As we are entering the festive season, instead of feeling merry and celebrating, we may be feeling overwhelmed? A busy life with too many demands, work, family commitments, Christmas shopping, office parties and other obligations can prove to be too much at times. Working even harder to rectify the situation seems unreasonable when you feel as if you’re already working at full capacity.
Just remember that you’ve felt overwhelmed in the past and made it through to the other side. Things get better.
Minimize your feelings of overwhelm and stress with these strategies:
- Take a deep breath. Once you start to feel overwhelmed, things tend to go downhill quickly. Give yourself a break by relaxing, taking a deep breath, and slowing down your brain. Scan your environment and describe it to yourself. It will disengage your mind from your stressors and bring it back to reality.
- Focus on what you can do. In any situation, there are things you can control and things you can’t control. Keep your focus on those things within your influence.
- Let go of those things that are out of your control. There’s no reason to think about it and get yourself more agitated if you can’t do anything about it. Learn to let go of anything you can’t influence.
- Focus on solutions. Most of us make the mistake of focusing on the problem and imagining negative outcomes. This strategy decreases your capability and causes even more stress. If you’re going to put your brain to work, use it to find the best possible solution!
- Avoid making assumptions. Are things actually as stressful as you think they are? Is it possible that you’ve misinterpreted the facts or made poor assumptions? Gather all the facts before deciding if there’s a reason to be overwhelmed. Question your judgment and ensure that you’re on solid ground before hitting the panic button.
- Give yourself a change of scenery. Get out of the house and the office for a few hours. Your environment affects your perspective. Spend some time in nature if possible.
- Spend time with a friend. Go out for pizza and movie with a good friend. Rely on those in your social circle for advice, comfort, and a quick distraction. Which of your friends is best at making you feel better?
- Take part in a relaxing activity. What relaxes you? Lying on the couch with your headphones? Going for a run? Getting a massage? Spend an hour or two decompressing and you’ll feel better.
- Cut down on your obligations. Maybe you’re trying to do too much. Consider limiting the number of activities you participate in. Are you taking on too many responsibilities at work? Consider which of your obligations are most important and get rid of the rest.
- Remember when you’ve been overwhelmed in the past. You survived. In fact, you might even laugh today about how stressed you were back then. Hindsight is 20-20. Consider that you’re likely to feel the same way in the future regarding your current situation.
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