Sometimes there are moments, or entire days, where life feels overwhelming AF. Nothings seems to be going the way it should, everyone is annoying (sorry friends), and the world is testing my boundaries.
You know what I’m talking about? If not–you probably don’t need to read this blog post. And, I’m also jealous of you.
For me, these moments occur when:
- I’m unclear on my goals
- Work is stressing me out more than usual
- I feel behind where I think I should be–usually triggered by spending too much time on social media looking at other people’s lives and comparing
- I haven’t had an ounce of alone time in a while (people overwhelm me)
I’d say the first two bullets happen the most, thanks work!!!! But usually I can count on one of these happening at least once a month. And I haven’t/don’t always handle them well. They make me feel: stressed, annoyed, suffocated, lost, sad, agitated, and frustrated.
None of which are ideal. So instead of: getting angry, taking it out on others, locking myself away in my room, or ignoring the problem–here are a few techniques that help calm me down when life is just a bit… much.
- WRITE. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: get a journal, get a pen, and write it all out. It doesn’t have to be fancy and you don’t even need to use full sentences (this is one of the only times you can make a zillion grammatical errors and no one will care!) Trust me, you’ll feel better when you get your feelings and frustrations down on paper.
- CRY. This might sound silly, but if I haven’t had a good cry in a long while, sometimes letting the tears roll is the only thing that calms me down. I’ll jump in my car, turn on some jams, go for a ride, and just have a cry. Belting out your favorite sad songs is an added bonus. If you’re overwhelmed or experiencing anxiety, allow yourself to cry it out–you’ll instantly feel better.
- FOCUS ON YOUR BREATH. I am not a yogi or breath guru. But when I feel myself ready to explode, I close my eyes, focus 100% on my breath, take a slow 5-6 second inhale, hold it for 10, and let it out slowly. If I do this a few times in a row I can usually get back to whatever is driving me insane with a little more clarity.
- CLEAN. I think the state of your home and car are indicators of what’s going on in your head and heart. If your mind is a mess, your room probably is too. Living in an organized, neat space creates the optimal environment to start getting the rest of your life together.
- RANT. Let it alllllllllll out. To one person. Preferably not social media. I usually call my dad and say, “Do you have a few minutes?” And if he says “yes,” I spill everything that’s bothering me in one long breath. It’s like dropping a Mento in a Coke bottle: BOOM. Not only does this keep me from bottling everything up, it allows me the opportunity to hear some solutions from an outside source. Tip: pick one person to tell, because sometimes telling too many people can actually amplify the problem–not help it.
- WALK. I am walking’s biggest fan! Nothing clears my head like heading out for a long stroll and refusing to look at my phone or address any of life’s many issues. If it’s too cold outside, head to the gym and walk on the treadmill. Or, take laps around your house/apartment. Moving your body can help get rid of pent up adrenaline and help calm you down.
- UNPLUG. Turn off your phone. Turn off the TV. Turn off your video games. Don’t check your work e-mail. Don’t work on your business. Don’t call your friends. Just unplug from it all and give your mind a break. Everything will be there when you plug back in.
I’m no therapist, but these techniques work for me, so they might work for you too. Life can get really overwhelming, and sometimes we just need a damn break. Give these a try and then get back to tackling those big goals of yours!
Remember: life isn’t meant to be perfect. There’s going to be bumps along the way. What matters most is how you handle them.
PS: If you’re looking for more techniques on dealing with anxiety/stress, check out some of these articles