The things we carry can get heavy, fast. And we have a choice. Keep holding the weight. Or set it down. To move through the world with levity, unburdened by the weight of our mental loads, requires us to both see what we are holding onto and then decide consciously what to do with it.
As our work and lives take on a new shape, we are once again revamping the rhythms and routines of how we give shape to our days. And this means we are taking on new mental loads.
In today’s episode we create space to take perspective on why many of us are experiencing a sudden uptick in our mental loads. We then explore what mental loads we are holding so that we might see with fresh eyes the things we carry. We close the episode with 4 moves you can make to get relief.
- What are the mental loads that you carry right now?
- How does your mental load today compare to what your work and life looked like in 2019? What is the same? What is different?
- Now go further back in time: Compare what is the same and what is different about your mental loads from 2009? (Or pick another timeframe that feels meaningful for you.)
- Now jump ahead to the future: Imagine yourself at a date in the future that feels unknowable or at least a little less clear (e.g. 10 years from now). What’s your wish for what the mental loads will be then? What will you still carry? What will you have released?
Playbook for Getting Relief
- Cozy up to What is Real and True – What are your truths? What are the beliefs and judgements and facts that together form your perspective on reality. Pay special attention to the neutral observable facts that are prompting you to shape your truth.
- Honor Your Emotions – As you think about the mental loads you carry, notice without judgement what emotions emerge. Leave space to honor and appreciate each and every emotion. Don’t run from them; don’t stew in them – but give them space to breath.
- Ask for Help – Avoid going it alone. You can listen to podcasts, read a book or seek other asynchronous support. You can hire help. Seek out a coach, a therapist, a home organizer, an interior designer – and the list goes on. Tap into your community. Give the people around you the chance to support you. Sadly proximity does not give human beings the ability to read our minds and hearts. They need us to help them see what we need. Use your voice and ask for the support you need.
- Get Still – Physically. Emotionally. Intellectually. Invite stillness into all parts of your being. Meditate. Get out into nature. Lie in bed under a weighted blanked. Sleep under the stars. Sit on the couch all day with a pile of books. Watch movies. Phone a friend. Just stop – surrender to doing nothing – and just be.