Overwhelmed and Paralyzed, Too?

by Holly Thompson, August 30, 2020
Are you feeling paralyzed like I am?

I found myself staring into space a lot this week. I want everything to be so perfect! I can see it in my head. A clean house, prepped meals, a happy family, engaged students and new lessons that inspire them to dig deeper and grow.

I smile just thinking about it. The vision of normal and everything I create feels so good. When I come out of my daydream and look around my house or office, I realize that I am so far away from that vision.

What I should do, what I WANT to do - is start creating that scenario. But what I ACTUALLY do is feel that familiar twinge of overwhelm and I pick up my phone to see if I have a new message and get sucked into the habit loop of scrolling. I gain nothing from this.

I'm hearing my teacher friends go into their classrooms and bursting into tears because nothing is like it's supposed to be! We aren't just following the same joyful, let's make our door decorations and put up our bulletin boards. Meet with our team for our favorite opening day lessons and to analyze the data for our new kids so we are excited to accelerate their growth with our favorite teaching practices. Reviewing the changes and "new initiatives" that always seem like way too much.
Nothing is on auto pilot this year.

Every little decision and effort is new and ever-changing. We make a few plans and whammo - something gets thrown in to change everything. AGAIN. In addition. we are out of practice. We are out of practice of routine and just getting started. But here we are - going back to school in some way or another - so let's rely on some old strategies to get us back into the game.

Picking something small to do first and then getting in the zone has felt non-existent since March. It all feels like so much - so I put it off. and off. and off. And I go to bed not doing all the things I thought I could do that day. And then I feel awful - like I'm less than the person I claim to be. In all areas. School and Home. And when we succeed in one, we usually succeed in the other, too! So I'm starting with home. I have more control there.

First - let's examine what's causing the procrastination.

This is partly because of perfection. There are so many more and I invite you to check out the book The Now Habit by Niel Fiore. If we don't think we can finish the whole job, or do it how we want to in the length of time we have, or have the energy for ALL the effort, we don't even begin.

For example, I'm not going to get abs with this one workout anyway, so what's the freaking point? I can't do this lesson well right now, so I"m not even going to start. Or the kids will just mess up the room anyway, what's the point of cleaning it?

I catch myself thinking these things out of habit and today, I decided to THINK differently. I AM going to go to bed feeling good today! Here are 3 things that are helping me in this moment.

1. Switch it up: I decided to switch workout programs. Yes, I'm in the middle of a brand new one. Yes, I feel like I'm letting people down because I'm not following the same calendar. Yes, I am afraid that they will give up. - but truth - I skipped 3 workouts this week. That's significant for me. I wasn't giving my challengers and coaches my best anyway - so this week I'm going to give ME my best. The Barre is calling me back and I can't wait for legwarmers and woo woo joy to start my day again!

Maybe for school since I can't do what I normally do, I'll pick something totally different that I've always wanted to try for one lesson, and then pick a canned I've done it the same way for years lesson - let's see how it goes digital. It doesn't need to be perfect! What are you avoiding? Can you switch it up and still be effective and excited? 

2. Set a timer: I'm setting a 10 minute timer to tackle a few things on my list. A podcast I listen to (Happier with Gretchen Rubin) reminded me of this. So I say to myself - "ok you have 10 minutes to... do the dishes, pick up the laundry, write the blog post, outline the lesson, take a shower (yes, this, too...) You can rest in 10 minutes." By then, I usually don't want to stop anyway - but if I do, I got in 10 minutes of productive work! What can you set a timer for and tackle today?

3. No need for perfection: I'm letting some things go. Some big ideas that I was hoping to do perfectly are just crossed off the list - organize my bedroom drawers, do a huge meal prep (I've got a little one), get my storytime book and activity list finished, and create a new resource from scratch for my September challenge group. I just don't need to go all in on this beautiful day. What I already have is ENOUGH! What can you use from before to call a project "good enough" today?

Every single year - we wonder how we are going to get it all done. But we always do just enough. No more. No less. And when those little faces walk into the building (or smile on our google meet), we remember why it's always worth it.

Are you struggling with overwhelm, perfectionism, and lack of action right now, too? Send me a message and maybe we can problem solve together!

SHARE 0 comments

Add your comment

© The Happy Healthy Teacher · THEME BY WATDESIGNEXPRESS