When Life is Too Overwhelming
There’s a lot going on right now. The last 6 years have been some of the most tumultuous since the post WW2 years, and that’s just on a global scale! In our own home we have been dealing with an emergency hospitalisation and life saving surgery for me and a full-on incident centring on my boys at their school since the beginning of 2022. Yes, in the last 2 months! And I’ve really noticed that my resilience is stretched thin. I’m OK most of the time and then something really minor happens and I’m in floods of tears, suddenly very much not OK.
The Awkward Yeti cartoons have a really good pictorial representation of this
Here are 5 ways to deal with overwhelm right now
It is a scientific fact that exercise is good for us, not only for our bodies but also our brains. The ‘do exercise’ message can feel pretty aggressive at times, especially for those like me with reduced mobility and disability. However, it’s still true that it is good for us! Get yourself outside, if you can go for a walk/run/bike ride then so much the better but even if not, spending some time standing or sitting in your back garden or local park will be just as good. Take some deep breaths, observe your surroundings and notice the calming of your mind as you do this.
You can do this in whatever way suits you, maybe you already pray regularly, maybe you already meditate or write in a journal. My suggestion would be to light a candle and think about what you are thankful for, write a list and notice how many things there are. Being thankful for our circumstances does not mean we don’t care about things happening elsewhere, we are complex human beings able to hold a lot of emotional energy all at once. It’s helpful though to focus on good things in amongst all the overwhelming things.
Find a way to give money, time or things like clothing to a cause. There are many organisations and people collecting to support Ukraine and Ukrainians as well as a lot of other charities and individuals doing amazing things to raise awareness and/or finance for an issue close to their hearts who will love to receive your giving in whatever form that takes.
It’s a much over used term but self-care can mean a range of things we do to look after ourselves. When we are in crisis mode looking after ourselves can feel utterly meaningless; when we are low on emotional and/or physical energy it can feel counterintuitive to spend that energy on ourselves. However, not only is it essential that we do, but also it can have a very positive impact on our wellbeing. Take a bath or shower, try to be fully present to the task of cleansing your hair and body. Take your time to exfoliate and/or shaving and then do the same with drying and dressing yourself. Use your best moisturiser and apply perfume/aftershave. Even if you just do some of this, I guarantee it will have a positive effect on your mind.
There are a lot of activities which get scooped up into the ‘self-care’ umbrella that are really about soothing or distracting ourselves. Self-soothing activities are good for us when nothing else really works, or when we need to do something in the shorter term to simply get through a particular period of time. Find yourself a good book or film or video game or TV series to bury yourself in. Give yourself permission to switch off from social media, housework, news and family stuff for a while and immerse yourself in a story.
If you try any of these do let me know, or if you have something to add to the list! You can leave a comment below or find me on Facebook to leave a comment there too – use the social buttons to do that.