I remember going to a writing conference and staying in a private room. I was so exhausted; I never left the room for four days. I soaked in the bathtub until I resembled a prune and curled up on a loveseat with a blanket. I distinctly remember thinking, “This must be the middle when I burn the candle at both ends.”
We all get overwhelmed at some time or another. What we do with that feeling can make a huge difference on its power and how long it lingers. We all live busy lives. It’s a fight to maintain the life/work balance. Balancing takes practice. Balancing takes thought. Harmonizing life takes repeated balancing efforts to embrace permanently. It is exhausting! AND being out of balance can make us feel inadequate, insecure, anxious, apprehensive, vulnerable, and uncertain.
We need to remember when we are running the race, leading the pack, or standing in the gap, we are an enemy to the enemy. And what better strategy can our enemy have than to keep us off-balance, exhausted, and overwhelmed questioning our every forward move?
I’ve asked several wise women for advice on fighting the monster of overwhelmed and below are some of their best ideas!
20 overwhelmed busters:
- Ask yourself, are you taking on more than you can handle? If so-STOP! The world won’t fall apart if you drop a few commitments. Also realize by doing EVERYTHING for everyone, you are robbing them of a chance to learn to lead.
- Take an emotional day off. With jobs outside the home, health packages include mental health days, so if you work at home include a comp. day for everyone’s sake.
- Exercise—kick in the feel-good hormones. 20 mins of walking can make a world of difference in your blood flow and clearing your head.
- Breathe deep or to the count of 4 in and then out 4. Compel yourself to be aware of your breathing, it forces us to be present in the moment.
- Write down 10 things you’re thankful for right now. Embrace a gratitude attitude.
- Pray and Read the Bible – List all the things that are causing anxiety and when you’re finished, pray over them asking God to be the landlord of the details of your life, then trust Him for the answers, and burn the list. Read the Bible daily, it’s an outstanding book of directions for our lives and a restful place to soothe our soul.
- Phone, show up, facetime, or text a friend. A burden shared, and speaking it aloud, often minimizes the power of the overwhelmed monster.
- Get a new perspective. Change your scenery. Get out of your space. Go somewhere you normally wouldn’t—the zoo, a tree farm, the beach, the top of a tall building and take in the view.
- Sleep. Often exhaustion is the culprit for the out-of-control emotions.
- Hydrate. Dehydration is #1 cause of exhaustion, dropping your energy and coping ability.
- Declutter. I know it sounds counter-intuitive to clean when you’re exhausted but you’d the physical energy of cleaning and the mental ‘completion’ of a task well-done can be rewarding and boost your spirit. Feeling you’ve accomplished something does wonders for your psychic.
- Essential oils. Choose a citrus smell or a eucalyptus smell. Breath deep and enjoy the rejuvenation it may create. Light a scented candle or insert a wall plug in. Scents can be very powerful to our moods.
- Take time for self-care. I don’t know what helps you care for yourself, but I like a pedicure, a massage, a facial and chocolate. Amazing what benefits this brings.
- Slow down. Schedule your day better. Do what only you can do, and delegate the rest or drop it. Steal my idea: Do-Delegate-Drop. Insert an activity and Pick one of the 3-D’s.
- Schedule fun. If you don’t put fun on the calendar, time will fly by, and you’ll live your life for those once-a-year vacations.
- Reboot! Unplug. Turn off everything that needs electricity. Be comfortable with quiet. Read a magazine or a book or be alone with your thoughts.
- Respect Your Boundaries. Once you’ve set a boundary, honor it. If your boundary isn’t working for you, re-evaluate it and set a new line. No one will respect your boundaries if you don’t.
- Sing and Drive. Take a break and just drive. Turn on your favorite tunes and sing at the top of your lungs. You’ll be surprised at the change in your energy level!
- Do something new. Learn a language, paint, garden, box, knit, blog, cook, anything new rather than staying stuck in the same routine.
- Let someone do something for you. Be better at receiving help or advice. But set time aside for it. Have a cup of tea or coffee or soda but sit still with someone who can tell you what the road looks like down the road…further than you are at the moment.
*Surrender. Turn everything over to Christ. He wants to be the master of our energies and promises to bless us. Jeremiah 29: 11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
If the same God that created the universe and knit every cell of our body together, it makes sense that He would want to protect us and help us thrive.
The below Bible verses support taking care of yourself in order to take care of others:
John 10:10 “ I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
Mark 12:31 The Bible says to “love your neighbor as you love yourself” Although the Bible doesn’t say anything about self-care, it does say to love our neighbors as ourselves again reinforcing that we have to have something to give away, which means loving has to start with caring for ourselves.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
3 John 1:2 “Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.”
Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Romans 12:1-2 “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Hebrews 4:9-11 “So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience.”
1 Corinthians 10:31 “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
Ephesians 5:29 “For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church,”
John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
Mark 6:31 “And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.”
Matthew 6:34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”