When we feel overwhelmed, it’s really easy to think that there’s no way out. You’re stuck in a misery of your own making, or that the children or family are dictators in a sick plot twist of your own life (yes, at times, these were my thoughts in this year LOL).
When you cross this place in yourself, rather than judge yourself harshly for your thoughts, acknowledge that there is something you are missing for yourself. You have needs. You have desires. You are also the driver of that reality.
How to get back to sanity in 3 simple steps
- Choosing Joy
I love walking in nature and being outside as much as possible. The more I do that, the better I feel physically and emotionally. I remember that I am not a workhorse or a mother or a spouse or a sister or a friend, but a person with her own unique self who has interests that are hers, and hers alone.
When we’re overwhelmed, doing things for fun or for how great they feel when you’re doing it are really the only reasons you need. It’s a practice to look for joy, but it can become a life-sustaining habit when you allow it.
- Small goals
If you want to start to feel more rested, then think of one way you can get to bed earlier. Just do that for a week. See how it works. We can overcomplicate our lives and add too much all at once. Small, simple goals. See how you feel. If that’s better, then doing that 4 out of 7 days will lead you to feeling more rested overall. Baby steps.
- Remembering to breathe
Breathing deep, calming breaths, especially when we feel overwhelmed and triggered by sounds, emotions, others’ needs or expectations…breathing can help us to take a time out, and is a much-needed sign that we can return to balance and calm. Our vagus nerve actually loves this act — and then will tell our stressed brain that we’re safe, and we can be safe in our bodies.
Remember, it’s not selfish to take a breath and slow down your breathing. Try doing it in the middle of a tense conversation, as difficult as that may seem. That act alone gets your nervous system in a place of regulation and control, and you might be surprised that it’s easier to be calm and think more rationally.