Well, hello lovely friends of mine. Today is time for some real talk, aka my favorite thing ever to do with you all. Partially because you all are the best and partially because I can talk to you all without having to see your facial expressions and/or have my own words get in the way. Anyone else struggle there? I always feel like putting thoughts onto paper (or a screen, in this case) is easier and more relieving that talking it out.
The past few weeks have been overwhelming for me. Some of the reasons are glaringly obvious, like general life stress, family stuff, looking at preschools for Ryan. Some of them are run of the mill things, like babies teething, lack of sleep, lack of personal space (hello, mom life), bottomless laundry piles, crappy weather. Some of them are self-imposed things, like needing to do everything myself, having way too high expectations, and putting too much on my own plate. It’s the same things we all struggle with as humans, as adults, as parents. If you’re like me, some days you feel like you’re killing it – jumping over obstacles, balancing life perfectly, and doing it all with a perfect homemade mani. Other days, it’s 7 PM and you’re still in your pajamas, bartering with your almost 3-year-old to get in jammies.
I’ve always been an anxious person – my parents will tell you that themselves. I come from a family of worriers, and while, to be fair, I’m a pretty laidback person, I tend to get overwhelmed easily. And that’s where I’ve been stuck recently. It’s a hard place to be, but I know we’ve all been there. So today I’m sharing my 5 best tips for when you’re overwhelmed. I do just want to preface this by saying: I’ve seen therapists in the past, I’ve been on anti-anxiety medication in the past. I don’t think that at this time it’s necessary for me, but don’t feel embarrassed to go to your own trusted doctor and have an open and honest conversation with her. If you feel like your life is a little bit more that overwhelming, talk to someone.
5 Tips for When You are Overwhelmed
Find an escape.
Even if it’s just for a few minutes a day, do something that makes you happy and only you happy. I’m talking 100% selfish, no use to anyone but you. This does NOT include: completing a task on your to-do list. Doing something that is ‘for you’ but really for someone else. Doing something for you while multi-tasking something else. Seriously, give yourself the OK to be selfish for 5 minutes a day. Even if you think you don’t have time for it, the reality is you don’t have time NOT to do this for your sanity. For me, I read trashy romance novels. Totally mind-numbing, totally useless romance novels. To make it even better, I tend to skip over the inevitable break up before they get back together because I can’t be bothered by anything too deep. It might be stupid and a ‘waste of time’ but it helps me relax and gets my mind off of the million and 7 things I have to worry about.
Turn off the news.
I shouldn’t have to explain this, but the news is freaking depressing, you guys. Especially these days. There was a point where I would diligently log onto Facebook and read all of the trending news articles, hop over to some random new site, read some more depressing stuff there, read some headlines, freak myself out. And by the end fo it, I was wound so tightly it was unbearable. So you know what I did? I deleted Facebook off my phone. I know. It’s totally scandalous. But it was like a gateway drug to reading the news, so I deleted it while we were on vacation a few months ago and I have SO MUCH MORE TIME and less anxiety. I highly recommend it. But whatever your main source of news, try cutting it out – or maybe even just putting a time limit on it. (I use StayFocused, an extension for Chrome to limit my time on random time and/or fun sucking sites while on my computer.)
Want to know the number one thing I do when the walls are closing in? I forget about everything and totally lose it. I crank up some music and dance like an idiot, screaming the words, getting it all out. Put on a playlist of Pandora station that you adore and that has no slow songs – a vital point that must be made – and just let go. Don’t worry about looking silly or if you know the words. Personally, I like to put on an old playlist of pop-punk songs I made in high school because each song is upbeat and makes my heart happy, but put on whatever you dig. I find something silly and carefree like just jamming out for even just one song to be so much more effective than working out or something similar to that just because there are no guidelines, time constraints, or even a need for a specific space. Do it in the bathroom, in the kitchen, in the backyard, in the park – whatever. Dance like crazy until you can’t catch your breath and then try to tell me you don’t feel even the slightest bit better. I’ll call you a liar.
Take a look at all of the things you’ve put on your plate. What are the ‘bare minimum’ of what you need to do? Until you get yourself straight, do just those. Allocate others to people willing to help. Realize that some are nonsense items you’ve added to your own list for more or less no reason. (I’m looking at you, mop the floors every night.) Think of it this way – when you’re on a tight budget, you have to cut out some items that aren’t vital. Do that with your time. Do that with your emotional baggage. Do that with people in your life, if you have to. Keep what vital and put what isn’t to the side until everything has settled. And to be totally honest, once that happens, be very mindful of what you put back on your plate. Did you miss it? Did it’s absence cause an issue? If not, leave it be and move on.
Notice I didn’t say, “ask for help.” Because the reality is, most of us have people offering help regularly. Be it your husband, your best friend, your neighbor, a family member – unless you don’t have a good support system or you’re really really really good at not letting people know when you have a lot on your plate, people are asking you what they can do to help you out. And if you’re like me, you convince yourself you’re freaking Superwoman and that you don’t need anyone’s help what so ever. Nope, not you. The reality is, everyone needs help sometimes. Taking help given to you does not mean you are any less, does not mean you are a failure. NO, I do not take my own advice (if my husband is reading this, he’s rolling his eyes because this is probably my own biggest issue) but I’m working on it. Utilize the help that people are more than willing to give you. You can’t and don’t have to do it all yourself.
Okay, so tell me – what do you do when you’re overwhelmed? What;s your favorite feel good music? Are you good asking for help? Let me know in the comments!
Being a mom is tough - I'm here to help!
Join the Morgan Manages Mommyhood mailing list to get easy, fun kid food your kids will WANT to eat and realistic parenting advice you won't roll your eyes at send right to your inbox!