A couple months ago one of my favourite cousins mentioned how exhausted and frustrated he is at the end of each day, and how hard it is to imagine having a positive perspective.
I’ve been there, and I get it. There are days I feel overwhelmed. Stressed. Out of balance. Short-tempered. Where I feel like I can’t catch my breath and I’m in constant survival mode. And when I slow down enough to think about it, I know one of the kindest things I can do for myself – and those around me – is to try and unravel some of that tightly-wound inner tension.
I can’t control what happens around me but I can choose to feel more calm and centered in the storm. In this video I talk about three simple, empowering things we can all do in the midst of stress and frustration.
Here are some other things I try to do when I’m in overwhelm mode – maybe they’ll help you too:
Reset your priorities
What do you spend most of your time on? Things that are urgent are not necessarily important. Slow down for a few minutes and consciously think about three things that are really important to you. Are you attending to those things, or do they get put on the back burner in favour of something urgent such as a deadline or commitment? Maybe the deadline or commitment can be pushed out.
For me, it’s important that I spend time with my kids and my husband. Sometimes I get “too busy” to play with the kids. When I become aware of that, I remind myself that they’ll be much more likely to remember that I went on safari with them in the living room rather than that I got dinner ready on time.
Lending a helping hand, listening to someone who needs to be heard, or volunteering gets your mind off your issues. And, making a difference in someone else’s life will put you in a more positive frame of mind. I find when I reach out to help someone else, it immediately changes my perspective for the better.
Resist the urge to complain or blame
We all need to vent now and then, but pointing the finger at others actually puts those people in control. It focuses your attention on the negative, makes you the victim and draws more negativity your way.
Look for the good
Although it is tough to see it when you’re really irritated, each situation has a positive side, even if it’s a difficult learning opportunity or the chance for someone to reach out and help you.
Step out in nature
Take a walk around the block or to a nearby park. Listen to the leaves rustling in the breeze and the birds singing. I find it so calming to get out in nature, even for 10 minutes.
Be kind to yourself
This is so important! Remember that we all have down days and stressful times. This too will pass. Don’t beat yourself up about feeling frustrated. Simply get extra rest when you can, fuel your body with healthy food when possible and remember – tomorrow is a new day.