In these crazy times we can often feel stress, anxious, overwhelmed and like we just wish we can get off this merry-go-round we call life.
I know, because I’ve been there. I have often felt stressed with all sorts of things, and sometimes all at the same time! Work, money, family and the state of the world can all be potential sources of stress and overwhelm, BUT there are things you can do to help yourself.
Not Feeling In Control
Feel anxious and overwhelmed often relates to not being in control. When we feel like we have no control, it fires up our flight, flight and freeze responses. We don’t know what to do and it paralyses or causes us to lash out at others.
So to take back that sense of control, focus on the things you DO have control over and it will help you to regain a sense of calm and composure to help you focus to help you feel better.
When I was in my stressful obstetrics and gynaecology role, I would often feel absolutely overwhelmed with everything going on. I would cry every day and allow work to stress me out. Once I had taken time out to think and rest, I could make decisions again and took back control of my own actions. If we allow ourselves to sweat on the stuff we can’t do anything about, then it won’t do much for our mental health.
How To Feel Better
I’ve had a think about some of the things I do to feel better about life, and I’m listing them here for you. This list is not exhaustive. Feel free to comment on the post to tell us what you do to feel better!
Being thankful and grateful for the things you have in your life if so important. Often we are focusing on what we DON’T have and this gap between reality and our desires can make us feel depressed.
So being thankful for the small things can really make a big difference. Use a journal to do this everyday, or you can use Dr Joanna Martin’s “Thinking and Thanking” exercise.
Sign up for free as a member and you can access softpowercast 38 on how to do this. But essentially, before going to bed at night, thinking about the things you are grateful for, and think about all those amazing coincidences that happened in the day. Free coffee, meeting just the right person, receiving help for something you needed – all of these are lovely serendipitous events that we can be grateful for.
Then, THANK the universe for it (or whoever/whatever you believe in that is a force higher than yourself). I think this exercise brings a little magic into our lives, and is a nice way of seeing what is going right for you at the moment.
This is pretty powerful stuff!
When feeling overwhelmed or stressed, try decluttering something. It could be a draw, a room, an email inbox, whatever. Just ditch the bits you don’t need and clear the space. This will help your mind to feel clear again, and you may find that the stress you had feeling feeling feels easier to cope with – small wins, quick achievements, and you’re on your way again.
Not to mention the money/vouchers/valuable things to sell etc that you mind find too!
This might seem a little trivial, but adding beauty to a space is actually really helpful, especially if you are spending a lot of time in it! The space could be your home, your office space or your car. If you spend time in it, it’s worth making it a lovely place to be.
Try lovely smelling oils or candles. I’m loving Neom scents* at the moment. There are many different blends with different aims, like helping with sleep, making you feel happy or reducing stress.
I also love orchids and have a slight obsession with them! I put them up all over the house and they make me feel happy. Perhaps there is a particular flower you like and could start a monthly subscription order to have them delivered.
Making things beautiful is uplifting and is definitely something you can control.
When bad things happen, it won’t last forever. Change always comes, so trust this and have faith that one day you will be feeling better again. Think of bad events and feelings as clouds in the sky – rain clouds do eventually disappear, leaving blue sky behind. It’s the same with emotion, stress and overwhelm.
Keep in mind that change is inevitable, and it will help to put things into perspective for you.
When we focus on ourselves, it can add to the stress and anxiety. However, by helping others it helps you to see how much you have to offer. What’s the point on wasting energy on worry when you can be helping other people!
There is also the added benefit of putting your own problems into perspective. You can show gratitude for the fact that you are able bodied, strong, have resources and have time to devote to the service of others.
Don’t Overdo It
But saying that, don’t put too much on your plate! Yes, help others, but don’t do too much. When you overgive, this can deplete your energy and cause you to feel even more stressed and overwhelmed!
Declutter your “to-do” list as well as your house and it will be amazing how much weight drops off your shoulders. Be ok with saying no, and leave space in your day for yourself.
If you have a tendancy to worry, don’t let it ruin your WHOLE day! Instead, pick a time-slot of say, 5 minutes, and then set a timer. In this time, you are allowed to worry ALL YOU WANT. And then, when the timer goes off, worry time is over and you can get on with your day.
I have needed to do this recently. I can’t stand the constant stream of bad news on the TV and online. Whatsapp groups have become havens for negativity and panic. So I have chosen to switch off! I have muted groups, taken myself out of groups and deleted connections who constantly release bad energy. I don’t need it in my life – I get enough at work!
So how can you protect your energy? Who can you switch off from? If it’s family or friends, you can choose not to be around them as much, that works too!
Protect yourself from others and you will definitely feel better.
That’s it! That’s my take on how to feel better in crazy times. There are plenty more things you could do, and everyone is different. I’d LOVE to know what you are doing to make yourself feel better, so feel free to drop your comments below.
And if you are having a wobble moment, the NHS OneYou Website has some excellent resources you can access.
Good Luck, You’ve Got This!
Dr Nikki x