I‘m writing this post during the first week of December 2017. I’ll admit, I’m feeling rather overwhelmed. Between the holidays, work, persistent political discomfort, numerous unpredictable and unprecedented events, Mercury-in-Retro, and my new online Sensitive Spirit Shop, I’m finding it really hard to stay centered.
It’s common to feel overwhelmed during the holidays. For sensitive people, like myself, feeling overwhelmed can occur far too frequently. Most of my sensitive friends and clients tend to ‘absorb’ other people’s energy — such as thoughts, opinions, feelings, etc. Unfortunately, carrying around this extra cloud of other-peoples-stuff only adds to feelings of overwhelm.
When you feel overwhelmed, what happens for you? Maybe you feel paralyzed. Perhaps you go into over-drive. Or maybe you struggle through, despite feeling scattered and off-balance.
During overwhelming times, it’s essential to take extra good care of yourself. Right when it feels most difficult — PAUSE — and take care. Self-care is not a luxury. Self-care is an essential element of a well-balanced, happy life.
Here’s a quick list of my favorite tools for stepping out of overwhelm:
Embrace Yourself –Literally, embrace yourself. Close your eyes, wrap your arms around your torso, and hug yourself, pressing gently against your heart. This will help stimulate feelings of self-compassion. Self-compassion will help you feel more relaxed, and more able to take action.
Pick one thing to do — Just start. Don’t worry if it’s the right thing to start with. The act of taking action will help you feel empowered, and less overwhelmed. It will also help inspire you to keep going.
Let Go – Let go of unrealistic expectations. Let go of responsibilities that don’t belong to you. Let go of over-giving. Let go of whatever is not your true responsibility or necessary for your health and wellbeing. This takes practice, and practice makes progress.
Heart Breath – Close your eyes, and begin a slow deep breath, from deep down in your belly. Next, move your breath up to your heart, and imagine that you are breathing from your heart. Use this breath for 1 minute, or as long as you like, to drop out of an overwhelming head-spin. The Heart Breath will help you come into focus.
Take a walk. Getting away from your full plate of duties will you help clear your mind, and freshen your perspective.
Ask for help — Asking for help is difficult for many of us. It might feel as though you’re the one who’s always helping, and there’s no one to help you. Or that others are too taxed to help. It’s important to remember that most people like to help when they are able. Help comes in many packages –from delegating chores, asking for supportive encouragement from a friend, or reaching out to a professional for deeper assistance. Give yourself a break — ask for help.
Use EFT Tapping — EFT is a great tool to release the anxiety that accompanies overwhelm. When you release feelings of anxiety and frustration you help loosen your perception of being overwhelmed. Click here for a video to learn the EFT Basics.
Meditate — Meditate. Meditate every day. Use whichever method works best for you. Stay consistent, and you will notice changes. Consistent meditation has been proven to help the brain handle stress more effectively. For a variety of guided meditations, the Insight Timer phone app is fantastic.
Journal — Get it out of your head, and onto paper. Whatever it is, get it on paper to relieve the clutter in your mind.
Breathe Deeply — Deep breath, as simple as it sounds, is the key to balance and relaxation. Take frequent deep-breathing breaks. Bring your breath deep below your diaphragm to stimulate the relaxation response. Relaxation is just what we need when we’re feeling overwhelmed!
Embrace your beautiful sensitive spirit.