Have you ever woken up in the morning and looked out the window to see that everything was frozen? Doesn’t it look magical? The ice coating the trees so they sparkle during sunrise is a pretty gorgeous thing to see. Of course, you have to be up for sunrise to catch a glimpse of it before it melts!
I was thinking about what it feels like to be frozen this morning. Not frozen as in cold, but frozen as in “I don’t know which way to move next.” I felt that kind of frozen this morning. I realized I was overwhelmed because I was trying to hold onto several things in my mind at the same time. My to-do list was so big I wasn’t able to prioritize. There are times when everything seems really important so you can’t decide what to do first. Sometimes you have a big worry or something happening in a few days that you are nervous about and the worry and the dread get in your way of consciously and intentionally taking steps forward in other areas of your life. Feeling frozen can be very uncomfortable. You see time passing by, but you are so out of the moment that you aren’t actually participating in your own life.
I think that frozen feeling can be a good thing as long as you acknowledge it. It’s a wake up call that you need to make some adjustments in your life. Everything is paused so you can push the reset button. If you take advantage of the moment you can stop and look around and decide to change your behavior and give yourself some relief.
To get the to-do list out of my head I often write it all down. That way I can visually prioritize what to do and when. Some of those things on my list might not be as important as I thought they were so I can let them go. Sometimes just writing them down means I can stop trying to remember them. I can just check the list to see how I am doing. This frees up some mental space. I think of my brain as a computer. It runs more efficiently when it isn’t bogged down with too many things to remember at the same time.
Writing down your worries can have a similar affect. I’ve often heard people say, “Let go and let God,” but I never fully understood how a person was supposed to do that. I’d tell myself to stop worrying, but the worries would still be there. Writing the worries down is about as close as I can get to letting them go. When I write them down I can get a better sense about what I actually have control over and what I don’t. This helps sometimes because then I can remind myself that whatever will be will be. When the worry starts to creep in I just sing that song, “Que Sera Sera (Whatever Will Be Will Be)” in my head to distract myself. Another song that works is “Let It Go” from the movie Frozen. For some reason singing really helps me set the worry aside, especially when I am worrying about something I have absolutely no control over. Sometimes writing something down gives me a new perspective on it too. I might find the humor in it or see it as a small moment in a big life. Sometimes I even discover that there really isn’t anything to worry about at all.
I’m imperfect so I’m never completely worry free and I have to consciously redirect my thoughts or sit down and write to get past that frozen feeling. That is easier said than done sometimes. If I am tired, hungry, or feeling bad it’s always harder to do. I think that is why it is so important to notice that frozen feeling when it starts creeping in. That way you can address it before you slide down the slope and find your self obsessing, ruminating, and watching too much TV instead of working toward your goals and getting things done. When my brain is trying to hold onto the to-do list and the worries and I’m overwhelmed I feel like the Tasmanian Devil from the old Looney Tunes cartoons. I am sort of spinning and bumping into things, but I’m not really going anywhere. I’m not moving forward. I’m not fully present in my own life.
What strategies are you using to get “unstuck” or to be more present in your life?