Under Pressure

(4 min read)

This is the sixth time I have attempted to write this blog. Six different song titles have passed through my mind over the last two weeks. Every time I tried to write, I kept hitting a block.

Today is the deadline. I’m Under Pressure. I have a million other things to do! Cut the grass, finish the laundry, prep my meals for the week. Schedule upcoming exams for my new business, print the Ancestry.com research for my parent’s 80th birthday party, take a walk, and the list goes on! Ok, time to prioritize.

Go to the grocery store. Pick up fresh veggies and fruit. Done. As I’m standing in the check-out line, I hear, “Hey, kid!” I turn to see an older gentleman grinning at me. He says, “How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb?”

I thought, “Oh great, this is going to be some bashing joke that I’m not going to like!” Not knowing how to respond, I gave him a polite, half-smile and simply replied, “I have no idea!”

He continued, “Just one. The light bulb has to want to change!” At this point, I laughed and my smile became genuine! He said, “Good! Not only did I make you laugh, but you learned something, too! Now, go make someone smile today!” I thanked him for his wise advice and went on my way.

After hitting the tanning bed at the gym (the best place in the world to think,) I returned home with a whole new mindset. I’ll get what I can done today, and the rest will fall into place.

I thought about how long it’s been since I meditated. How I’m always too busy to take time for myself, to recharge my own batteries. As I mentioned in a previous blog, I quit my second job back in March.

I had been working 6 days, 60 hours a week for the past 10 ½ years. I was constantly moving, planning, and trying to make time for family and friends. During Covid, I was an essential worker times two. In my mind, I had no other choice. Every job I’ve had since I’ve been 16 years old has been about speed, accuracy, and results. It’s how I’m built.

Now it’s time to reevaluate. I can keep some of the good, productive qualities, but I have to learn to take time for self-care. The first weekend after I quit, I drove 100 miles to my parent’s camp in the mountains, just so I could sleep! After a two-hour power nap, it felt like a woke up from a coma.

Pressure is all around us, but it’s not the same for everyone. Whether it is work-related, relationships or finances, we all bear some type of weight. How do we find balance?

I believe emphatically on personal connections and relationships. You can look at someone’s Facebook posts and mistakenly make an assumption based on what you see. But, if you speak to them directly, you can get an entirely different picture of who they are and what they represent.

I want to be the light bulb who wants to change. But I’ve found that I can’t do it on my own. One strategy has been to develop a trusted support team. I know who I can text when I’ve had a total, hot-mess meltdown. Or who I can call when I need a little pick-me-up.

One of the worst things you can say to an overthinker is, “You’re overthinking this!” To me, that’s like expecting a cheetah, the fastest land animal on Earth, to pace itself. It’s impossible! But, as humans, we can develop tools to help coping with pressure a little easier.

Some of my respected teachers called it ‘creating a toolbox.’ Each new piece of information you learn can be placed in your toolbox for future use. It’s time to open mine, so I can plan the rest of my week without pressure.

Monday: Meditate every day, even if it’s only for 10 minutes.

Tuesday: Text someone to see how they are doing.

Wednesday: Write my next blog.

Thursday: Touch someone’s heart with a kind gesture.

Friday: Forget negative thought patterns that no longer serve me.

Saturday: Support a fellow author at her book launch!

Sunday: Share my time with someone who needs company.

For each blog, I read the lyrics before I write it. There are so many times I think, ‘Oh, I didn’t know those were the actual words!” LOL! I’ll close with this hidden gem from the song.

“And love dares you…to change our way…of caring about ourselves.” David Bowie / Queen

Follow the old-timer’s advice. “Go make someone smile today!” He will surely never know the true impact his words had on me. But that’s the beauty when there’s no pressure…

Lori Walker
All Things Wellness, LLC
ljwalker131@comcast.net

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