When Optimism is Just Out of Reach
Being positive is kind of what I do. It’s a huge part of how I identify myself and how I keep putting one foot in front of the other. I joke that I’m a realist, or just a positive pessimist. In reality? I’m a 100% bonafide optimist.
Just. Well. Some days the optimist in me takes the day off. It pulls the covers over its head and says nuh-uh, not today.
Usually it’s because I find myself overwhelmed. Too much bad news. Too many people asking for more than I can give. Too many times I avoid saying no because I don’t want to let anyone down. I stop my routine of self-care.
It’s easy to forget to care for ourselves when we worry that it will be seen as selfish. We do the bare minimum (eat, sleep, clean, repeat). We ignore the things that feed our soul. We stop all things that we see as “extra” and instead replace those with priorities of those we see as our responsibility.
Not that this isn’t important. I know that for me my loved ones are part of what feeds my soul. And there’s the rub. How to balance all the parts of our soul?
I talked awhile back about Navigating the Whelms – and I have to accept that I’ve lost my perch on that precarious balance between overwhelmed and underwhelmed. Too many moving parts and not enough breathing room.
So when you feel overwhelmed know:
- You can say no (and yes, even to family and friends). Try this: “No I can’t go to such and such event. I have a full plate and would love to get back in touch when things ease up. I hope you understand.”
- It’s okay that you didn’t accomplish every goal on your to-do list today (100 items is unrealistic and set you up for failure to begin with).
- Being underwhelmed does lead to feeling overwhelmed. It shows it’s face often in the form of being bored or unable to get started. So today was a bust? Tomorrow is another chance to try again.
Not every day is a huge success. And sometimes it’s even a failure. Acknowledge this and then move on.
Let your inner optimist take the day off, they deserve it too.
After all. Tomorrow is a brand new day.
(And yes, my inner optimist just couldn’t help herself, she talked me back into a positive head space after all.)