This article will discuss the five most helpful strategies I’ve found for maintaining concentration during a particularly hectic time in my life
1. There should be less franticness.
My tendency to rush through tasks, even when there is no pressing need to do so, is deeply ingrained. I rush through everything: getting ready, running errands, even chopping vegetables. The thing is, I don’t want to be rushed, and I don’t want to feel frazzled as a result of being rushed, especially if it’s not necessary. When I find myself rushing without good reason, I’m making a conscious effort to assess the situation, and if necessary, to slow down.
2. Reduced standards of excellence
At least one member of our family has been sick with a nasty virus (not COVID, thankfully!) for the entirety of the first half of the month of November. It has exhausted all of us, and it has shown me that something has to give. As a result, we no longer feel the same pressure to have a “perfect” house before retiring each night. Joe and I will clean up the house a bit if it needs it, but otherwise we’ll just turn out the lights and go to sleep. Sleeping well has taken precedence over housekeeping duties for the time being.
3. Having less of a need to accumulate material possessions
Particularly with regards to clothing and accessories, the lessons I learned from my spending freeze are still very much a part of my daily life. I do most of my shopping online, and while I have placed more orders than earlier this year, I have also returned a greater percentage of them. Through practice, I’ve learned to be less sentimental about material possessions and to confidently decline opportunities that don’t suit me. In addition, I’ve adjusted to taking my time while shopping. Although the slower method requires more effort and time, it usually results in purchases that I am happy with and will keep for a long time.
4. Increased attention to the here and now
My resolve to practice less attachment extends beyond my financial habits. I’ve been using it in other contexts, too, especially when it comes to getting what I want or accomplishing what I set out to do. I’ve been trying to keep a light touch on everything, not making things more complicated than they need to be and not trying to talk myself out of choices I’ve already made.
What has helped me the most in my day-to-day life is active meditation, or focusing on the here and now rather than dwelling on the past or the future. My anxiety stems in large part from my mind’s propensity to wander, so keeping my attention on the here and now is essential.
5. Higher levels of trust
For some reason, the Thanksgiving of a year ago has recently been on my mind (and the entire holiday season in general). In retrospect, I realize that I pushed myself too far last year. I felt pressured to go above and beyond for my loved ones and the people we were spending the holidays with.
The truth is that with just a little bit of forethought and organisation (and the assistance of others), I can create an experience that is delightful on its own. Whatever it is that we decide to put our attention on during this hectic time in our lives, I am confident will be sufficient.