Overwhelmed? How to Deal with It

What can you do when there’s just too much stress?

I have an overwhelming amount of stuff on my mind lately, and along with that, my stress levels have skyrocketed. I am trying to cope with all the changes in my life, some good, some bad, some scary. Some of it so frightening, it’s buried in the deep dark recesses of my mind. But those fears sneak out, and WHAM! Stress. And so, since I must practice what I preach, I am looking at this as an opportunity. A fabulous opportunity to practice being mindful and present. We all experience stress, and get overwhelmed with life, and it drowns us and takes over our lives. But, we can learn to deal with it, use it, and move forward.

This has been a crazy couple of years for me. A closed business, a career change, kids leaving for college and a teenaged daughter. That’s just in my house, and doesn’t include my spouse or any of his stress. So, what am I doing? First, freaking out. Then, I’m practicing some techniques to calm down, be present and figure it all out. I hope.

First, I am learning to recognize the signs of stress. Beyond the obvious that is – I mean, when my shoulders are in my ears, and I’m racing from thought to thought- I pretty much know the deal.  When my stress level rises, two things happen: those crazy stress hormones flood my body, and I zip around from one task to another really quickly. That’s a pretty good signal.

Next, I need to pause. Just stop. Period. I have to sit still and look inside. Feel the stress. When I notice the physical feeling, I realize that my world is crashing like my computer. The feeling of being overwhelmed is so strong because I don’t feel like I’m in control. I don’t know where I’m going, and I don’t have a plan to get anywhere. I’m just trying to make my own way in an uncertain, uncontrollable world, without failing. So now I notice this sudden urge to be in control of my life, but I’m not acting on it. I’m going to mindfully think about it, maybe even meditate. (Stop laughing while I’m pouring out my heart)

One of the best methods for dealing with stress is to remember to love yourself. Give your heart a virtual hug.❤️Breathe, relax and calm down. Meditate. We all need to realize that we can’t do everything at once. In a single day I can’t finish all of the bazillion and one things I need to do. I can only do a handful. And now comes the list which always ends up being too long. It’s hard, but eventually I cave in and acknowledge the fact that I have a limited capacity. I use post its and lists to narrow it down. It’s about prioritizing. What has priority, I make it doable. The rest, well, I’ll have to deal with it once I’m done with my edited, compacted list.

Give yourself a hug. Loving yourself will help you to be more present and to stop some of the overwhelming feelings.

Key point here folks – one thing at a time. We all want to multitask, but it is not really humanly possible. Pick one thing. Focus on it, complete it, and then move on. You’ll still have a list, but the stress will start to melt away once you can move forward. Don’t forget to breathe and caffeinate. ☕☕Remember, this is the best you can do. So do your best.

Honestly, as I do my one thing right now, which is writing this post, I can feel the tension in my body. The back of my neck is tense, my breathing a little off. I’m telling myself to relax – to be in the present moment. I am accepting what’s going on, being here with this moment, with you. In the midst of my chaos and stress, I’m enjoying that I can share some wisdom with you. I’ll get to those other things later, for now, I’m going to relax in the goodness of this moment. And then I’m going to take a nap. (I know, but I’ve joined NA)

Take the time to stop and breathe. Take a nap. There is nothing worse than being overloaded.

I am trying to practice this method every day. I’m sharing it with you, hoping that you’ll find the beauty, joy, and peace in every moment of every day.

 Stay Motivated and Caffeinated!😉☕

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