After writing a post earlier this week about how busy I feel, I wanted to reflect more. Part of the reason I felt busy was because there was a part of me that thought I shouldn’t be busy. That at this point in time, I wasn’t supposed to be doing what I was doing. This part of me ignored what was actually going on in my life. Instead, it was pursuing an unrealistic vision of a life I don’t lead, doing things I don’t do.
These thoughts led me to feeling like I had no time for anything, to the point where I couldn’t take a moment to myself. But, as it turns out, I do have that time. In fact, I’ve always had that time – and it’s that reminder that I want to reflect on today.
Life has its ebbs and flows. Sometimes it feels like we don’t have anything to do; other times, it feels like it’s one thing after another. When things pick up (as they often do in life), things can feel like they’re moving faster than they are. And when you incorporate your own anxiety or stress, it can feel like things are moving at the speed of light.
In the past year, a big thing I’ve learned about myself is the tension I bring to situations in my life. It’s not something I do on purpose, or even something that is noticeable all the time. But I’ve learned that our feelings can cause us to view things through a certain lens, and that lens isn’t always helpful. In fact, when you experience anxiety and depression, it’s often harmful.
When my mind is racing that way, it feels impossible to slow down. It’s like I’m experiencing several thoughts at the same time, unable to prioritize one over the other. Everything is important, and everything needs to get done now. And because I don’t feel like I have any time, I don’t think I can slow down for even a moment. What I’ve learned is that even if all we have is a moment, that can sometimes be all we need.
For a long time, I didn’t understand what people meant when they said “take a deep breath” or “slow down.” Functionally, I understood it – but how did they do it? Did it calm them down or solve their problems? I could not figure it out.
But I’ve learned that I felt that way, and what I thought I needed to learn, was wrong. Because when it comes to taking a moment, there isn’t anything to figure out. Taking a deep breath will not solve your problem, but it will put you in a better position to do so. Slowing down doesn’t mean you’ll find a solution, but people rarely find solutions unless they do slow down. These moments exist so we can put ourselves in the best position to succeed – at tasks, at our lives, at being human.
So when you don’t feel like you have the time – or even if you know you don’t have the time – I hope you’ll take a moment if you need it. Forgetting that we have time, even if it’s not a lot of time, can rob us of the power of feeling like ourselves. Even if it’s only for a moment, there is a lot of power in remembering this. I’ve experienced it firsthand, and I hope I can continue to learn and grow with this knowledge – and I hope you will too!