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What To Do When You Feel Overwhelmed

Life comes with a series of challenges, but sometimes it can seem like too many challenges arrived at the same time. When that happens, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, and believe it is more than you can handle. This feeling is often heightened around the holidays.

What do you do when you feel overwhelmed with all the challenges?

Well, it comes down to this: ignore things you can’t influence, and focus energy on those you can. That is easier said than done!

You will need to focus, develop a plan, be persistent and get help if needed. Here are some strategies to help guide you:

  • Acknowledge you’re feeling overwhelmed. Nothing is gained by ignoring your situation. You’ll be better able to effectively deal with obstacles when you acknowledge the reality of the situation. It's only when you recognize something is wrong, that you can do something about it.

  • Take a time out. Sometimes getting some distance between you and the problem can help you develop more perspective. So take a walk or sleep on it.Often you have more clarity after you have taken a short break.

  • Formulate a plan. When you feel overwhelmed, it’s easy to constantly focus on the challenges you face. It's a natural response that only makes you feel worse! Rather than focusing on your issues, focus on solutions.

  • Imagine a friend in the same situation, what advice would you give?

  • Formulate a plan to move ahead. What solutions can you find? How will you implement them?

  • A simple change of focus can alter your perspective and mood.

  • If you are feeling stuck, ask yourself, “What is one thing I can do, or one step I can take to move forward? You don’t have to have a full plan in place before being able to make progress.

  • Talk to someone. Speak to a coworker, friend, family member, or mental health professional. Pick up the phone and include someone else in your current situation.

  • List the good things in your life. Things may be tough at the moment, but there is still a lot to be grateful for. Reflect on the blessings in your life.

  • Laugh. Few things feel better than laughing. What makes you laugh? Rent a funny movie, or spend time with someone who makes you giggle. Who is the funniest person in your life?

  • Ask for some help. Many hands make light work!

Focus on what you can change – put your energy into that, and admit that you can’t control everything!

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