SZA’s Mom Has The Best Advice For Handling Stress: “You Can Even Eat An Elephant One Bite At A Time”
It’s hard not to love SZA’s parents. Just last month her dad had us all in our feelings when he recorded himself crying while listening to her song “Broken Clocks.” And now, the 27-year-old Grammy nominated singer’s mom is over here helping us reevaluate the way we tackle our long list of responsibilities and the stress doing so can cause. In a study done by the American Psychological Association in 2017, it was found that the third most common source of stress is our work (behind the future of our nation and money), so we could all use the advice. For SZA, she turns to her mom for guidance on such issues.
“Remember, you can even eat an elephant one bite at a time,” her mom said in a text the singer shared on Twitter. “To help change feeling stressed out and overwhelmed, Jot down all the stuff that’s making you crazy, then write beside it what must be done NOW, what can be done LATER and what would be nice to do if you could but is OPTIONAL. Focus only on the NOW. Don’t worry about the other stuff right now.”
From there, SZA’s mom said it also helps to know what tasks you need to undertake and which ones you can share or hand off to someone else who might be better suited to handling the task. Knowing when not to take on everything solo when you don’t have to and not being afraid to ask for help can greatly curb one’s stress.
“For the NOW, decide if you are the only one who can do it or can someone else do as well or maybe better than you (a professional, have more time than you, more experience,etc.) then don’t procrastinate contacting that person and telling them what/how/when you need it done. Next, You prioritize the remaining shorter list for you to do yourself.”
Once you follow up with the people you’ve reached out to for help and do your own part, you’ve successfully lightened your work and mental load. As the singer’s mom put it, “You’ve now made more space in your life for the things you love and want to do.”
This isn’t the first time SZA’s mother has dished out some words of wisdom for all to benefit from. If you’ve heard Ctrl then you know that her words (along with the singer’s grandmother’s thoughts) were featured in skits throughout the album. SZA told Vulture in 2016 that she started to value her mother’s advice more and more after she fell sick for a while. It was in that time that she realized the value in her mother’s words and presence.
“My mom got sick last year and I did not figure that moms wouldn’t be alive forever, or that my mom wouldn’t be alive forever, or that she could ever get sick,” she said. “My mom is literally bionic, and all of a sudden she’s getting radiation and trying to keep it from all of us, downplaying everything … It was very bizarre to think that this amazing person that it was convenient to be annoyed by [might be] gone very, very soon. The reevaluation is so ugly. It’s so violent. It’s aggressive. Now I’m obsessed with my mom, and I’m not even sure that it’s all the way healthy because part of it is rooted in fear of losing her, and part of it is rooted in admiration.”