23 Sep 2020

Major Distractions

As the pandemic lingers on, I find it increasingly important that I take regular mental and emotional assessments.  That may sound strange, but really it isn’t strange at all .  More and more we are hearing psychologists, psychiatrists, and therapists stressing the need for self-care.  It should be understood that self-care is all encompassing – body, mind, and spirit. 

With the constant influx of news and information that spews negativity, devastation, and uncertainty it is difficult to process everything you are seeing and hearing.  Under normal circumstances I consider myself to be a very structured and focused person.  For the most part I live a very ordered life, finding it difficult to function and be productive in dysfunction and disorder.   Spontaneity has not been a strong point for me because it does not always lend itself to structure and order.   That’s a growth area for me because spontaneity can often bring just that needed spice to life!  But that is not my focus today.  I have discovered that when life throws its hard balls it results in major distractions; thus, causing a domino affect upon every area of life.  Productivity is huge to me.  Being raised in a home where you were considered lazy if you were not engaging in something productive even if it was just household chores has had a lasting impact on my entire adult life.    I was not allowed to sit around and watch television for hours on end – thank God electronic devices were not a major part of everyday life like they are now! 

In order to maintain order and structure in my life I live by calendars, agendas, and to do lists.  Even during these difficult times, I still generate my weekly and monthly to do lists, agendas, and keep my calendar in order; yet there are days I am not getting as much accomplished as I am accustomed to.  I guess this is my time for transparency.  If that be the case, then so be it if I can help someone even if it is just to let you know you are not alone.  I recognize that if this pattern continues, it will begin to affect me mentally and emotionally.  If I am not productive, I am not the pleasant, content person I strive to be.  Hope you caught that!  Let me make it a little clearer . . . when I am not productive I am not the easiest person to live with!  Lord, help my husband during those days!    However, what I have learned to do  in an effort to manage my time more effectively and get more accomplished,  is the necessity to return to the basic fundamentals of time management.   For example, instead of endeavoring to tackle a list of things to do for the week, I need to take it one day at a time.  Instead of approaching an entire day of errands, assignments, chores, etc., I sometimes find it necessary to determine what I need to do for the first few hours or first half of the day and proceed with that approach.   Once those things are done, then I can move on to the second half of the day feeling focused and better equipped for achievement.  I find that when I finally lay my head down on the pillow at night, I do not feel that the day was wasted.  Making adjustments to the method in which we approach our days and responsibilities will ultimately help to achieve balance and offset the major distractions.  The truth is, we may not have the power to totally eliminate those major distractions, but we can certainly devise a plan to better deal with them so as not to grant them the power to alter our lives.  We must take into account that with so much happening in the world today it is emotionally and physically draining.  Simply watching and listening to the news can take a significant toll on our over all wellbeing.  Can we afford to just turn it off and completely ignore it?  Absolutely not, it is necessary that we remain informed and educated about what is going on in the world as much as possible.  But the world situation is only one facet of life.  Additionally, we have family, work, church/spiritual affiliations, relationships, and various other commitments and demands of our time.  When we continue to put the normal demands on ourselves while attempting to navigate abnormal circumstances the result can be staggering.   Inferences have been repeatedly made to finding our “new normal”. I believe that is yet to be established.  However, I do believe there is a place we can get to when we take intentional steps to properly deal with the major distractions that will garner the propensity to experience functionality, productivity, and comfortability.