Feeling Overwhelmed

I don't think I'm out of line to say with the current political climate, COVID, inflation, extreme weather patterns, and lots of other local and global issues, life is a bit heavy and overwhelming right now. Then add on personal responsibilities and what may be a mundane task, suddenly feels like too much.
There are many expressions aiming to help.
One day at a time.
Put first things first.
You can only do what you can do.
And they are true, and sometimes can trigger a more optimistic view. I certainly find myself telling myself to focus on one thing at a time when I catch myself bouncing between what to do and getting nothing done.
Lately I've found I'll audibly say "f*ck" out of the blue. A subconscious response as if pressure has built up and a bit of steam is forced out. I'm actually grateful for when it happens. It brings back awareness to how I'm feeling in the moment. All we can do sometimes is try to catch ourselves when we feel overwhelmed and snap back to the present moment.
Here are a few things I do that seem to help me when "things" get to be too much:
  1. Brain Dump. I've probably mentioned this before, but I'll take a piece of paper and just dump out what's on my mind. This isn't journaling as much as it's a list of words, phrases, and to-do items. I use paper and pen, something about the act of using your hands better extracts it from the mind. At least for me.
  2. Screaming in the truck. A friend suggested this once and it actually works. When I'm driving I'll scream as hard as I can....to the point it hurts and 99% of the time it ends with laughter...and like they say, laughter is the best medicine.
  3. Do what I can control. So much of what can be overwhelming is out of our control. But by taking control of little things, it helps make things feel better, even when it doesn't necessarily feel like it makes a difference. Scheduling an appointment, recycling, getting out to vote....things I sometimes feel are small, but I know have a collective impact.
  4. Taking care of myself. Ultimately, I know I'm useless when too much is going on in my head. So I'll hop on the stationary bike for a half hour or I'll sit down and meditate for 15 minutes. Putting my body and mind first works.
Being overwhelmed is natural and okay, just don't let it shut you down.

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