It’s been a strange ‘ole day, you know the kind…where you have a list of ‘to do’ jobs as long as your arm but your head just isn’t in the game. I woke up this morning bone tired, so tired that I didn’t even want to get out of bed to pee. Eventually the pelvic floor muscles grew weary and I had to get outa bed.
Then procrastination and avoidance set in. Even though I had that long list I set about doing everything (anything) but what actually needed doing.
Do you know what it is? Overwhelm…and fear.
I see it, I call it but today it’s got me.
You see, I’m having another surgery on Friday and my body is in self-preservation mode. My mind is playing out all the ‘what if’ scenarios and well, eventually I just need to retreat. This is my tenth cancer related surgery and with each one I turn into more of a sook in the lead up.
I know what I’m in for, there will be waiting, pain, recovery and a tonne of medical appointments. Just when I thought it was safe to go on living like a carefree person BAM, my reality strikes. Again!
Look, it’s not all doom and gloom. I’m not dying. I have perspective and bucketloads of gratitude for my very nice life, but every single time a surgery date is booked I go into ‘negative nancy’ mode.
I get cranky (sooo cranky), tired, reclusive and I procrastinate. My mind feels muddled and I get scared.
Scared something will go wrong, scared the doctors will find something we hadn’t planned on, scared I might not wake up or the anaesthetist will knock my teeth out or…well you get the picture.
Then there’s my little family who’ve already seen too much, and I’m going to put them through it all again. FFS!
So, this morning I went for my blood tests, the nurse took six vials and I said ‘Thankyou’ (what the?!) and went on my not so merry way. Just as I walked outside the IMVS office I decided to give myself a break, I decided I needed to take some pressure off. The list could wait
I took myself to breakfast, the coffee was worth the wait
And so were the baked eggs…
I sat in the little cafe enjoying the solitude, the hissing of the coffee machine as it churned out coffee after coffee and the muffled chatter of patrons sitting nearby. A little mini meditation in the coffee shop helped to clear my mind.
Then I visited the local florist and purchased an armful of flowers, because we all know flowers make my soul happy
Then I was off home. I took the time to make up a few vases of blooms to place around the house…
I cancelled todays dogs grooming appointment, scruffy is cute right?
I also said ‘no’ to three urgent requests for work. Once again, the world does not freakin implode because it’s Christmas!
I cancelled two more appointments for later in the week, and didn’t feel guilty.
I was looking after me, nurturing me. Do I feel better? Yeah, kinda. Why am I sharing this? Because what I’m feeling is normal.
My life isn’t perfect, I do have down times just like everyone else. The difference is I am acknowledging my triggers and putting things in place to help me get through.A few years ago I didn’t have the tools to deal very well with overwhelm and stress, these days I acknowledge my limits, and it’s ok. I’m ok.
If you are feeling overwhelm at this time of year then here’s 5 tips to try…
- Breathe. Slowing down our breath helps us settle. Slower, deeper breathes are soothing, mindful and help to clear your thoughts.
- Delegate. You don’t need to do it all, delegate tasks at home and at work.
- Say NO. No to colleagues, friends, family and annoying fuckers trying to flog you handcream at the shopping centre.
- Let go of expectation. Having high expectations of others or experiences is a sure fire way to always feel let down.
- Create a calm environment. Flowers and a clean house are nice but a calm environment looks different to everyone. Jump online and do your groceries to fill the pantry and avoid crowds. Ask a friend to help with housework (or hire a cleaner), get rid of clutter and diffuse some essential oils or burn a scented candle.
Overwhelm doesn’t need to be permanent, here’s hoping the rest of the week looks better than it started this morning.
How are you feeling?