Has the current state of the world left you feeling overwhelmed with your life and responsibilities?  Life as we knew it before 2020 was already full of challenges and now we have experienced even more.

Life circumstances can be incredibly overwhelming, especially if we haven’t been taught the tools to help us navigate the storms.  (Let me tell you, even when we have ALL THE TOOLS, it can still catch you by surprise, sometimes)

All of this can take a toll on you emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually.  This feeling can often get worse, leading to increased anxiety and worsening symptoms of depression. Before you let the overwhelm take control of your life, try some of these tips for relaxing and reducing stress.

Start a “Disturbing my Peace” Journal

When you are overwhelmed, you probably have a mind that is FULL of thoughts, worries, concerns, fears, regrets, hopes, and so much more. You need to get all of these thoughts and emotions out of your head, and there is no better way to do that than writing it out.

Start a journal specifically used for your stress and overwhelm, called a “Disturbing my Peace” journal. This is really easy to do and can be used as a place to vent about every single thing that is disturbing your peace (worries, fears, frustrations, etc). Think about what is causing you the most stress right now, and write it down.

Be honest, be detailed or vague, write it however you want. Don’t worry about how long it is, how long it takes you, grammar or spelling, or any other “rules” of writing. Just get these “mind viruses” OUT of your head in whatever way works best for you, and soon you will realize not just that you had a lot to say, but have more clarity about why you have been so stressed and overwhelmed recently.  (If you get to the place I have been, you might even find that you have dug your pen into the paper so hard, you made a hole in the notebook!  No judgements here….this will help you take care of YOU!)

Complete Something That Feels UN-Finished

Another way to relieve overwhelm in your life is to think about something you have not completed, but started, and finish it. This can be anything big or small, whether it is related to your current goals or not.  

Why is this helpful? Because you get a feeling of accomplishment when you complete something. Even a small thing you have been putting off, a little home project you started but didn’t complete, or a big goal, can all bring you that feeling that you did something. You worked hard and completed it. You did what was expected of you.  (sometimes the smaller it is the better…it gives you the feeling…of “oh! that was easy…and gives you a little Rock Star pep…to do another…whatever works….give that a shot)

This can relieve a lot of the stress and overwhelm you are currently experiencing. 

Visualize What You Want 

Visualization is very powerful, almost magical. When you can see something you want to be, accomplish, or get done, it gives you inspiration and motivation. IT allows you to work hard toward your goals, and actually visualize what the process is like.

But it doesn’t have to be only practical. Sometimes what you need the most is to dream. Allow your imagination to be creative and open-minded, dream up something you would love to have in your life, whether it is realistic or not.   (Have you forgotten that you used to HAVE dreams?)

Just take a few minutes a day to really visualize this dream, and go as far with it as you need to. When you’re done, you will feel more calm and relaxed, and ready to take on the day.

Sometimes…you may have trouble visualizing.  If you are having trouble, allow yourself to Wander for ideas.  Take it online or outside (even better)…look for something INTERESTING…that catches your eye…something you’ve never noticed.  Example:  Wow…I see an airplane…Now..I am flying to Croatia and I am going to have lunch at a sidewalk cafe!  Oh…there’s a butterfly…Now, I am free to go and do whatever feels light and flowing to me.  What do you think?

Develop Healthy Sleep Routines

Everyone needs sleep, even you! This is a great place to start, whether you have stress and overwhelm or not. Sleep is essential for your mind, body, and spirit. Sleeping is a great time to rest, digest and process. This is the place where you can gain focus and energy for a little more pep to get through each day. 

If you feel you are not getting enough quality sleep, start looking at your daily sleep routine.

Do you have a sleep routine?  This works great for some people…I’m not that into it.  I go to sleep when I want and I get up, when I want.

The things that are essential in my room.  It must be DARK.  It must be QUIET.  It must be COOL.

Televisions haven’t been allowed in my bedroom for so many years, I cannot count.  They do NOT create a good environment for sleeping.

When possible, remove all electronics from around your sleeping area.

This is an area that requires some UNboxing to find what works exactly right for YOU.

Find Your Own Priorities

Choosing what is a priority in your life is a crucial part of relaxing when you feel stressed and overwhelmed. This is true in your personal and professional life. A big part of self-care and relieving that feeling of overwhelm is knowing when to put yourself first.  YOU FIRST…always!  (I know, I know…sometimes it isn’t possible….so make those the exception…not the rule)

If a project you started or a goal you thought you wanted to achieve doesn’t bring you joy and you don’t remember why you wanted to do it in the first place, let it go. This is obviously not a priority in your life, so there is no reason it should be causing you stress.   (Hmm…well…it may still be a priority in your life…it’s simply not the right time for it to be higher on the priority list).  Here’s the thing…a whole lot of people put things at the top of the priority list and things that are actually priority..slip to the bottom of the list until they become URGENT or EMERGENT. (hint…I have been there….stay away from this one!)

Start a Morning Routine

Morning routines help set you up for success. They provide you a way to be energized and positive right from the moment you wake up, keep you from developing a negative attitude when the alarm goes off, and give you a time of the day for a little self-care.   (pro tip…create a life where you can do without alarms)

Start a new morning routine that is good for both your body and your mind, with things like doing yoga, drinking a glass of water, writing in your journal or planner, meditating or practicing mindfulness. There are no rules for a morning routine as long as it is good for you and helps you feel invigorated and ready to take on the day.

 

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