Overwhelmed? Here’s FIVE Red Flags (And Fixes, Too)
Not to beat a dead horse (because what kind of weirdo would do that anyway) but, I think it's safe to say that this year has pushed even the most grounded of us off-course in one way or another. Many of us are overwhelmed by one or any number of things.
If you suspect that you may be feeling OVERWHELMED, let's look at few of the brightest red flags. If you find you are, please take the time to care for yourself. We need you. OK, here we go:
Sleeping too much? Or too little? A sure sign of overwhelm and ongoing stress, please do all you can to rectify this situation.
Fixes: Stick to a routine, practice relaxation exercises before bed, drink soothing non-caffeinated beverages, take a quite warm bath infused with scents like lavender or chamomile.
Feeling tired all day--even if you've slept. I've been struggling with fatigue lately.
Fixes: Make sure you've tried all the tips from above, eat healthy foods--junk food zaps energy because it's too hard on your digestive system. EXERCISE. This is a biggie. You'll get more energy AND you'll sleep better. (Don't do it too close to bedtime, though.)
Feeling more high-strung or anxious (or more than usual.)
Fixes: Again, tips from above are applicable. Also, make sure you take small but consistent breaks throughout the day. Take a quick walk, stretch, meditate or do deep breathing for a few minutes. You may want to consider minimizing intake of caffeine. Again--vigorous exercise can be a HUGE help with this.
Overeating or loss of appetite. Yeah, loss of appetite hasn't really been a problem for me. But for some, when they're stressed, they don't wanna eat. I don't personally know any of these folks, but I know they exist.
Fixes: Just like with sleeping, maintaining a regular eating schedule is helpful--and sticking to it, of course. If you have a loss of appetite--try eating smaller snacks throughout your day. Then when you're hungriest, have your largest meal then. Make sure you're eating healthy foods. I know we here this ALL THE TIME. But it's shocking how differently you'll feel. These foods with good proteins and fats will help you feel full longer.
Lack of motivation or trouble focusing. This has been a biggie for me. The news cycle and the issues in the world tend to get to some of us more deeply than others. It can be draining to our mental and emotional energy.
Fixes: I try to break down my largest tasks into smaller ones to avoid feeling more overwhelm. Write down your tasks--even if you know what they are. That means fewer things you have to remember. AND, when you finish a task you can have the momentum-building joy of crossing it off the list.
There are other signs that you may be overwhelmed right now like being extra moody or emotional or wanting to spend time by yourself more often. If you're concerned about your emotional state, please call your doctor. Take care of yourself.
Seriously--the exercise has been one of the most important tools to maintaining a sense of wellness. Please consider doing this--even just a little every day. Here are some great apps that can help you with that starting immediately: