Do you ever feel like you can’t keep up? Everything is moving forward, you have to forge ahead while keeping all the balls in the air, your day is scheduled with work and family and kids, you don’t have a moment of calm from the time you wake up until you go to bed and then you wake up and do it all over again the very next day…
Can you relate? I can. Geez… it’s exhausting.
It’s so fast-paced. It never stops. When a client compared it to a whirly ride, I knew exactly what he meant. I’m on this Beach Cities Health District Mental Health Task Force which is looking at the mental health of our local teens. And the question comes up — why are our kids struggling? Why do they feel so pressured? Their parents claim that they aren’t pressuring them and yet these teens feel pushed to the brink. My theory —it is because their parents don’t have to say anything for them to understand. Their parents are living and breathing the very same thing. When we exist on this whirly ride that never stops, we are showing our children that this is what life is and what it’s supposed to be.
We live in a culture that values being busy and exhausted but the problem with this is that we end up feeling overwhelmed and rundown.
When someone asks you how you’re doing, it’s almost taboo not to say “busy.'“ Why? Why do we have to be so ridiculously busy all the time?
To tell you the truth, I don’t know the solution to this. I know it’s a problem, but I don’t know how to fix it exactly. I live and breathe it myself. Every day. Running around, always feeling like it’s never enough and I can’t get it all done. I do my best and still, I have to go up and down the stairs between the laundry room and my room because I never get around to putting all my clothes away. And all I have is this—
We need to model self-care too. We need to get off the whirly ride sometimes and take a breath. And maybe it’s okay to miss a practice now and again or to take a day off from all of it, not because you’re sick. Because you need time off the whirly ride before you throw up over the side of it or really do get sick and have to stay home.
We live fast paced lives of constant movement and exhaustion. Our children watch us do it and learn that they must do it even when we communicate otherwise to them.
What would it be like if we didn’t have to always be on the whirly ride like this? How do we collectively make it stop?
Do your part. Slow down. Just for a moment. Let your kids slow down. Don’t fill your quiet moments with the noise of social media or mindless television. Notice what it’s like to just be for a few minutes. Just be. Let your kids do the same.
Get off the whirly ride and remember what it feels like to be off of it.