Dr. Deb’s Mental Health Vitamin: First things first
By Dr. Deb Wade
GCU Vice President, Counseling and Psychological Services
Have you ever felt frazzled? How about now?
The reality is that most of us experience those times when we are emotionally and physically exhausted, feel like we’re just going in circles, and seem to have a lot of “starts” and not a lot of “finishes.”
The resulting overwhelm, weariness and sense of defeat can then result in high stress, short fuses and powerlessness.
Usually, when we inspect the situation, we realize that perhaps we have piled on so many “must dos” that we are stretched to the max. Our lives can become so full of busy-ness that the view to the “finish line” of completion seems blurry and completely out of reach.
And yet … nothing new in the following facts, just a refresher:
- There are only 7 colors in the rainbow … yet, with this spectacular display in the sky, God revealed one of His most sacred promises enriched with hope for all of us.
- There are only 3 primary colors … yet the artistic masterpieces, such as the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo and the priceless portrait of Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci, began with those 3 simple colors.
- There are only 26 letters in the English alphabet … yet literary masterpieces such as “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain, and “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott, to name a couple, are derived from a mere 26 letters.
- There are only 7 basic musical notes … yet we have the timeless treasures of Beethoven’s “Fifth Symphony” and the “Halleluiah Chorus” by Handel as examples of greatness
Then why oh why do we stir our daily “to-do list” until it has a complexity that tends to completely overwhelm us? Yes … we must look in the mirror to find the culprit who does this. How do we simplify, yet still create our own masterpieces each day? Some tips:
- Prioritize: Sounds like a “no-brainer,” but put the important stuff first, then cross it off as you do it. What power there is in marking it off with a giant check mark.
- Don’t strive for perfection: Trying to be perfect will only frustrate you because it’s just not possible. Striving for excellence IS possible! Define what “excellence” is and go for it!
- Keep the main thing the main thing: The most important part of our lives, the one that truly gives us meaning and purpose, is our relationships. Spend time with those you enjoy and love!
- Plan for some serendipity: Yes, we DO need to schedule fun! Fun is fuel!
- LOL: Don’t forget to have laughter! The good feeling that you have when you LOL will stay with you long after the laughter stops. It’s just medicine for the soul!
So, as God’s creation, YOU are a masterpiece! Now … let’s focus forward and make each day our own masterpiece, too!