What to do when there’s only one of you


Some days you can feel a little overwhelmed … not even necessarily because of your practice.  Rather, it is all the other “stuff” in life that gets piled on you as well, as if the practice didn’t keep you busy enough.  Home stuff, volunteer stuff, kid stuff, friends’ stuff, relatives’ stuff, and so on.

One of the key questions to ask yourself (and you won’t like it) is who is piling all this on you?  To answer this you have to stop feeling hard done by and sorry for yourself (just for a few minutes for this step).  You have to stop feeling that you’re the only one who can get all these things properly done and that no one wants to help you.  You might start acting like a drama queen if you get too carried away with those negative emotions and then, guess what … no one wants to be near you or help you.


The next step is to get super objective about each area of overload.  You should take a notebook and write down each area of overwhelm as a category on a page.  Like, household chores, or kids, or volunteer stuff, or friends, or relatives.

Then on each page under the category, write down what is being taken care of by you and what bothers you that you have to be the one who does it.  Be very specific.

Now list other people in that category who should be sharing some of the load with you.  Ask yourself:  Are they capable of taking on some of the load, and if so, what part?  Or what would you have to do to train them on it?

Work out how you are going to bribe them or reward them for doing some of the duties or jobs or actions.  And what would be the most positive way to approach the person on this?

On the friends and relatives pages, what is it that is overwhelming you?  Duties?  Constant bickering?  Bad news dumping?  Maybe you need to look for new friends who bring you UP and you love being around.  With relatives, maybe you could allocate a certain time each week that you talk to them and then plan something fun for yourself for right after as a reward.  If you have siblings, maybe you need to talk to them about taking their share of the duties of caring for your aging parents so it is not all on your shoulders.


Now, step-by-step, divest yourself of some of the overwhelming stuff and share it around.  Many shoulders put to the wheel make a lighter job of it.

Give yourself a reward for each successful turn-over that you accomplish!  Now don’t you feel a little less overwhelmed and a little more like life is a game?  Have fun!

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