Have you ever been so stressed and overwhelmed that you just don’t know what to do? Or how to handle it? I am sure that just about everyone has to deal with overwhelm and stress from time to time. It can be really hard to deal with. As I sit here writing this post I am dealing with this exact situation myself at the moment.
I’ve had a particularly rough week including losing a beloved pet, as well as having issues with my university saying they have not received their tuition for this semester from my student loan which was sent to them directly from Canada student loans. They are now asking me to pay it myself or have my status as a student revoked, which is not a possibility for me because if I send them the money than I have nothing to live off of since I am a full-time student who is not working. Stressful, am I right?
Those things aside, this year has been hard on every one of us myself included and a lot of people who haven’t really experienced this level of stress and overwhelm have been experiencing it or are experiencing it now due to COVID-19. Here are a few tips that I find have helped me in the past when facing overwhelm and stress.
Take a moment and breathe/meditate
One of the first things I do when I am feeling overwhelmed and/or stressed, whether it is over one thing or multiple things, is to just take a moment and just breathe. If you are someone who likes to meditate this would be a good time to do so. A time to just hit pause, take a moment and gather your thoughts before tackling anything. If you don’t meditate that’s okay too. As I said, just take a moment for yourself, and just breathe.
Accept the overwhelm/stress
One of the best ways to deal with something uncomfortable such as stress or overwhelm is to learn to accept it. Understand that you are not alone. Everyone deals with stress or overwhelm from time to time. Some people more then others but just about every one of us has had to deal with it at one time or another. Accepting and acknowledging it is the first step to being able to deal with it. Rather than ignoring it or putting it off for another day accept it and allow the feelings to be there. Be sure to be kind and gentle to yourself.
Make a list
I find it helpful at this point to make a list. It can be a list of things I need to get done if that is what is stressing me. Or it can be a list of things bugging me, a list of things that have happened. Basically just get it all down if you can on paper so that you can have an overview of what you need to tackle. If this task seems overwhelming in itself don’t worry, just pick up a pen, close your eyes and let your mind do the work. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I often will sit down with my husband, a friend, or my mom, and have them help me figure out what I need to get done.
Once you have your list of things, prioritize them if you can. Try to see if there is anything easy on the list that can be done quickly and actioned so that you get them out of the way. Determine what things on the list need to be done first or are bugging you the most and set them to the top of your list and order them in order of what needs to be dealt with first.
Don’t be afraid to postpone or remove things from the list
Not everything has to be done or done right now depending on what it is. Take a good look at your list and determine if there is anything that can be removed from the list. Things that maybe you thought needed to be done but don’t really need to or maybe don’t need to be done just yet. Make your list manageable and obtainable. Don’t add things to it that do not need to be there or that can just add to the overwhelm and stress that you are feeling.
Ask for help/delegate
You don’t have to do everything yourself. Lean on family or friends if you can. You might find that people genuinely love to help other people a lot of the time. That’s what friends and family are for. To support one another. You’ll have a chance one day to help them back and help make their life a bit easier and less overwhelming or stressful. Allow them to help you when you’re really overwhelmed or stressed and have a lot to get done knowing that one day you will be able to return the favour.
Ensure that at some point along the way, that you pamper yourself. Draw a nice warm bath, put in some nice bubble bath, Epson salts, or maybe a bath bomb if you have one. Have a girls movie night or a movie night with your significant other or even one by yourself. Spoil yourself a little. De-stress and relax. Don’t think about anything past or future just concentrate on the now for a little while and enjoy yourself. Do something you really enjoy.
What are some ways that help you cope with stress and deal with overwhelm? Let me know in the comments.