What to do When You Feel Overwhelmed
What can you do when you feel overwhelmed? I’ve been talking to lots of women who are feeling anxious as the world opens up again after COVID. This is one of the questions I’ve been hearing the most over the last few weeks.
Even if you are feeling excited about seeing friends or going out to dinner, there may also be some feelings of uncertainty or fear. This is another transition on top of the stress you’ve already experienced over the last year and a half.
Here are four quick strategies you can use to help you calm down when you’re feeling anxious or overwhelmed. Download a PDF with the strategies.
Use Square Breathing When You Feel Overwhelmed
This simple breathing technique can help you slow down your breathing and heart rate, and focus on the present moment when you feel overwhelmed.
Inhale through your nose for a count of 4. Hold for a count of 4.
Exhale through your mouth for a count of 4. Hold for a count of 4. Repeat.
Look for a square or rectangle (wall, window, piece of paper….)
that you can follow with your eyes as you breathe.
5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1
This exercise helps you check in with your five senses. By paying attention to what you can see, hear, smell, taste and touch, you are focus on your attention on what’s outside of your body rather than your overwhelming thoughts or feelings. Reconnecting to your physical senses is grounding and settling.
Notice what’s around you using your five senses.
Identify 5 things you can see.
Notice 4 things you can feel.
Identify 3 things you hear.
Notice two things you smell.
Notice one thing you can taste –
or imagine one thing you can taste.
Repeat an Affirmation When You Feel Overwhelmed
If your mind is racing and you feeling overwhelmed, it can be helpful to focus your attention on a calming thought. This activity allows you choose where you’re focusing your attention. Are you thinking about the problem or are you focusing on how you want to feel and respond?
As you breathe, focus on a grounding thought or affirmation:
– Breathe in calm, breathe out stress.
– This feeling will pass.
– I am safe and calm.
Helping your body feel more relaxed and grounded can help you slow down breathing and reduce your overwhelming feelings. When you connect to the parts of your body that feel stable and supported you feel more secure and safer. This can help your mind and body relax.
Focus on the feeling of your feet on the ground or your seat in a chair.
Feel the connection to the stable earth below you.
Notice other parts of your body that feel stronger, more stable or calmer.
Tune into those parts of your body and notice how they feel.
Focus on the parts of your body that feel calmer in the moment.
Dealing with your feelings panic and overwhelm is important when you are building a business and looking after a family. Download your copy of the strategies here.