How many hats do you wear?

It’s Mad Hatter Day – a day based on the Mad Hatter found in Lewis Caroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. It’s a day to generally be silly, put seriousness aside for a day and maybe even wear a hat. So why is this important?

Well, it made me think about just how many hats most of us wear. Not in the true sense of the word, but in the number of roles and responsibilities we take on each day. For most of us, wearing many hats is pretty much the norm.

Employer, employee, supervisor, problem solver, parent, teacher, friend, care giver, and the list goes on. Trying to balance all those “hats” can be overwhelming. What happens when that pile of hats gets too tall? It falls leaving hats everywhere.

So, now what? Take control. Establish priorities and determine which of your tasks are the most important. What needs to get done first, what can wait, what’s negotiable? Put things in perspective and remember – priorities do not run horizontal and nobody said it would be easy.

Break things down to parts that are manageable; one step at a time and be realistic about expectations of time. Then do it! Take action. Why? When we let ourselves get overwhelmed, we get stuck. We spend so much time stressing about all we have to do that we can’t do anything and that makes us more stressed and farther behind.

Laughter is a great stress reliever and it’s healthy. Sure, what you are doing is serious business, but allow yourself to take a breather, clear your head, walk away from it for a little while, listen to music, sing, whatever. When you come back to it, you’ll be surprised at how much more productive you are.

Ask for help. Really? How many times did you need help but didn’t ask for it because you didn’t want people to think you couldn’t handle things; didn’t want them to think less of you? We all need help from time to time. That’s just the way it is.

So next time you feel the tower of hats on your head starting to tilt, take control. In the words of the Mad Hatter, you don’t want to lose your “muchness.”

As a side note, ever wonder how the term “Mad as a hatter” came about? In 18th and 19th century England mercury was used in the production of felt used to make hats. People working in this industry were exposed to the mercury and often exhibited symptoms associated with mercury poisoning, including behavior that led to others viewing them as “mad”.

And there you have it.




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