As my life seems like a whirlwind right now, projecting what I have to by next week or even two days from now can bring this intense overwhelming feeling. Whenever I get in a little bit over my head, I call the one person who can calm me down in about two sentences- my mother. Because I’m not 21 or anything. I call her and even though I know what she’s gonna say, it still makes me feel better. She says “Just stay in today, and don’t get overwhelmed. Focus on doing the next right thing.”
Doing the next right thing is something she’s said to me for years starting in high school and it was one of those things where you don’t really fully understand until you’re older. And in college, I think maybe my first or second semester, I had that duh light bulb moment like this is what she’s meant all this time. Taking your day in a series of steps, one at a time and just trying to figure what the next right thing to do to position yourself to reach that daily goal is the way not be overwhelmed. And as I’ve said in earlier posts since I have a to-do list book, it seems to work really well for me.
In the long term though, I tend to think like this- “Next Tuesday I have an interview, what am I going to wear how am I gonna get there, what time do I need to leave? Then Wednesday I have a paper due how will I find time to do it? What am I gonna write about? Oh man, next Thursday I have my final project due ugh I hate this class. I hope that ridiculous professor gives me a good grade!” And in doing so I pile all the things I have to do in my brain.. (My thoughts are also similar to this sometimes!) Cue the overwhelmed feeling. Staying in today, means doing what I have to do today and trying to successfully position myself for tomorrow. And that’s it.
Doing this not only helps me stay calm, but also helps me stay present. In my last couple weeks in college staying present is important because some of these experiences I won’t get a chance to have again. And in my relationships and friendships too! This blog, like my tagline says is helping stay present, while finding the calm in the chaos.