If you are struggling with fibromyalgia, or just battling chronic painful and annoying symptoms day after day, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with too many choices. Everyone likes to have choices, to a degree. But too many can lead to overwhelm and then “analysis paralysis.” Have you ever been so inundated with choices that you wanted to retreat back to your comfy bed and burrow under the covers for a week? I know it’s not just me—we have all felt this, right?
I think this is one of the main reasons that organizer extraordinaire, Marie Kondo, got so popular a few years ago. If you haven’t heard of her, Marie Kondo is an energetic, sweet, Japanese author who specializes in “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” and she wrote a book and had a TV show on that very topic. She helps people see how many possessions they are dragging around in life that do not, as she says, “spark joy,” and she encourages them to let go of those items. Reactions vary from elated and relieved to dreading and resistant.
Whether or not you are a fan of Kondo’s approach, the massive popularity of that show points to something. Most of us are crazy bogged down with choices in life.
Handbags Gone Wild!
Case in point, I have a closet that is the size of a small room. It’s kind of … a bit much. I have too many clothes, shoes, handbags, everything. I worship orderliness and anti-clutter so everything is more or less in its place. BUT, the other day I was thinking that I’d like to have a burgundy bag to accessorize my outfit. I was all set to go shopping. But a nagging voice in the back of my head seemed to suggest I probably already had a handbag that could suffice.
After looking through my accessories, I discovered exactly what I was looking for, a super cute burgundy purse, and discovered that I had purchased this bag five years ago and never used it! Ok, someone has too many handbags. Unless you are Lady Gaga or a handbag designer, you probably don’t need the amount of purses I possess. Time for me to donate some of these lovelies.
And it’s not just belongings that create havoc in our lives. We are often faced with a multitude of choices that cause us to be less than decisive, then we waste time and energy. Sometimes we do this out of perfectionism; we’re afraid to make the “wrong” choice.
Can I just relieve you of that particular worry? There are no wrong choices. If you are a reasonable person and have thought about it and it’s not a life or death decision at stake, just make a choice based on the intel you currently have. Trust yourself. What to have for dinner should be a 2-minute decision, not a 20-minute agonizing descent into chaos.
My point is, when you have limited energy and have to manage where you put your attention, wouldn’t you rather spend your precious resources on something other than having to make 5,000 mundane choices per day? Here are my suggestions:
It definitely zaps energy to have to work around various items that are in your way. I say this as I look at my desk and see the pile of folders that ought to be filed away instead of on my desk! Spring is coming and what better time to purge? Ditto for anything you don’t need or use. Recycle, re-gift, let go.
I periodically go through my schedule and start dumping anything that does not need to happen that day. We all get caught up in non-essential tasks. Drop em!. Either delegate, get help, postpone or drop it. Anything that splits your focus from a priority task to non-essential can go.
It’s embarrassing but I’m overly attached to certain possessions. I’m working to release that and suggest you do too. It’s probably not healthy to waste energy on choosing from dozens of handbags, when 10 or less would do. I’m reminded of wise words a realtor friend once told me in regard to buying a home. She said, “Never fall in love with anything that is not capable of loving you back.” Like inanimate objects. Like purses!
How do you handle having too many choices? Have you made an effort to de-clutter and streamline your life? Do you have any personal experience that you’d like to share on this topic? Please share by leaving a comment below. We love to hear from you!