No it’s not a fire drill! Lately life in our household has been frantic. Not only have we been running through daily life as per usual, but we have also just been through ‘show season’, where we volunteer at the 3 local agricultural shows around us. Add on a few ‘bonus’ bits and pieces (hello football windup, sick kids and various unexpected events- I’m looking at you) and you have a frazzled family and an overwhelmed Mum (that’s me). So I’m sharing my 3 coping strategies for getting through your week when you are feeling overwhelmed.
When I feel like I’m drowning in life the first thing I do is stop. Stop letting the “to-do’s” go around in you head in a never ending loop. Stop running from place to place and take a breathe. Stop you body and mind for just 1 minute. Pause.
I do this when ever I feel my mind start to wind up like a top. My shoulders feel like they are stuck to my ears and my chest gets tight. I stop my body, by sitting, lying or standing still for 1 minute (even if the kids are whining in the back of the car). I close my eyes and breathe deep in a yoga type pattern. I become mindful of how my breath moves my stomach in and out. I empty my mind and imagine myself floating in a deep lake, all by myself, it is quiet and still and peaceful. This seems to help me sort my head out, until I can figure out my next step.
Get rid of all the ‘extra’ things on your to do list. Does the washing really need to be folded today (or this week…. or this month)? Will it be okay to buy a cooked chook and feed the family chicken and salad for tea instead of slaving over a big meal for them? A few weeks ago my kids had tinned baked beans and toast, weetbix, porridge and frozen pizzas for dinner, all in a single week, as I was so overwhelmed and stressed- they survived, ate a relatively okay meal and are not malnourished, obese or unloved- it’s fine to just get by with the minimum if you need to.
I have dropped the extra things that I know I can’t do- I’m not playing sport this month, and if I’m not feeling like I have the capacity to do something then I am saying no or giving my apologies as I withdraw from things- it’s okay not to do everything!
Just keep on rolling on. Like the little engine that could- as long as you are creeping along up that hill you are doing just fine! My Mum likes to say ‘nibble away at each job’. If you are feeling totally swamped by a task break it into manageable pieces. I’ve been struggling with a task that seems massive, so I’ve written down each step and will tackle a little bit at a time.
I tell myself to keep rolling on, be the unstoppable train that chugs along, you don’t have to be fast, you don’t have to do everything at once (or at all), just as long as you are doing what you can, you will be fine.
It’s probably evident from this post that I’m feeling very overwhelmed. Even this blog has suffered as I’ve pressed pause on the things that haven’t been essentials. I am slowly getting back to ‘normal life’ and am feeling much more on top of things now, but when you are trapped in the thick of things it can be really hard to figure out what to do, and how you will get everything done. I hope this gives you some ideas to help if you ever feel overwhelmed by life!