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What’s worse- when the days get out of control, the weeks get away from me. When the weeks get away, so do the years!
Whether you’re a student, a parent, a business owner or an employee- I’ve developed a system that has banished overwhelm FOR GOOD. If these steps can work for me, I know they can work for YOU, TOO. So let’s dig in…
- You may be surrounded with others who are stressed out
- You’re not being good to yourself
- Maybe it’s procrastination- put off solving small problems, so now they’re big problems
- Remembering to break down those big things into smaller things makes life less overwhelming
I usually don’t even realize when I’m surrounded with people who are stressed out and overwhelmed-
That’s because I believe that being busy and stressed out is the new default personality for most people. Let me explain-
In our culture today, we are conditioned to be be busy. We are conditioned to think that busy people are popular people. Busy people are productive, busy people are important, busy people are interesting…
This idea makes us fill our lives and schedules with unnecessary activities & obligations. Just think of it, if being busy was a negative character trait, how much more of your time could you reclaim? We can have less stress in our lives!
But the more we fill up our time, the more overwhelmed we get- because there are never going to be more than 24 hours in a day!
So, how do you separate yourself from others who’s stress is rubbing off on you?
Change the subject. Yes, you want to be empathetic and sympathetic to others- it’s who you are. But, maybe the best way for you to be there for your friends, family and co-workers is to remind them of simple joys. Remind them that life won’t be this demanding forever!
The best way to handle people around you who are overwhelmed is not necessarily avoid them, (because sometimes we can’t) but you CAN politely demand that they step into a better frame of mind by leading the conversation in a more positive direction!
To deter stress and overwhelm can sometimes mean separating yourself from other people’s drama.
If this is the leading cause of your overwhelm, you can practice changing the direction of your conversations. Walk away with a positive interaction, vs. shouldering other peoples’ issues!
Get personal. Remind this person of something funny that happened, or ask them about plans for an upcoming vacation. Make a joke, or ask them how their pets or family are doing… get creative with your conversations.
Turn stress and frustration into a brief, lighthearted chat. Don’t let the overwhelm of others weigh on your own conscience!
Taking care of myself seems to slide right down my priority list when I start to feel a little uneasy. In the days or weeks leading up to total overwhelm, my favorite hobbies/ self care routine/ wellness goes out the window!
This is not your intention- I know that! If you look closely at yourself in the midst of stress and overwhelm, I bet you’ll find that you’re not looking so hot. You’re not feeling up-to-par.
In your stressful, hurry-up way, you’ve forgotten to give care- With your appearance, your diet, your spirit…
Care and Feeding of YOU
Do you have favorite hobbies? What fills you up from the inside out? List some activities do most enjoy, take inventory!
Do you read? Take a walk? Maybe you call your mom? Will you enjoy playing a board game with the kids? Bake? Get a pedicure?
Make it a PRIORITY ASAP to do that thing that stirs your soul- even if you have to wake up extra early or go to bed late to accomplish it!
What have your eating habits been like lately?
Are you eating more to quell the stress? Maybe you’re like me- you barely eat at all because you don’t want to WASTE precious time enjoying a REAL MEAL?
Analyze the nutrients you’re not getting. Food affects your body AND your mind- your ability to think critically and solve problems. Is your energy suffering?
The 5 quick pick-me-ups I eat to boost my attitude and energy :
- Walnuts– Excellent brain food plus protein and the good fatty acids your body NEEDS
- Dark chocolate– Also an excellent brain-booster, dark chocolate also has a way of soothing my nerves when I’m stressed out!
- Oatmeal– Filling, satisfying, & warm. Oatmeal is one of those foods that makes me feel nourished, like comfort food with the benefits of fiber and iron
- WATER– I can’t say enough about water. Hydrating your body is one of the BEST things you can do! Avoid stress headaches, sore muscles and caffeine crash with extra water
- Citrus– When we’re stressed out & tired our body becomes susceptible to illness. Vitamin C is extra important when you’re feeling lethargic, and the smell and taste of citrus fruit is even PROVEN to improve your mood
Breaking it Down
Perhaps the best, and most thoughtful method I use to cut stress and overwhelm…
Have a system in place for breaking BIG problems down into smaller ones.
I can’t say enough how much this practice has ENDED OVERWHELM for me! I’ve used this method and honed it during the most overwhelming life events- divorce, parenting, business, finances…
When things fall apart, (which they do in the natural cycle of life) the first rule is to be objective-
You will never be able to banish overwhelm if you can’t step out of your own head for a moment to put it in perspective!
Perspective is Step 1-
First, know that someone else has been in your situation before. Actually, someone else has most-definitely had it worse than you do now, and you CAN overcome your stress!
Step 2 is Externalize-
Absorb that fact for a few moments, and then imagine that this overwhelm belongs to your best friend. What would you say to your friend if they brought you this huge issue they’re dealing with? Give advice. Write it down. Study your answer to your own problem!
This may very well solve the whole thing, and leave you feeling at ease with all the actions you can take to tackle your overwhelm! But…
If it seems bigger than you still, break it down into manageable chunks. Use a sheet of paper & write down the ‘big bad issues’ that stress you out. Then, list all the pain points below. How can you tackle those pain points and chip away at the bigger issue?
TAKE ACTION! You can’t skip this step! This is the #1 reason why everyone feels stress and overwhelm on a constant basis- lack of action.
The only one who can resolve to conquer your overwhelm is YOU. It’s not that no one else cares, it’s not that your closest friends don’t have answers-
The only way to banish stress & overwhelm is to take action on YOUR BEHALF.
Be your own advocate. As long as you’re a dedicated friend to yourself, stress and overwhelm must always yield to you!
Put it into practice- writing down all the things that overwhelm you on a piece of paper will allow you to CLEARLY SEE potential solutions. Writing also gets all that stuff out of your head and organizes your thought process. Start writing today!
I now know that if I can put things in perspective, take some me-time, break it down, and take action- I will certainly CONQUER my stress every. single. time!
I hope this method helps you to overcome your overwhelm and stress! If you have a routine or a system that you follow to make life better, please tell me about it!
I aspire to create a community of parents, students & go-getters that support and encourage one-another to reach greatness! Please subscribe below. Join our mailing list and get access to some nifty FREE resources!
Sincerely Yours, Breezy