Did you hit September running? How are you now? If you’re still going strong, I congratulate you!
Last weekend I found myself absolutely exhausted. I had so much in my schedule, and so many commitments that I had to take a step back, rest, and reassess.
If you’re finding yourself overwhelmed by responsibilities, here are a few tools to help you cope.
When we get overwhelmed and stressed, we have a tendency to hold our breath, or switch to shallow breathing. This sets off a cascade of physical and mental reactions that only hinder us. For example, our vision narrows, our brain stops functioning as a whole, feelings of anxiety rise, and our ability to focus and concentrate is hampered.
As soon as we stop, and begin to deepen and slow our breath, stress hormones stop flooding our system, full brain function returns, clarity of thinking improves and our whole body begins to relax. This brings an ability to see beyond the current moment’s crisis and look at the bigger picture. Conscious breathing is a vital practice if you find yourself unable to cope with life.
Take a Bach Remedy
Bach Flower Remedies are natural, safe, and help to gently shift our negative emotional states to positive ones – without side effects! They are used in over 60 countries, and have been bringing relief to people around the world for about 80 years!
Elm is indicated when you suddenly feel overwhelmed by responsibilities, exhausted, and perhaps even depressed or lacking self esteem. Your self care has gone out the window in favour of keeping up with your schedule. Taking this remedy will help bring perspective and balance, and aid in restoring you to your normal capable personality.
Hornbeam is indicated when you get exhausted just thinking about facing the day. You wake up tired, with no enthusiasm left, and procrastinate rather than getting down to work. Taking this remedy can restore one’s vitality and ability to face the day.
Impatiens is a great remedy to help when you become easily irritated. You are constantly frustrated by slow people, and may even lose your temper. Finishing people’s sentences releases you from the need to stand and listen, since you’re in too much of a hurry. This remedy helps to restore calm efficiency and compassion with others who aren’t as quick as you are.
Build ‘Me Time’ Into Your Schedule
As hard as it can be for some of us to do, scheduling time for yourself on a regular basis is key to thriving with a busy life. The more often you can take some time to relax and read a book, or go for a walk, or have a cup of tea (without reading emails while you’re drinking!), the more energy and patience you’ll have for the busy-ness. Each time we ‘recharge’, we have more to give, a clearer mind, and renewed productivity.
Reassess Your Commitments
Have you actually taken on too much? Is there something that has to be dropped to leave room for ‘me time’? Or is there a way to streamline your various events? Take a broad look at your weekly commitments and prioritize the most important and be willing to let go of the ones that don’t feed you, or are done from a place of habit or obligation. Notice the moments in your day or week when you get particularly stressed, and create some breathing room in those places.
Doing fewer things well can be a more satisfying and fulfilling way of life!
Sometimes we get caught in the belief that we have to do it all ourselves. Whether that thinking comes from your perfectionism, or a sense of duty, or fear of asking for help, it is an unhelpful belief to hold onto. Perhaps your kids can take a couple more chores. Perhaps you and your partner or roommate can reassess how you share the household responsibilities. Are you one of those managers who needs to give more responsibility to your team members, and trust that they will do their best? Find ways to ask for help and lighten your load. You will find yourself a much more pleasant person to be with, and will gain some energy in the process!