For the past several months I’ve been struggling with overwhelm – that feeling that you’ve taken on too much and you’re on the verge of crashing. I’ve learnt that overwhelm is a state of mind. I know this because even when I decided to stop doing everything that was not absolutely necessary, there was still that feeling of “doing too much”.
Today, I want to share three lessons on dealing with overwhelm from the book of Ruth.
- Have at least one good friend that will be your source of comfort. The book starts out with Ruth telling Naomi that she will not leave her (Ruth 1:16-17). The bond between these two women is clear. I imagine that they had shared many late night conversations and early morning prayers. Women need other women. Don’t deprive yourself of good friends. God designed us as social creatures and so the need to socialize comes built-in.
- Work on one important task at a time. Ruth wasn’t a party girl. She went to work. She did a good job. She went home. If she was eating, her focus was on the meal. If she was speaking, her focus was on the conversation. Our desire to multitask will cause us to miss the best in what we have now which eventually adds to our to-do list. No matter how much we try, we just can’t do more than one thing at time.
- Listen to, and act on, the advice of sound counsellors. This last tip ties in with point number one: have good friends whose wisdom is founded in Christ. It is natural to want to go to your friends to get advice. But if our friends are not grounded in truth, any advice that they offer will be suspect. If we know our friends have an intimate relationship with Christ, when they give advice we can actually listen to, and act on it.
What are your tips for dealing with overwhelm?