I’ve felt this frenetic pace that began in November and only seems to have accelerated since then. This isn't about politics. This isn't about needing to dry my tears and move on. This great sense of urgency when I hear from family, friends, and acquaintances who’s lives are on a trajectory to be impacted in terrifying and harmful ways. This frenetic rush to do everything I can to protect them, to resist, and to stand strong. Sometimes the pressure can be nearly suffocating.
I openly struggle with GAD (generalized anxiety disorder), mild depression, and chronic inflammation. This essentially means my body is a walking magnet for stress and fatigue. With or without any form of clinical anxiety or depression, I think we can all agree that this type of environment rapidly leads to negative effects on the body and mind. We quickly fall into a vicious trap of wanting to change the world and make that change TODAY. We struggle to reconcile the time for rest or frivolous activities. I’ve heard from so many of my artist friends who have lost their desire to create, feeling as though it is quickly becoming meaningless. Dinner table talk has turned heavier than the loaded baked potato on your plate.
Many of you will recall those Powerpuff Girl commercials that ran during the show’s heyday in the late 90s and early 00s. “The Powerpuff Girls - saving the world before bedtime!” I’d had this in my mind the past few nights as I’ve continued to scroll through my twitter feed “just one more time” or wanted to finish reading one more think-piece. This maddening desperation to crack the code to save the world before bedtime. How can I sleep when I know others are going to bed in fear tonight? We’ve got to save the world before bedtime.
Late Friday after lying restlessly with my mind racing, I finally caved and fired up my essential oil diffuser (you should invest in one). I took my meds, dropped in few drops of a lavender blend, dimmed my Himalayan salt l lamp, shut my laptop, closed my social media apps, and turned a bedtime playlist. I woke up Saturday morning and guess what? The world was still spinning. I was still breathing.
Yes, the problems were still there, but I felt prepared once again to face the day. The rest almost felt foreign, as if I’d acquired some kind of supernatural power overnight. The fact is, we aren’t the Powerpuff Girls. We aren’t going to save the world before bedtime, no matter how hard we try, and that’s okay. This doesn’t mean we’re weak. This doesn’t mean we’ve failed the ones we love.
We have to remember to breathe.
Enjoy moments to disconnect.
Spend time with your friends and family - Have fun!
Focus meaningful for prayer, meditation, reflection, or to simply be still.
Yes, the problems will still be there, but we need to be ready to face the day. In the familiar words of flight attendants before take-off: “In the event of an emergency, please put on your oxygen mask before assisting others.”
Remember your oxygen.
The world needs you at your best.
Take your time.