“When you are resting because you are worn out, you need to remember that you are not wasting time. It is exactly what you are supposed to be doing. You are recovering.” ~Unknown
My alarm went off at 3:00 AM. I slowly pulled my arm away from my son, who was half holding my arm and half lying on it, so that he didn’t wake up. While my husband was asleep, I got up and walked out of the bed.
Due to sleep deprivation, my eyes were irritated and achy. My head felt suspended in the air. But even so, I couldn’t sleep any longer.
Knowing that just in a few hours, I would have another fully busy day at work, with deadlines all over my head, and I’d have to deal with all the mails marked “urgent” yesterday before getting to today’s mail.
The feeling of sleepiness disappeared quickly and I began to feel butterflies inside my stomach. I didn’t like it.
It was all about the deadlines, anxiety, and rush. The rush, anxiety and deadlines made me want to weep. So I did.
But I felt like I shouldn’t feel that way, that I should be grateful instead.
This whole pandemic caused people to go crazy. It is so good to know that my family and I are safe.
Six months ago, my husband became incapacitated and since then I have been solely responsible for his care. I have been blessed with a job.
I am grateful for the way other people live their lives.
However, it occurred to me that I wanted to immediately open my laptop and mail a resignation letter.
Because I was tired.
It was tiring to be the only provider.
It was exhausting to keep trying.
It was exhausting to take care of others.
Tired of feeling tired and unable to sleep, I became tired.
The thought of getting up early was too much for me.
It was exhausting to work at multiple jobs.
I was tired of not getting enough breaks or not saying “screw it.”
But I can’t. But I can’t. I have my family, and I have my little boy.
Strong, resilient and strong are the only choices I have.
If I’m feeling down, I can turn the music on and I will wipe my tears if it is a complete mental collapse. Keep going and keep your head up.
But today, I woke up and realized, I don’t have to feel that way.
I am not allowed to let life down. These responsibilities are sublimination of love.
It is because of my love that I get up at dawn to help others who are still asleep.
In love I have agreed to work different jobs in order to care for my beloved ones.
In love I have to look after myself first.
They love me because they love me, and I want them to love me.
It is clear that I’m not an omnipotent being who never makes mistakes. I’m a human being. Sometimes I make mistakes. Sometimes I sleep too much. I miss deadlines sometimes. Sometimes I make stupid decisions. Sometimes, I become lazy.
This is normal.
You are allowed to slow down, take a deep breathe and do this.
It is okay to take a break so that I don’t get burnt out.
It is okay to make mistakes and say “I don’t know” with pride.
It is okay to know that I cannot control every single aspect in my life, and the good thing is I don’t have to.
Because that’s how unexpected things happen. That’s the fun of life.
It is my home, family and my heart that are my safest places.
Here are some simple methods to calm down the chaos if you feel like the rest of the world is against you.
1. Take a deep, slow breath and stop doing what you’re doing.
I learned this technique through one of Louise Hay’s books. Take a deep, slow, steady breath. Next, tighten your muscles as much as possible. Release and exhale.
You can do it several times each time you feel stressed or worried. The butterflies-in-the-stomach feeling quickly dissolves.
2. Locate a quiet place.
No, you don’t have to call your boss to ask for an immediate vacation on a beach, nor do you have to go to the bathroom and cry (though you can do either if you think it would help).
Look inside yourself and find your peaceful place—or person.
Who do you love? For whom do you do it? Recall that responsibility is the sublimation or love.
When I’m at work and I am about to have a panic attack, after taking a few deep breaths, I pull out my son’s videos and pictures. Reminding myself of how much I love him and how much he loves my no matter what, I remember that I still love him.
His love gives me reason to believe in myself and makes me feel loved. He also gives me motivation and strength to continue.
3. Even if you only have five minutes to meditate daily
Meditation doesn’t mean clearing your mind of all thoughts. Instead, it means accepting your true self and not letting your crazy thoughts dictate your actions.
Don’t worry about learning how to meditate, just sit down in stillness as an act of love for yourself. Pay attention to your thoughts and be present.
You will soon realize that meditation helps to untangle your thoughts so you don’t feel controlled by the chaos in your life.
4. You are to be commended.
Did you do it? Did you thank yourself for the things you have done and thought about how proud you were of yourself?
Consider how wonderful it is to care for your family members, and how much their lives have improved because of you. Also, consider how strong you are at all things, including how aware you are of the moment. There are many reasons to feel proud of yourself.
Most of us focus more on what we think we’re doing wrong than all the things we’re doing right, and this creates a constant sense of anxiety. If you give yourself a little credit instead, you’ll likely feel instant relief. Remember to be grateful for every opportunity you have.
When life gets busy and overwhelming, it’s tempting to think you can’t relax until everything gets easier. That you need to escape or make it all stop, which generally isn’t an option. Fortunately, we don’t have to make major life changes or run away to find a little peace.
When you’re on the beach sipping a cocktail, calm isn’t possible. Even in the middle, there is still calm. Calm is within your heart.
Mai Pham, a proud mother of a beautiful little boy is Mai Pham. She is a first mom and understands how difficult it can be to raise a child. Her goal is to help other moms who are first timers release their stress and trust their intuition, while also helping them to have fun in their moment. She runs Mommy Instinct, where she shares her journey, guides, tips, and things she uses to boost her parenting.
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