When you do nothing, you feel overwhelmed and powerless. But when you get involved, you feel the sense of hope and accomplishment that comes from knowing you are working to make things better. ~ Unknown
Do you feel overwhelmed?
Would a few ideas help you feel less stressed?
When our kids are out of control, it is easy to feel overwhelmed.
I remember those days when I knew my kids were struggling, yet I didn’t have a clear answer on how to help them. When things get out of control, it can be exhausting.
We have all felt stressed and scattered from time to time. As much as we want our lives to be perfect, there are always ups and downs. Everything is temporary, whether it’s the good times or the times when we feel overwhelmed.
You cannot control everything that happens in life. You can only control how you respond to it all. Your response is your most significant power.
Remember, life can be good again. With time and attention, you can get your life back in balance.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, don’t give up.
Here are 20 ways to change your thinking, feelings, and actions. These tips have worked for me. They may help you start feeling better as well.
1. Regain your balance.
When we take on too much or trouble strikes, we often focus our constant attention on the issue and neglect other parts of our lives. When we spend too much time focused on one area of our life, things get off-balance. What works for me is to stop and take a break. Find what can help you contain your worry and stressful feelings. Take a break if life begins to feel overwhelming. Focus on what you can do to help yourself get back on track.
2. Accept what is.
Acceptance is the beginning of healing. It is helpful to learn to accept whatever comes your way, no matter how painful. It can be challenging. Yet when you are clear about what you are facing, you will be better equipped to deal with it head-on. Sometimes it is easier to look the other way, especially when you don’t have the skills to solve the problem. You can, however, allow yourself to acknowledge and express your feelings. You will find a way through to a better tomorrow.
3. Let go of shame.
I’ve had times in my life when I felt guilt and shame. I felt responsible for what went wrong, whether it involved myself or others. Yet, when I looked around, I found that many people were in similar situations. Others have had the same struggles. You are not a bad person because things are turbulent in your life. We all make mistakes. Let go of that burden. Your load will feel a lot lighter. Giving into shame can keep us stuck. Do what you can to overcome shame, and remember you are doing your best.
4. Find joy every day.
Instead of feeling overwhelmed, do something fun today! Get outside and get physical. Watch a funny movie or restart an old hobby you once loved. Head out for a walk on the beach, take a hike in the mountains, or visit your local park. You will realize the power of nature and how we are all interconnected. Getting out in nature helps my mind become more centered and clear. Enjoy yourself. Do things that will make you happy. Make time to do something you love daily, even for a few minutes.
5. Stay resilient.
Remind yourself that you can bounce back. The faster you recover from tough times, the quicker you have control over your life. When you practice self-care regularly, you will have the strength to bounce back. Your resilience is crucial when it comes to dealing with substance use. Keep your mind, body, and spirit healthy so that you can be present to benefit yourself and the ones you love. Take time for yourself, as you will need it. Change is a process, and there will be some setbacks. Be prepared to deal with those as they come. Be ready by staying resilient so you can bounce back more quickly.
6. Take a moment and breathe.
Even if it’s just a moment, listen to your breath to take a break from the constant mind chatter. Need more relief? Sit quietly for 5-10 minutes. You will begin to come to a place of calm. Meditation is a fantastic tool to connect with your inner self. It is a way to find some quiet moments each day to renew and allow your mind to rest. You won’t worry as much or feel overwhelmed when you give your brain a break. It can bring such peace to your life. I’m enjoying the Calm app right now. I’ve been listening to Jeff Warren’s daily trip and find it helpful to start the day. Feelings of overwhelm can engulf us sometimes, but deep breathing and focusing on the solution rather than the problem helps me immensely.
7. Be grateful.
When you write in a gratitude journal each day, even just listing a few items, studies show that it helps you feel less overwhelmed. Practice gratitude, even during times of pain and discouragement. You will begin to see options and possibilities around you. You will feel happier when you are grateful for what you have in your life. Train your mind to look for the positive and notice the difference in how you think. You will be less likely to get caught up in the negative cycle of what is happening around you. You will no longer allow yourself to be the one who suffers.
8. Take baby steps forward.
Your next step forward in a positive direction does not have to be a big one. One small step at a time is all you need to make steady headway. Reward yourself for your progress. If you can come up with a few small goals for each day or each week, that will keep your momentum going and help you move forward.
Slow and gradual modification, rather than huge abrupt change, gives you the opportunity to take things one step at a time, which can be more productive and more likely to result in permanent change. ~ Jennifer Kromberg PsyD,
9. Have patience.
Change takes time. Waiting for your child to be ready to work on their recovery can be a frustrating experience and cause you to lose your patience. Any change has stops and starts, relapses, and slips. It is hard to watch. Yet if you remind yourself to have patience, stay positive, and be hopeful, things can turn around. Patience is a sign of strength and shows you have faith in your child’s ability. Use your quiet time to practice. Know that change can happen even if it isn’t on your timetable.
