Our ability to connect with the world through the internet and social media can often help us feel closer. However, it can also add to our stress load. According to the Holmes-Rahe Stress Scale, a normal amount of stress is 50 to 100 points; since 2020, many have a stress scale that registers closer to 300 to 350. We’re inundated with pandemic disruptions, war updates, breaking weather reports, and work emails around the clock. It’s no wonder so many are left feeling overwhelmed and with a sleep deficit.
If you don’t manage stress, your feelings begin to manage you in subtle ways with headaches, high blood pressure, and poor emotional control. Below are five quick ways you can take back control and not let life overwhelm you.
1. Give yourself daily downtime. If you’re the one who is always late, feeling bad about your messy house, and trying to catch up with work, learn to say no – say no to a perfect clean house and no to having to catch up with all your work. Say yes to taking 10 minutes to relax and daydream. Daydreaming is not only helpful for brain restoration, but it also helps you relax and feel more energetic after the 10 minutes is over.
2. Practice mindfulness and put your gadgets in a central area. When you get overwhelmed with your thoughts, your memory fails. Where are your keys? Where did you put your phone? Have a bowl or plate by an electrical outlet and make that your daily awareness habit. Your mind will be less overwhelmed if the plate or bowl are colors you love because color calms us and motivates us.
3. Make a priority list each day. Sometimes what overwhelms us most is feeling like we are engulfed with a task list that never ends. On your to-do list, go through and mark 2 to 3 things as priority and leave the rest to carry over to the next day. Sometimes it’s our inability to sort what is a priority and what is something we’d like to do that makes us most overwhelmed. Deciding and doing it each day is a great practice to begin now.
4. Write a daily note to yourself of what is going well. Each day there should be at least two things you can take pride or feel good about, even if it’s just getting out of bed. This is so important in helping us build resilience. Constantly demanding more from yourself without rewarding or appreciating what you’ve done well makes us feel like we’re always behind.
5. Coach yourself. Shoulders down – you’ve got this. Researchers in social psychology suggest that talking to yourself helps restore memory and focus. When you talk positively to yourself, your brain registers it as encouragement if it’s said out loud. Talk to yourself by using your name and remind yourself you’ve got this.
No matter who you are or what you do, there will be days when you need a little extra oomph to get through your day. Practicing these quick suggestions can help you gain control over feeling overwhelmed with life and get you back in the game.