Today’s post originally looked different. Something summer-worthy and upbeat but life took the reigns and had other plans. Lately, I have felt overwhelmed, for many reasons both small and large. Then this last weekend happened: the nightclub shooting, the young musician being killed after her concert, and even today there was a shooting where the shooter was on the loose right down the street from my house.
Social media is pretty much a nightmare. Although there are outpourings of support, there are also onslaughts of name calling, more hate, and politics from every nook and cranny. “Why are you reading these comments?” I ask myself. Then I find myself scrolling some more. More awfulness. More darkness. The knot grows bigger in my stomach as my heart sinks another inch lower. I think it’s time for another digital detox.
Due to some medical madness, I’m supposed to keep my stress levels low for the next few months. In an effort to not stress about being stressed, I’m calling on my go-to strategies to breathe a little easier. At least for now.
9 Things You Can Do When Life Is Just Too Much
Personally, I need a supernatural kind of help to really get me out of a funk and I need to start with this for anything else to really have an impact.
Power Nap (Or Going To Bed Early)
It’s so amazing what sleep can do. I’m an excellent power napper (if I do say so myself) but there’s something about waking up with a new day that has a way of making problems seem less…problematic :).
Not everyone is a bath person, I get it. I tease my friend because she has to force herself to stay in there, where I pretty much only get out because the water has turned ice-cold. Hot tubs and saunas work well here too if you have access to them.
However, with baths, you can do most of the things on this list, drink hot tea, put on a facial mask, all while improving your mood. They really are a multitasking mecca :).
Pick the music that you’re feeling. Bob Marley pretty much got me through boards and the final stretch of college. Other days I just need to blare 80’s music (which usually always makes me happier). Then again, some days when I’m sad or really feeling low, melancholy will work wonders. Heck, A Fine Frenzy was my soundtrack through the ending of an awful relationship.
For me, music is a great way to work out emotions.
Peek At Pictures That Make you Smile
Just google “Smiling Dog Pictures”. Please 😉
Talk Through It
Usually, my poor husband is my sounding board but I’m lucky enough to have friends and family that would do the same. Sometimes just getting it out and naming your emotions or problems makes the situation better. Often times the person you are talking to can also help you see things from a different perspective.
I have both a blanket and an eye pillow that contain lavender, which I also have in its pure form. While I’m not nearly as knowledgeable as many about the benefits and uses of essential oils, I know I feel more relaxed when I inhale this particular scent. This post I found on 7 Best Essential Oils for Anxiety also includes yoga poses for anxiety and depression. Jackpot!
Dance It Out
I can’t be alone here,right?! Most of the time I need to do a couple of other things on this list first before I jump to this one, but it’s effective!
Put Things in Perspective
Seeing things on a larger scale can help your problems and anxiety shrink. Chances are, you are going to survive the very worst thing that may come out of your situation. Thinking about the truly horrifying injustices in this world has a way of changing how I view my current scenario (but I also try to not let shame or guilt set in because the emotions are still relevant to my life) because they usually pale in comparison.
Taking inventory of all the tools I have to get me through a situation, and counting the blessings in my life are other automatic mood boosters
*Of course, you can do all these with chocolate 😉
I read a post (and I really wish I could remember where) where she had an emotional wellness kit ready at all times. It’d have things like a pick-me-up soundtrack, her favorite edible treats, uplifting quotes, drawing supplies, and anything that she’d need to help get her out of the doldrums. I really love this idea and have added it to my ever-growing to-dos. Maybe I’ll call it my “Cheer Up, Buttercup Kit”.
As a finishing note, sometimes no matter what you do it’s hard to shake those overwhelming feelings that engulf. If this is the case, and you find yourself here for a prolonged amount of time, please reach out to a professional. There are people and professionals made just for this and there is no shame in utilizing them. Just think of it as building your team. You have your medical doctor, dentist (hopefully!), hair stylist, etc. Shouldn’t our minds be getting equal love?
What do you do when life is just too much?