Learn to Lighten the Load
When I was a teenager a friend of my fathers taught me that everyone has a ‘little red wagon’ that they pull along behind them all the time. The little red wagon gets added to and subtracted from by things that happen to you in your life and by things you do for yourself. He was adamant that everyone has a little red wagon, and that it is part of being alive.
I have now lived long enough to know that this is absolutely true and that everyone’s little red wagon is legitimate for them.
Over the years I have used this analogy with friends and patients and lots of people find it useful. I have heard other people use the term ‘stress bucket’ which I also like. Any analogy that helps remind us that everyone has burdens to bear and that everyone has the ability to lighten their own load is good.
Some people compare their burdens to others and make the false decision that their burdens are few so they should be able to ignore them and just carry on. This is a mistake - honour your little red wagon! Know that you are not alone in pulling a wagon along behind you and take action to reduce its weight.
Hanging out with friends who like to do the same things you like to do can decrease the weight of your wagon. Getting enough sleep, enough exercise and being kind to yourself are all things that can help to lighten the burdens.
Make your physical and mental health your top priority and you will notice your red wagon shrink down to a manageable size.
What action are you taking for your physical and mental health?