Feeling overwhelmed is normal. Who wouldn’t feel this when life has become one big balancing act? Whether it is our personal or professional life, we want to do everything simultaneously. On top of that, we feel that we have to excel on all hats that we wear in life- we put so much pressure on ourselves to be the best spouse, parent, child, employee, friend, and individual.
According to Psychologist Marla W. Deibler, PsyD, being overwhelmed is “feeling completely overcome in mind or emotions.” She also said that we feel overwhelmed when we think that a stressor is too significant for us to manage.
Here are some signs that you are being overwhelmed by life:
- You experience tension headaches
- You feel angry and quickly get irritated, annoyed, or frustrated
- You either eat more or less than you usually do
- You suddenly have odd sleeping patterns- either too much sleep or not enough
- You feel physically ill or exhausted without knowing why
- You have a hard time focusing or completing even simple tasks
- You withdraw from your friends and family
- You stop doing things that you enjoy and lose motivation
If left uncontrolled, this emotion can seriously affect our personal and our professional life. Here are some simple tips that may help give immediate relief when you are feeling overwhelmed:
Take a time out.
Just like what the Kit Kat commercial said, “have a break!” Do something that can take your mind off away from your concerns. You may go out and take a quick walk, or read a book, or watch a movie. These activities may help you clear your mind and get back in perspective.
Exercise is a great stress reliever since it releases serotonin or mood stabilizer hormones. At the same time, it allows you to blow off steam. You may go for a short walk, do yoga, or bicycling. Any form of exercise may reduce your stress, that is why you should choose the one you enjoy.
When you are anxious, your breathing usually is shallow and rapid. This type of breathing hinders the blood from being properly oxygenated. In turn, the body interprets it as a stress signal, contributing to more anxiety and a possible panic attack.
Take deep breaths to calm you. Deep breathing is simple as you can do it anywhere yet very effective. You may even inject visualizing while doing deep breaths.
Do simple and mundane tasks.
If your mind is constantly in flight mode or concentrating on something different than the activity you are currently doing, doing a simple task may help ground you. Take advantage of this mundane, repetitive task as a pause to your restless mind. So the next time you are preparing your meal, washing the plates, or watering the plants, try to focus on the task at hand. Be mindful of the tiny details that your senses are getting.
Clean your surroundings.
Another way to soothe you is by cleaning your surroundings. It gives you a sense of control over your environment, especially when you are overwhelmed with all the uncertainties happening. At the same time, it also pumps out endorphins, which is our body’s natural mood booster and pain killer.
Connect with your support system.
What is good about the present times is that technology helped us connect with other people easily, no matter the distance. Why not call or chat with your spouse, parent, sibling, or trusted friends? Share with them your thoughts. Sometimes, you need to talk to the right person to calm your nerves, straighten your mind, and uplift your mood.
One reason why you get overwhelmed is that you want to do everything. Try to delegate tasks, especially if others can do it. Ask help if needed. Remember, no man is an island. If you are worried that you would not get the results you want, make sure that you clearly communicate what needs to be done. Of course, follow through after you delegate and check since this is still your accountability.
Disconnect and pray.
Lastly, one sure effective way to calm you is to disconnect and pray. Try to get your hands off your phone even for a while. Pray to your God and thank Him for the blessings you received. Ask for peace of mind and wisdom. Have faith that He is in control. You might not understand everything, but it will all work out well in the end.