We’ve all been there – the sudden tightness in your chest, your face heating up, eyes threatening to spill unwanted tears. Most of the time, it seems to come out of nowhere. I mean, you’ve been keeping up so far, right? You’ve been keeping your head above water. Even if it’s just barely.
And then all of a sudden there’s the crushing feeling of being overwhelmed. By stress, fear, sadness, or anxiety. It wants to consume you. Well, if I’ve learned anything while wading my way through a good number of these little encounters, it’s that you need a toolkit to get through.
Here’s just a couple little things that help me, and that might help you:
1. Take a few deep breaths
Now I know this sounds a little cliché, but this is the most important thing you can do for yourself when you’re feeling a little overwhelmed. It’s the most natural thing in the world for your body to do, so just try to focus on the feeling of the air filling up your big, beautiful lungs. In, out, in, out. Do this for as long as it takes just to slow yourself down, even if it’s just a little. I promise it helps.
2. Do a quick check-up
A check-up? Yes, a check-up. I don’t mean go running in to your doctor’s office, but I do mean checking in on yourself.
Is your heart beating a little fast? How do you feel? Hot, cold?
I find that doing a little check up helps me focus my awareness on something that isn’t whatever is overwhelming me. It anchors me right on my loyal companion, my body. Take a drink of water, have a seat. If your body is telling you that you need to cry, that’s okay too.
3. Count your blessings
This one is my favourite.
When I’m feeling really overwhelmed, like there’s too much happening all at once, I sit myself down and count all of my blessings. Believe me, you’ll be busy for quite a while. This is the best anchor in the world – gratitude and love.
Showing appreciation for what you have is the best way to bring a shining beam of positivity into what you might feel is a really dark situation. Even if it doesn’t fix the problem, I guarantee it will put a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel.
4. Do something for yourself
This could be anything that makes you feel good.
For myself, I like to get myself outside and go for a walk by the ocean. It reminds me of the awesome beauty of the world and that I am so blessed to be a part of it. If that doesn’t work for you, that’s alright! Run yourself a hot bath, read a book, catch up on your favourite blogs with a hot mug of tea, watch cat videos on Youtube. The options are endless and will leave you feeling so much more relaxed and ready to run the world!
5. Make a plan
Now that you’ve stopped for a little very important self-care, it’s time to get back out there and kick some butt. Make a plan, even if it’s just for one day, and stick to it. It will help you feel more in control, keep you organized, and make everything just a little bit simpler!
I like to write down my tasks for the day so that I get the satisfaction of checking them off when I’m done. Make every little task done a celebration and suddenly getting them done isn’t so bad.
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Don’t forget that you are a miracle, and no one will ever do it like you will do it. You’re a powerhouse, a warrior woman, and a force of nature! Get out there, be brave and kind, be so lovely, so free!
– image credit: Chelsea Francis