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Spirituality and Self-Care for Showgirls: When You Can’t Win the War

Today I'm overwhelmed. It feels like I'm fighting an un-winnable war. And my response is to shut down completely, hide in my bedroom, and try to sleep it away. Meanwhile, as I completely retreat and abandon all the tasks I need to accomplish, the war rages on internally, and the obligations and commitments don't magically disappear. So not only do I not accomplish what I need to accomplish, but literally nothing gets done, and then I drown in guilt and feelings of failure, and the cycle of being overwhelmed continues.

This place is familiar. It is a form of self-sabotage.

How do you get yourself out of feeling stifled and overwhelmed?

It is difficult for me to focus on anything but the "big picture." I'm a Big Picture Gal. But when I find myself in this paralyzed place, the only way I can ease out of it and become productive again is by selecting a small task that I know I can complete, and complete quickly. These small victories have a way of shifting my mentality from "it's impossible" to "it's possible."

For example: When I'm faced with a looming deadline for an entire costume ensemble, I will often put down the major alterations and fabrication, and go right to my pasties. If they are simple enough, I can make them myself using lightweight craft foam, and I am usually able to start and finish them in an hour or two. So even if I have extensive work to complete on numerous other costume pieces, the confidence that comes with completing one small task, and creating something beautiful, will often spur me to take on the bigger tasks.

Pasties are my secret weapon!

The power of pasties: These little two-inch sparkly bits have a lot of power in my world. It's a simple task, that I have a level of confidence in my ability to design and create, and I can start and complete a pair relatively quickly. Pasties are my go-to "small victory" when the "war" is overwhelming me.

What is your "small task" of choice when you need to kickstart your motivation?

Pictured above: My Pandemic Pasties

So, if feeling overwhelmed by the magnitude of the war, it helps to take on smaller battles so you can experience immediate victories, which in turn will motivate you to complete more tasks and eventually make some headway on your bigger goals.

In my experience, I don't complicate my already cluttered and cloudy mind with decisions about priority or deadlines-it's a "survival mode" tactic, with the pure purpose of getting me out of bed! I will confess that often I will take on a task that isn't even on the massive and looming list of To-Dos. Anything, LITERALLY ANYTHING, to get my butt out of bed and moving and creating again. Think of it as "triage task."

And this simple act of completing a small task inevitably serves its purpose to help me refocus and keep moving forward.

Things to Consider:

  • Pick a favorite activity, even if it isn't on your To-Do List.

  • Make sure it's a task you can complete quickly and easily, and that you have all the supplies necessary to do so.

  • Ask yourself: Have I eaten? Have I had enough water? Have I rested adequately? All of these can affect your ability to concentrate, plan, and problem-solve.

  • Still not feeling motivated? Try an invigorating shower! Or a walk outside.

  • Share your progress with someone else! Receiving a "well done" or "congratulations" can feel amazing and help to spur you on to the next, and the next!

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