Ever have times when things feel generally, insanely overwhelming? Your eye starts to twitch, your meals mostly come out of a can or a box, and the coffee guy is commenting on how nice it is to see you so often. It feels nearly impossible to stop the waves of demands without a shear stroke of luck. While we can’t always control our circumstances, there are a few simple things that can make them more manageable. Read on to learn how.
1. Get Back to Basics
When things feel chaotic, you may get tempted to think about changing big things like switching your job, moving cities, or starting a healthier routine. While these might be great options moving forward, I recommend postponing these “higher level” thoughts when you’re in over your head. Instead, focus what little energy you have on the basics. Eat as well as you can, limit alcohol intake, get some short bouts of exercise, and go to bed early-ish so you have energy to tackle the next day. Make notes about the bigger changes you're mulling over and pick them up at a later time. It reduces pressure and helps you stay accountable to the bigger picture once the chaos has slowed.
2. Reduce Unnecessary Stressful Input
Most of us want to be an informed and connected member of society, but when you’re struggling with the stress of your own life, adding more input from news, dramatic shows (fictional included!), or even friends who want to vent can be a bit too much. It’s ok to take a break from these sources until you have the room necessary to process what’s coming in. Trust me, it will all be there when you return!
3. Create Go-To Ways To Set Expectations and Buy Yourself Time
When your task list get long, it’s really common to push off responses to everything from work items to weekend plans. Before you know it, so much time goes by you’re almost embarrassed to write back at all. To mange this, identify ways to reply quickly in a way that sets expectations. For example, “Hey, wanted to let you know I got your message, but will get back to you in the next few days when I have time to be thoughtful about it.” can buy you time and reduce pressure that paralyzes you later. Be sure to keep track of what you need to return to and you'll likely find it's easier to complete everything with a little less pressure and guilt.
If you’re feeling a bit over your head right now, remember, this time will pass. With a few adjustments, you’ll feel more in control, making the chaos a bit more manageable. If you liked this article, pass it along to your friends and leave me a comment below!
Dr. Lynn Saladino
I am a New Yorker, clinical psychologist, fitness and food lover, and a woman on a quest to bring a REAL spin to finding balance in hectic lives. As my clients know, there isn't much I won't say whether it be about sex, relationships, crappy bosses, or "strange" eating habits. The goal of this blog is to share what I'm learning from my unique position as a helper of hundreds to bring you a greater sense of understanding and calm.
Lynn Saladino, Psy.D.
Dr. Lynn Psychology, PLLC
Clinical Psychologist and Coach
All rights reserved © 2015 Dr. Lynn Saladino
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