Overwhelming feelings can hit anyone at any time. It doesn’t matter if your life is busy, calm or somewhere in the middle. They can also appear for a number of different reasons. My recent feeling of overwhelm has come from starting a new job after being furloughed for a considerable amount of time and only focussing on college for that time. I’m feeling a lot better now, but that first couple of weeks was really tough! Especially as I have been missing college so much. The chance to focus on making audio content for so long really made me reevaluate my priorities. By using these methods I was able to pull myself out of the deep end and find myself more contented.
Things You Can Do When Things Become Overwhelming
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Remember That These Feelings Are Normal
You definitely aren’t alone in these feelings. Everyone I know feels overwhelmed at some point in their lives. There is likely to be a time in your life when these feelings hit you, the best thing you can do is be prepared. They will feel different for everyone, so the way your friends experience it is likely to be incredbily different to the way you experience it. Whether it’s being overwhelmed due to work, school, socialising, or just…generally there are things you can do to pull yourself back up to reality.
Take An Emotional Break
Take a day or a week to just be. Turn your phone off, take time off work and schedule time to be alone. We all need an emotionaly break from time to time, but how we do it may be different. For me, it’s lying in bed for a couple of hours listening to a good audiobook. For others it may be going for a nice, scenic walk, or a trip to the cinema (restrictions dependant). A lot of people I know find knitting or sewing to be a relaxer and great for an emotional break. Find the thing that helps you forget about everything else going on in the world, and do that whenever life just gets a bit too much.
Breathe When You Feel Overwhelming Feelings
Learning breathing techniques can actually help you get through many different situations, but they help me when I feel suddenly overwhelmed. Deep breath in, deep breath out. I normally repeat this until I feel at least calm enough to go and find soemthing that helps me relax further. There are many other breathing techniques out there which can be googled. There are also other things you can do such as counting everything around you thats blue (or any colour really), this can help ground you.
Phone A Friend/Family Member
Sometimes another perspective can help us gather our thoughts and calm down a little bit. Your friends and family will know you better than you know yourself. They will have surely mastered the best things to say to you in these situations and help you feel a bit better, even if it’s temporary. Ask them for advice on how to deal with these feelings, chances are they have come up with their own coping mechanisms that help them out and may work for you. It might also just help to have a different perspective on the whole situation to help calm you down.
Write It Out
This is a great way to gather your thoughts and get all the negative stuff out of your system. Sometimes all we need is to let it all out to feel more grounded and happy. Even if it doesn’t work, it might feel cathartic to cut up what we’ve written as if we’re letting go of the feelings. The best thing about this method is that it can help rationalise how you’re feeling. Instead of only feeling overwhelm it can help you stop, really analyse what is making you feel that way and what you can do about it. It might be a good idea to write your thoughts at the start of the day, middle of the day and end of the day to see if you can notice any patters you can change.
Get Some Cleaning Done
This might not seem like an obvious solution, but a tidy space can help you feel more grounded. A clean space can help you have a clearer mind. The other benefit is that it keeps you busy. Moving around and doing something productive can help us feel productive and stop us from feeling overwhelmed. Whether it’s doing dishes, picking up clothes or simply tidying a messy room it’s going to benefit our minds as well as our space. They also say that moving in generally helps our overall mental health so that’s a huge bonus.
Ground Yourself When It Gets Overwhelming
I’ve mentioned it a few times already in this article, but grounding ourselves can be vital to overcoming these feelings. There are many ways to approach this. You can sit and count everything around you that starts with the letter C, or is a certain colour. The thought behind this is that it helps us concentrate on what we can control as opposed to feeling overwhelmed with what we can’t control. As I said before breathing exercises can help us out with this too! One of my favourite techniques is naming 5 things around in my vision and focussing on them until I feel grounded.
Take A Nap
Napping is often seen as lazy or unproductive, but they can actually help us a lot. They give us the opportunity to have a sort of reset on the day. It may simply be that you didn’t get enough sleep that night and you’ve become overwhelmed with everything because of it. A nap is worth a try, if you’re at home and it’s possible of course, but make sure you set an alarm so you don’t oversleep or wake up at a weird hour of the day.
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