10. Stay Peaceful.
The more you stay calm, the easier it will be to handle the situation before you. A quiet inside leads to more helpful steps forward on the outside. You can help yourself stay peaceful by remembering to breathe, not overreact, and keeping your emotions in check. Hitting the pause button before reacting to a situation will help you feel more in control of yourself and what is happening around you. The more you keep your emotions in check, the better you will handle your child’s substance use issues.
11. Reach out for help.
A coach, counselor, peer group, or friend can help you discover what is keeping you stuck, which will help you reach your goals faster. Having an objective person on your teamcan help you overcome mental roadblocks so your life can get back in balance again. Another considerable benefit is accountability. Getting support will help you feel less stressed and find ways to improve your situation. Don’t try and go through this difficult situation alone. It’s hard to make good decisions when you are feeling overwhelmed. You don’t have to look too far to find someone to help you.
12. Remember that it will be okay.
Things pass, and sooner or later, they work themselves out. Looking back, you may remember this time as being unpleasant or stressful. Yet, you gain something new and positive with each challenge in life. Remind yourself that your strength will see you through. We all have those days when we are overwhelmed, and everything seems to go haywire. It happens to me, and I’m sure you also experience it occasionally. Believe that everything will be alright. Life is a series of passing phases that come and go. All we need to do is keep the faith that we will get through them one at a time.
13. Find your anchor.
I like to remember what anchors me in tough times. Think back to challenging moments in the past. What helped you the most? What can you put into place now to give you peace of mind? I often ask my clients, “What has worked for you in the past?” So consider what kept you anchored during past storms in your life. How can you apply that in your current situation? You may even want to write a list of things that have worked well for you—words you’ve said or actions you have taken before can help you now.
14. Celebrate what’s gone well.
Small wins can easily slip by without any notice or appreciation. It’s common to focus on the negative and miss the positive actions. I’ve started keeping a list of small wins I can reread occasionally, and that helps me remember small wins. Notice and celebrate the positive moments in your life. It will help you feel better and reminds your child that they can do something right when you notice the small positive steps forward. Notice what is going well. Celebrating your wins will make you more likely to acknowledge what your child does well, which helps!
15. Be proactive.
You are not merely a product of your circumstances. You can decide how you will react at any given time. Too often, fear guides our decisions. Don’t allow that to happen. Listen to your instincts. You have the wisdom inside to make decisions that will serve you. Let that be your guide as you move forward in helping your child change. Be clear with yourself about what you want in your life. When you are proactive, you once again have control of your life and environment.
16. Write about your feelings.
Writing helps you know yourself better. It builds your confidence and self-knowledge. As a result, your life begins to feel more in balance. You can help yourself as you jot down your feelings. Writing can help boost your intuition and creativity. As you write, solutions to your problem may surface. I’m back into journaling these days, writing three pages a day. I find it helpful, and it feels like answers to questions I may have become more clear. It can be beneficial, even if you only write a few times a week.
17. Eat healthy food.
Eat healthy food as much as possible. I’ve heard from several moms that they’ve gained weight because of the stress of worrying about their son or daughter. Eating becomes a stress reliever. It can help to change your diet from time to time and try something new. I’ve been experimenting with green smoothies. I have a few now that I enjoy. Eating healthy foods will help you keep your resilience up. You will feel better from the inside out. We can change the quality of our life for the better.
18. Focus on the present moment.
Every so often, it can help to pause even for a minute and focus on the moment. Train your mind to live for today. Even though it can be challenging, don’t get too caught up in fear of the future. Think about what is happening right now. What can you do to improve your life or someone else’s experience today? When we focus on the present, we worry less. Also, you’ll focus less on your regrets about the past. The more you can focus on what you have control over, the better.
19. Have self-compassion.
With self-compassion, we treat ourselves as we would a good friend. What would you tell a friend buckling under the pressure and strain of a child’s drug use issues?When you let go of the guilt, shame, and what-ifs, regrets fade away. You can focus on more helpful, positive things. Forgive yourself for your past mistakes. Learn from them, of course, but treat yourself with self-compassion. Being able to accept and forgive yourself is critical. It helps your child do the same. When you practice self-compassion, you are a role model for your child.
Self-compassion brings kindness and care to you, to sustain you through an invitation to sustainable change in your loved one. Taking care of yourself also invites them to do the same. ~ Invitation to Change
20. Get organized.
Sometimes we feel overwhelmed because our life is disorganized. What can help is to organize our space. It helps our minds feel less cluttered. While that may seem an unusual suggestion for helping your child change, there are many benefits for your mental health from feeling that you have your environment under control. Organizing a little bit daily helps, and you will also be a role model for your child. Maybe they’ll manage their life.
There are many ways we can help ourselves when we feel overwhelmed because we are concerned about substance use or other issues. Acceptance, gratitude, and coming into the present are some tried-and-true go-to tools that can help. Find what works for you to help you feel better and thrive.
I would love to hear from you. What helps you when you are concerned about your child?
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By: Cathy Taughinbaugh
Title: 20 Ways to Feel Better When You Are Overwhelmed
Sourced From: cathytaughinbaugh.com/overwhelmed/
Published Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2023 17:44:10 +0000