Focusing Tip #721 – “I can hardly do what I need to do for myself, much less the world.”

Focusing Tip #721 – “I can hardly do what I need to do for myself, much less the world.”
September 16, 2020 Ann Weiser Cornell
how to help the world

Focusing Tip #721 – “I can hardly do what I need to do for myself, much less the world.”

What can you do when you feel completely overwhelmed and exhausted and the stress just keeps coming? Read on…


A Reader writes:

A few weeks ago you wrote a tip about all the intensity going on in the world and this person felt they were not contributing enough.

For me it’s more about getting completely overwhelmed and exhausted. It is just too much. I can hardly do what I need to do for myself, much less the world.

Dear Reader:

I’m glad you wrote. You are already doing the first important steps by pausing and acknowledging what you’re feeling. That is seriously good. Really.

Next I invite you to say to yourself, “No wonder!”

“No wonder I’m feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. There IS more stressful stuff going on right now.”

Saying “No wonder!” to yourself is a way of being inwardly kind and compassionate. Imagine saying it with a gentle voice. “No wonder…”

Next you might let a gentle hand go to the place in your body where you feel the stress the most. Mine is usually my stomach! And say, “Yes, I know it’s hard.” Again, with gentleness and kindness.

The saddest thing for me is when people already going through stress are not kind to themselves. This is no time to hold yourself to standards of perfection. Give yourself a break.

Nobody says you HAVE to do anything for the world. Your first job is taking care of yourself and the people/animals you are responsible for. And yet… it might be that you sense the rightness of giving something to that larger sphere. Taking some kind of action can help the feeling of powerlessness.

My friend Marcella Calabi has done research on simple actions that ordinary people can do. Her doc is called Things You Can Actually Do to Help the Election and the Country. (Of course this is for Americans. If you’re not, maybe you’ll still get ideas about what you can do where you are.)

Most important: be kind to yourself. Pause and acknowledge how you feel. And say, “No wonder!” And then notice… you might feel some fresh energy coming.

 

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