Today I got overwhelmed unpacking the groceries. Overwhelming moments (for me) happen when there's an influx of blessings and I do not have a system to receive them.
So here’s what I do?
Yup, I head straight to bed to shut down my brain for a few. It’s kind of like when your computer gets too hot and starts freezing — so you shut it down to reset it.
Give Her A Bath
It’s tough feeling overwhelmed then having to take care of a little one. She loves water and bath time, so I dump her in with her toys so that I can simmer in my own thoughts.
I talk to myself through video. This gives me the chance to be my own best friend. After fully expressing my true feelings, I play it back and listen whole-heartedly.
When I talk to myself in my head, I tend to be negative. But when I actually see a recording of my younger self, I tend to be more empathetic, encouraging and helpful.
Make A List
Grab a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. On one side write, "Drains Me," and on the other side write "Fuels Me." Having this list helps me easily identify my triggers and reminds me of activities that bring me joy.
Another reset button of mine is being able to build up all that internal energy and then release it. I excitedly get the kids fed and settled, so that I have an hour to myself.
Our 10-month-old is going through a growth spurt right now and is also getting new teeth. Between having sensitive gums and the exhaustion from all that pain, she tends to cling to the breast. I mean non-stop nursing. And since dehydration can lead to irritability, foggy brain, etc. I make a conscious effort to drink water when I’m feeling overwhelmed.
Grab A Snack
I don’t know how people forget to eat. Food is definitely an addiction of mine and an issue I have to dive deeper into. But I try to grab something healthy (like a raw carrot) so that I don’t regret it later. There have also been plenty of times I head straight for the sugar, because I want to feel that crash.
Talk To People I Admire
I often get asked if I have a lot of friends. Nope! I'm definitely friendly with a lot of people, but I find I highly admire and crave the advice and feedback from a select few (myself included). So when I’m struggling with something I go to them.
Go For A Walk
Moving outside in the fresh air with the sun shining and the birds chirping is an immediate mood booster. Throwing my head back and staring into the endless blue sky is a reminder that my problem is sooo small. But, how I deal with it will impact the rest of my life (as well as future generations).
So I try to get a handle on what I’m actually feeling, and the root cause of the problem. And if that’s too much for me to process at the time — I just walk.
Let My Family Know
Listen, I owe it to my immediate family to be open about my feelings. While I don’t believe in being transparent with everyone, my husband and children live with me and have to deal with me and my decisions on a daily basis. So if I’m freaking out about a project, they deserve to know. They often are super helpful in calming me down and I hope it helps our children develop positive stress-management skills.
Now that I've had to chance to fully decompress, I'm ready to strategize and come up with a plan that is unique to my needs.
With our first daughter, I was frequently overwhelmed. It often took weeks (if not months) for me to calm down. I continue to have stressful moments. But now they last 2 days or less. It takes time to figure out strategies that work for you and those strategies can also change.
Be kind to yourself.
I hope some of these suggestions will help you on your journey. But if not, take time to get to know what works for you, your body, your family, your situation. When you figure it out, the snapback will happen more quickly.
Until next time…
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