It’s Not The Load That Breaks You Down It’s The Way You Carry It ~Lou Holtz
In our modern day lives we never seem to stop. December is the busiest month of the year so are you ready to face the holidays or are you feeling a bit overwhelmed? If you are overwhelmed, you’re not alone. Most people feel this way during the holidays. So in the spirit of helping you all lead more satisfying life I have compiled 7 ways to beat feeling overwhelmed:
1) Up your self care.
I know that this sounds like an oxymoron and impossible. I am sure your saying, is she crazy? I know that it feels like you have no time. But self care is the first step to surviving stress and overwhelm.
When we let self care go out the window it is possible to make it through the storm of the stress, but our body becomes wary afterwards. Have you ever noticed that you tend to get sick after your are stressed ? The reason for this is that when we are stressed it activates our fight, flight and freeze response this is when Cortisol and epinephrine are released that help us be ready for action. These hormones are not detrimental to our health for short periods of time ( like several hours), because your body automatic replenishes itself after a stressful situation by making you sleep more and relax.
If you are stressed for more than several hours and you do not allow your body to replenish by eliciting the relaxation response, you are signing yourself up for sickness. If burning the candle at both ends is a long term way of living for you, it is possible to can give yourself a more serious stress related illness. If you need help managing stress please feel free to contact me.
2) Eat regularly and healthy foods.
Along with self care being left to the wayside, eating nutritious food is another area where most people become lax, during the holidays and periods of stress.
In the past when I have been stressed and completely overwhelmed, the first thing that I let go is eating on a normal schedule and nutritious foods. My major food groups when I am very busy seem to be caffeine and sugar. Do you relate to this? The only thing with eating this way is that it sets us up for a crash. Leading to you continuing the cycle of eating sugar and caffeine because you have no energy. This way of eating depletes your body of the nutrition that it needs and further weakens your immune system.
Other people may turn to comfort food, to sooth your nerves. This way of self soothing can lead to a disordered relationship with food. Which can lead to guilt and gained weight.
So the solution to the unhealthy food trap is to cook your own food. You may say that you have no time to cook right now. There is a solution! This is where slow cookers are helpful then you have healthy food ready for you when you get home. If you want more recipes and health tips visit my friend Gabrielle’s site she is a holistic nutritionist.
3) Commit to less activities.
I understand you have so many opportunities to socialize right now, you want to be a good friend and show up everywhere. Depending on what your personality type is some people thrive off of crowds, some people need to limit their time and then others are more introverted. Before making lots of commitments, look at your schedule and ask yourself will I have enough energy to add this to my schedule? After looking and your entire week’s schedule then RSVP. This will keep you from being spread too thin and having resentments about having too many plans. Remember we create our lives, make choices that support the one that you want to live!
4) Sleep enough, 7 to 8 hours a day.
When we are stressed this can lead to insomnia which can be further exacerbated by the caffeine-sugar cycle. If you are sensitive caffeine then set a specific cut off time for you stop drinking caffeine. Practice good sleep hygiene and here is a PDF of tips. Recent studies have show that the average adult needs 7 to 8 hours a night of sleep to help keep their body healthy. Remember sleep is super important to help regulate our bodies and can help reduce stress.
5) Exercise once a day.
Exercising once a day helps to release and manage stress. It helps with regular sleep and it also helps with mood. Even if it is just taking a 20 minute walk after a meal this counts as exercise. Sneaking in movement into your schedule can help you to feel less overwhelmed.
6) Break down tasks into more manageable pieces.
Usually when we have overwhelm or stress all we can see is the enormous to do list in front of us. For many people this causes anxiety or can cause people to shut down. Then the tasks are even more difficult to do and can lead to self-sabotage. So what I suggest to combat this is for each task that you have to complete, order them by importance and when their deadline is. Then schedule time to work on the first task and give yourself a reasonable time to complete the task in. Then move on to each preceding task until your list is complete. Do not move on to the next task until you have completed the previous one.
7) Learn stress reduction techniques
Stress reduction techniques which you can learn include: how to use affirmations, meditate, learn Thai Chi, Chi Gong or practicing yoga. These practices help rejuvenate your body, mind and spirit. They can be done in as little as 5 minutes or up to several hours. Whatever you are comfortable with. It depends on your level of commitment and ability to fit it into your schedule. Working with affirmations is always helpful for transforming stress and overwhelm and when you do it with EFT Tapping you can release stress, overwhelm, energy blocks and reduce self defeating behaviors. If you would like to learn more about EFT tapping read more here. I am also offering a live workshop this Sunday at Liberate Emporium in Los Angeles at 6:30PM. Please click here or call: (323) 663-6000 to learn more.
What has your experience been with overwhelm? Please leave comments below. And let me know how I can help you!