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Overwrought and Overwhelmed? 5 Ways to Slow Down and Keep Calm

Love, Self

Is there anything that can be done to slow down our often hectic pace and restore peace of mind?

Life is just so busy and seems to never slow down!

Like so many of us, you may feel pulled in a dozen directions at once. Maybe work, school, and family obligations pile on layers of pressure. Perhaps “to do” lists and tomorrow’s worries also impact your sleep?
Stress and anxiety leave us feeling overwrought and overwhelmed by all we have to accomplish. Is there anything that can be done to slow down this hectic pace and restore peace of mind?

Take heart. With a commitment to positive change, self-care, and support, there are definitely ways to step back and stay calm, despite everything that life throws at us.

1. Let Go of Expectations
In the “fast lane” of life, you probably have a lot of expectations about what your day/week/month/year is going to look like. Yet, life doesn’t always adhere to our plans and schedules. When you are thrown a “curve-ball,” do you accept the change well or remain rigidly attached to your expectations? If you’re often overwhelmed by uncertainty, most likely it’s the latter.

Try to tap into little more flexibility. Acknowledge and loosen some of your expectations. It’s possible to feel less overwhelmed the more you accept change and embrace what is happening right now.

2. Develop a Morning Routine
When you wake up in the morning, start your day with a calming morning routine. Give yourself enough time to prepare for the day. Trying to rush and get out the door only adds to anxiousness and overwhelm. Consider these ideas to feel more prepared to cope mentally and physically:

Wake up at a consistent time daily.
Eat a healthy breakfast, and eat slowly!
Do some stretching exercises or yoga.
Journal, meditate, pray, or read something inspirational.
Sip a warm beverage that is soothing yet caffeine-free.
Take a morning walk or sit by a window as you eat or drink. Nature is soothing.
Of course, it helps to be willing to adjust your routine as needed. Just keep in mind that starting your day with intentional self-care can improve your perspective and foster a better mindset overall.

3. What to Do First When Stress Does Occur
If things start to get stressful quickly, use mindfulness to slow down and stay calm. Notice your emotions and physical responses. Take slow, deep breaths to deliver much-needed oxygen to your brain and body. The rhythm of your breath is naturally comforting and soothing. After only a minute or two you feel calmer, more present, and more equipped to take on the challenge before you. Go easy on yourself. With time and practice though you’ll be surprised at how quickly you can feel centered again.

4. Don’t Take it Personally
When you feel stressed, often it is because something affects you on a personal level. This could be something someone said, or something you witnessed, or even something worrisome you heard on the news. Of course, you can’t eliminate this entirely, but feeling like you are personally affected all of the time certainly doesn’t help you stay calm.

Consider designating time just for you. No outside influences and certainly no TV, radio, or internet. This brief respite from the rest of the world can help you to refocus on yourself, and contribute to slowing down in general.

5. Be Conscious of Engaging Others
It’s easy to get so caught up in your own fast-paced world that you tend to ignore others around you. Feeling overwhelmed and overwrought, you just don’t notice your partner, your children, your family or friends. Remind yourself to look up and reach out routinely.

When you are mindful of others, you can better engage them and demonstrate gratitude for those relationships. It becomes easier to slow down as you look forward to meaningful connections. Overwhelm and your own concerns fade a bit as genuine interest grows in another person and their experiences. This also allows you to create stronger bonds with deeper relationships that provide you support when you need it.

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Finally, feeling overwhelmed and overwrought is often a result of unbalanced or misplaced priorities. When you realize that you can slow down and feel calm with a few strategic choices, your overwhelm may soon shift to a sense of empowerment.

If you do find that you could use some extra support setting new priorities, establishing boundaries, and making changes, consider time with a counselor. I am available to help you build a future that is less exhausting and more exciting again. Please contact me soon for help.

This article was originally published at my blog. Reprinted with permission from the author.

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