Hey Guys! Thursday already!!
So many topics I write about are brought about by topics that people bring up with me. Sometimes I see a recurring pattern and this lets me know that I need to share this topic with more people.
The past few weeks I have had many people reach out to me saying that they feel overwhelmed, anxious and just down and frustrated.
Well, in some point of our lives, who hasn’t felt that way? But I mean the type where the overwhelm and anxiety just paralyzes you from being productive.
I can recall a time a few years back where my Mom was dying in Florida, my Dad was alone trying to deal with her dying in Florida (keep in mind he has Alzheimer’s and we were depending on him for information), Danny was having big troubles in Florida and Dan and I were trying to get information and help everyone from Massachusetts. Not an easy task.
I was so overcome with overwhelm all I could do was repeat to Dan, “This is too much, I can’t handle this.”
I was literally frozen with anxiety.
This had never happened to me before. I had to snap out of it because people were counting on me, literally, with their lives.
How did I come out of my anxiety ridden state of mind so I could help my family who was counting on me?
My top 5 tips to manage anxiety and overwhelm
1. Acknowledge your feelings and then let them go. I had found out some pretty horrific things that happened to my parents in Florida. I was totally freaked out and I had a meltdown. It lasted for about 10 minutes and when it was done I could move on. But, I had to let those feelings go once I dealt with them. Don’t wallow in feeling badly.
2. Break things down in chunks by priority. I was so consumed with my Mom, Dad, Danny, Dan and work that it was all just too much. The thought of everyone needing something from me at the same time was just too much for my brain to handle. I took one thing at a time, by priority, and broke it down. I had to think about what needs my attention right now and focus on that. For example, my Dad had called me saying the nurses were hurting my Mom that morning and she was screaming in pain. He wanted me to call the nurses and see what they did to her. Of course that was important, but that was over and right now I needed to make arrangements to get to Florida. I know it feels like things have to be done ASAP but you can realistically only do one thing at a time. My top priority was that I needed to get to Florida and see for myself what the situation was. I called the nurses and spoke with them about my Dad’s concerns later that evening.
3. Stop the negative thoughts. The more I kept telling myself “ This is too much. I can’t handle it” the more sucked into anxiety I got. I couldn’t seem to get out of it. I had to stop that thought pattern and come up with a more positive one. I just read a quote “ The story we make up creates our reality, it creates our world, it creates what it possible and not possible”. When overwhelm comes over you stop telling yourself how overwhelmed you are. You are just keeping yourself stuck there.
4. Set Boundaries. This is the time you need to learn how to say no. You will not be able to do it all and you have to know what you are and are not willing or able to do. Be very clear with people on your boundaries and don’t waffle. I had too much on my plate with my personal life at that time and when a former client asked for a one time session, I said no. I knew I couldn’t deal with more than I already had on my plate. I was honest in my explanation and the client was very understanding.
5. Self-Care. This might be my number one recommendation. I often tell clients when things are going horribly wrong around you now is the time to make sure you take care of you! Find what makes you happy, feel recharged or fills your cup up again. Stress will deplete your reserves and you must make it a priority to make sure the tank doesn’t drain fully. Know what recharges your soul and make the time to do it. You cannot take care of someone else if you can’t even take care of yourself.
Question: How do you deal with anxiety and/or overwhelm?