Feeling freaked out with life? I recently finished a book lent to me called "Fit to be Tied" by Bill & Lynne Hybels. It's a relationship book, but it did have one chapter that to me is applicable to everyone- Living in Crisis Mode.
"Crisis mode living is when you spend every waking moment of every day trying to figure out how to keep all your balls in the air and all your plates spinning. Most active people have to spend a certain amount of time in crisis mode. Life just turns out that way. The problem arises when you spend too much time in crisis mode. That's when crisis mode goes from being a season of life to becoming a way of life."
The Hybels outline two major areas of life that become shortchanged when we operate in crisis mode: we start skimming relationally & emotionally. Instead of engaging with other people, we chose to pursue the activities that will simply get the job done. Instead of allowing ourselves to process situations emotionally, we simply shove emotions under the rug. As they say, this is allowable for a season of life, but when it becomes a way of life, something needs to change.
I definitely agree with their suggestions for readjusting a life that is in continual crisis mode. First, life must be readjusted to a level of acceptable sanity as well as the attitudes toward the things we are doing. This can only happen when we are ready to let go of what has created the crisis mode in the first place. There's no point in trying to adjust the schedule if an adjustment in the attitude toward life hasn't already occurred. If the thought of an activity brings up stress, resentment and bitterness, it's definitely time to decide why we are doing that activity and see if that motivation is worth continuing that activity.
And if the motivation for doing something is purely to look better in the eyes of others, drop it immediately.
The goal of reorganizing our schedules is not to get the calendar down to one consecutive event after another. The goal is to get the calendar down to a place where we actually have pockets of free time- margin.
After deciding to adjust our attitudes, accepting the fact that we cannot continue life as it has been and reorganizing our schedules accordingly, it's time to start recharging our batteries. There is no instant recharge and anything that poses as such will probably be a let-down. One of the best ways to slowly begin to recharge is to make time for doing activities we actually enjoy. Hiking, fishing, knitting, watching movies, exercising, playing with the kids, going out on a date with the significant other, skiing, boating, dancing....yes, RECREATION! There is no shame in doing an activity you love.
Some may think that enjoying life and creating margin is selfish & that to truly live, we must fully sacrifice ourselves to others. I compare that philosophy to a coffee pot. How can coffee be continually poured out if water and coffee grounds aren't regularly added in to the coffee pot? How can we continually sacrifice ourselves to others when we aren't receiving any form of positivity into our lives?
There's nothing wrong with realizing our lives have moved into crisis mode. We aren't super-people; we weren't designed to be super-people. We are humans and can get overloaded. There's no shame in taking back our lives and creating boundaries. And there's really no shame in choosing to do activities we love to get the positive juices flowing in our lives that bring rest & vitality.