Posts Tagged ‘anxiety’

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Guest post by Tanara Bowie

Are You Holding A Plate Too Full?

Sometimes I can sense when I’m approaching overload, but other times I don’t realize until I’m in the midst of it. I imagine it’s a combination of my Type A “get ‘er done” personality and working as a D.C. area PR person for clean-energy companies, while also being a caregiver, among other roles. But I know I’m not alone in holding a full plate that sometimes feels close to tipping over.

There used to be a time though that I’d beat myself up mercilessly for not being able to take care of everything perfectly. Looking back, I think about the things I’d say to myself that I would never say to anyone else—whether I liked them or not. Are you stupid? Why’d you say that? Why’d you do that?

Thankfully, simple, mindfulness techniques like meditation and deep breathing exercises, which I began as a way to show myself the compassion and kindness that I often show others, have stopped the withering, critical thoughts.

Don’t get me wrong. I still feel a range of harmful emotions like anxiety: Will the LA Times really be on this call? Have I done enough to make this event successful?  I also feel profound sadness when I see the devastating effects of climate change around the world.

When these situations arise, I stop, find a quiet spot and take a series of long, deep breaths. Then I slowly exhale them out. I do these exercises to get myself present and grounded because the future-thinking I’m engaging in or the feelings of helplessness I experience when I see extreme drought and hunger take me away from answering the question: What CAN I reasonably do?

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