’m not making any headway at all, and barely keeping the water at bay. But I discovered something the other day. If I do have to stop doing any of them, the whole thing doesn’t actually instantly sink to the depths. I know, I was shocked too. Which got me thinking. If the boat isn’t really going to sink, what do I do about my need to do all the things at once?

Everything can be broken into smaller bits. Every task that needs to be done has steps, every project has stages, everything can be reframed to make it less scary. Sometimes you have to find a sandbar and just sit for a few minutes to let the desperate need to act go so you can think.

So, this week I’ve deliberately stopped and made time to have a break. Sure, there are still things I need to do, but by defining time as untouchable, I’ve found myself actually taking steps to get organised without even meaning to. Seriously, I printed out heaps of references for my thesis, and I’m getting through them at a reasonable rate that I hadn’t hoped to hit before I enforced the time-out.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s okay. You’re allowed to feel like that. There are times when the world really puts a drain on your mental resources, and all you can do is keep your head out of water. But try putting your feet down for a minute, make a cup of tea or something, take a walk around the block until you can breath again. Get out of your headspace and see if maybe when you go back it’s not what you thought at all.

Here is a picture of one of the things that makes it easier to take a break. Fun fact, studies show that pets increase well-being and decrease the chances of getting depression. And they’re really cute, I think that helps.

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