I don't know about you, but it seems that between the mental load that means running my business, the home to do list, remembering the who's got what when of 6 people's schedules, planning for the parties, remembering to add such and such to the grocery list, call so and so to remind them this and that is coming up, not to mention the waterfall that is new and fresh ideas in my head.....and I would say I have some mental chatter going on.
The strain and weight of the mental load is seemingly a popular status report. One of the reasons that adds to all of what's already going on listed above, but the fact that we live in a time where information zips literally through our fingertips as we are swiping, swiping, swiping story after story on social media. By doing so, we've got our head in 12 different situations at any one time. we didn't even complete the update from one person which brings up a thought, a note, or a reminder, and our thumbs have already moved on to the next. It's pretty common to get a new idea, or to pop up a reminder to send a birthday card, or adding an event to my calendar and making plans for it, forwarding it to others that might be interested, and oh should we make it a group date, go out for supper before hand, where....remember Molly has wheat issues and Zach can't go anywhere with fish....and pretty soon the mind is off on a tangent again.
Without the stressors of constant information to process, I know I'm not the only one who's mind is on constant "go", with new ideas all the time. It's like I never shut off. Sometimes I even wake at night, curl up in the dark with a lamp, a notebook and pen and take notes on whatever my brain is dreaming up.
Not only can this be exhausting, but out of control, it can be a huge reason for feelings of anxiety and depression, due to feeling tired, or like you can't keep up. Unchecked, the mental chatter becomes a illness-creator, rather than task efficiency tool it was meant to be. It's time to "re-purpose" this mental chatter so that it can be useful to us rather than hindering.
A friend was mentoring a newbie in business ownership and called out to me, "How many businesses is it that you have operating right now?" Right in front of her so that she could see she was surrounded by seasoned veterans who were not strangers to the beginner in business woes she felt drowned by. It hit me that I'm not a beginner anymore, and there must have been some strategies I have developed along the way to repurpose my mental chatter into something useful.
These strategies work for anyone, not just business owners and moms, but anyone feeling the need to redirect, still, or calm the storm in the mind.
#1 And it's a biggie.....Put down, silence, turn off the phone. Seriously, we have turned these little tools into tiny bosses that now dictate our time better than any live boss ever could. With everyone having access to us at any time with the ability to completely distract us from what we were set out to do, it's a wonder our brains haven't self combusted!
How I combat the issue:
I have separate rings for those that I would need to answer immediately, so that when I can't silence it, I at least know when I HAVE to answer it.
I put my phone on airplane mode A LOT. I make sure the kids have a secondary provider to answer to so that I know I am not missing an emergency. Then I have set times throughout the day to tend to messages that may have arisen. I do what I can in those set times, and shut it back off again. During these times, I sit with my planner, my calendar, and my notepad so that I have everything I need to tend to each message only once. This way I have all things entered into the calendar, all items added to the "to buy" list, and all phone messages I need to return in one spot. These I can delegate to someone else, or tackle those I need to when I am able.
After completing a phone tending session, I shut the phone off, and begin work on a project, I sit only with my water, computer and notepad so that I can only focus on the task at hand. Oh, and I don't have notifications pop up on my computer, or we're headed to sidetrack derailing once again.
#2 It Starts With Organization
I do a lot, and in order to do what I do well, I take care of myself, and plan my time. I start with an Evolutionary Evening, which I talk about in my book "The Evolutionary Evening, where I plan out my tomorrow, drain any new ideas into my idea notebook, and add anything to my calendar that needs to be adjusted. I make sure I have this time, and then time for relaxation after, with attention specifically on the fun, knowing I get to pick it up again in the morning.
Then in the morning, I give myself a miracle morning. I do not turn my phone on, look at any emails or social media. I start my day with affirmations, get in touch my guides through yoga or meditation or both, some exercise, a good breakfast, and getting the kids taken care of, before I even turn the power on ANYTHING.
#3 But Not Anal
Organization is important and necessary, but if we are anally so and it wrecks our whole day when something throws it off, or so much so that we can't have any adjustment to our plan at all...that's not great either. So I do a lot to teach myself to adapt, and let happiness happen. I give myself techniques, and have done a lot of work over the years to "know thyself" and still do.
I breathe, drop my shoulders, look around and remember I'm living, not on a tunnel to a destination. I give myself affirmations I use a lot, like "I have more than enough time." "I have everything I need for everything I need." and "Only what is necessary to happen right now will happen right now"
Right now, I believe there is nothing more important to me than my happiness. This means that happiness can happen even when we don't feel peace, and I teach my kids to learn the same thing. I don't say yes right away anymore and I say, or think in my head often, "I will love to help you with this, if it doesn't upset my ease, I will get right on it." If I don't feel good about it, I will see if there is any time, place, or anything I CAN do. It's not about being selfish, it's about being truthful. If I am truthful with myself, I am more able to offer the best, all without making myself a weaker dilution of what I could be and do for myself, others, and my world
#4 Live in the moment
Having so many things on the mind at one time, so many things to remember, and so many situations to be thinking out can cause you to blow through your day without ever really living it. The only way to combat any situation, good bad or ugly, is to appreciate and live, paying attention in each moment, noticing all the things that are around you RIGHT NOW. You can only live in this right now minute anyway. If you live it in joy, you extend the vibration of joy, which increases the "bandwidth", essentially giving you more "time". And it's certainly more enjoyable.
#5 Mental Chatter is a Sign of New Possibilities
Sometimes I see my mental chatter as a "buildup" of old ideas that need to make way and new ideas that are ready to trickle through. For this, I get to writing. I start writing whatever comes to me and let it keep coming until I've allowed myself to download and brainstorm all the possibilities. Often times this leads to spiderwebbing of ideas, but as long as it's out where I can visualize it, I keep going until I feel satisfied. Inevitably, I feel better afterwards.
And those nighttime brain drain sessions? I've come to see those as cherished time that actually reduce the work time I put in during the day as I see this as my most connected and aligned time, a time where my guides have my full attention. I don't complain about it; in fact, I look forward to the next session I get to have with the only people that have the answers: God and my guides.
Most often, I find that we are trying to do it all because we are trying to meet the needs and expectations (or perceived expectations) of those around us. Once we get clear on what we are here for, what we stand for, and what we are trying to accomplish with our time, it makes the division between saying Yes and No easier. For help with that try my Expectations Exercise.
All of this comes from faulty concepts and limiting beliefs that may not be working for us anymore. It is good to identify why we do what we do. Our conceptology lessons can help, as well as previous exercises on past blog posts, and our Conceptology Course. You're worth it, and the good you can do in the world by being the best you is infinite!