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Simple Tips for Coping with Overwhelm (July Newsletter Reflection)

Updated: Oct 15, 2022

This week has been a very eventful one for my family. Within 7 days we’ve moved to our new home, are currently visiting family members in another state, and in a couple of days… are looking forward to welcoming a new puppy!

To celebrate the blessings and chaos, I wanted to share with you some strategies that I’ve previously shared in a (throw-back video from over a year ago), that helped me cope with OVERWHELM.

Here is a summary: Consider practical aspects alongside those strategies that are to do with the mindset. Step 1. Remember your resources. Consider becoming aware of your thoughts about the demands that you think you must meet versus your available resources (e.g., your time, your ability to cope, or the support available to you). According to CBT’s “anxiety equation,” the experience of anxiety is influenced by your inner appraisal of the ratio between the perceived demands you have to meet versus the resources you feel you have (that fuel your ability cope with these demands). To decrease this ratio, consider being aware of the many resources you have under your disposal, internal and external (e.g., tea in the pantry, a journal and a pen, and your brilliant mind). Step 2. Monitor your fight/flight sensations. At times, stress can trigger the fight and flight bodily response, which in turn, is associated with thoughts that undermine your capability and may overestimate future dangers. Relaxations and mindful meditations can offer powerful support, sending calming feedback to your emotional system; supporting you to think, prioritize, and feel in control. Step 3. Remember who is in control. Remind yourself that you are in control of your time and focus; and you decide which three things, two things, or one thing, would make the most difference to your reducing your workload. Write down the top three things that require your urgent attention. The less you attend to in the here-and-now moment, the more you support your brain to focus and keep active only those parts that are required to "just" do the task at hand. I hope these tips can be of support, just in case you have a lot happening this week as well!

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