“Worrying is stupid. It’s like walking around with an umbrella waiting for it to rain.” Wiz Khalifa
I don’t know if you experience this, but sometimes, seemingly out of nowhere, I get so overwhelmed that I start to break down. Sometimes there is really no explanation for it, and other times it is because I’ve got so much going on that I cannot handle it. Especially if it requires me to deal with other people. I’m not very social to begin with, so if I have to spend too many hours interacting with large groups, I freak out a little. An example would be working a twelve hour shift at the pool (I’m a lifeguard). There comes a point when I’ve reached what I call my “people quota” for the day. By the end of it I am racing to my car so I can be alone and breathe.
I find that it is a necessity to spend time alone. It’s probably because I’m an introvert. But I figured I’d share some of the things I do to cope with the craziness that is life.
Books are the ultimate escape. Whether it’s fiction or memoir or medicine, letting your brain take a break from your own problems for awhile can always help lend perspective. The more you learn and relate to others, the easier it is to see your life from a widened point of view.
I have been known to *occasionally throw together some cookies. (*Way more often than I actually should.) Also bread, muffins, even creme brûlée. I would not be the first to say that baking is meditative.
To me it is a way to connect back to the real world. Using my hands to turn a jumbled mess of stuff into a delicious finished product that can make someone happy. It’s nice to focus only on eggs and butter for a few minutes.
Sometimes I need to blast Fall Out Boy. Sometimes I need to listen to Debussy. Sometimes I need to bang on an instrument for awhile until I make enough noise to make the world a little quieter. We all connect to music in our own way, and we all know it has the power to change the way we feel.
Yes, we all have our favorite YouTubers. Sometimes listening to someone else rant for awhile is as good as ranting yourself. Other times you just need a laugh, and there is no limit to the stupidity on the internet.
When it comes down to it, distracting yourself will only last for so long. The things I’ve mentioned above are great to calm yourself down, but there comes a point when you have to face reality. The best way to do that is to ask God for help.
“Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” Mark 4:39
One of my favorite parts of living in Germany was the window in my room. It sounds weird, but I loved that window.
It rains a lot in Germany. There were days out exploring where the rain would come pouring down, and it was freezing cold, and it made driving kind of scary. I’d come in the house and the deluge would still be so loud against the rooftop. But then I’d take a hot shower, put on some fuzzy socks, get some hot chocolate (my sister had this really yummy white hot chocolate mix, and you pour in some hazelnut creamer… Mmm. So good).
Then I’d sit on my bed with my warm cup and stare at the storm out the window. This huge storm that seemed so monstrous and chaotic. And I’d watch as only a few passing drops would stick to the glass.
I think life is kind of like that. It’s easy to get anxious when you’re sliding around in the thick of it. But when you take a step back and put a buffer between you and the world, things become a little clearer. Only a few of the drops really matter. The rest of it is just water to make the flowers grow.
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So if you’re like me, and sometimes life just seems like too much, take a step back, breathe, pray, and brave the storm without worrying so much. It’ll work out. It sounds easier than it actually is. I know for some of you out there panic is a thing that lives inside you all the time. It’s painful and feels out of your control. But the storm can be calmed, and the rain isn’t so bad once you get used to it.