“I’ve just got too much to do and I’m exhausted.” Have you heard yourself say this lately? Do you feel like you are never caught up? Always on the go and never have time to relax, exercise, or do something nice for yourself? If so, then this post is for you and you are not alone. We all struggle with overwhelm at times, so I am writing this post to remind us all that overwhelm is really an illusion

The feeling of being overwhelmed is a problem many struggle with, especially women who are usually taking care of the family, the house, the meals, the spouse or boyfriend, all the while holding down a full-time career AND trying to stay thin, fit, and beautiful. Just thinking about all this is exhausting.

I know because I’ve been in this position myself. As a single mom raising two sons, working at a demanding high-pressure job and going to night school, it was quite a juggling act to keep everything together. But I survived, and you will too and today I am sharing some tips on how to deal with overwhelm and not turn into the wicked witch of the west.

1. Take time to breath. When we start feeling anxious, rushed, or stressed, that means it’s time to take a break, sit down, and take a few deep calming breaths. Repeat a phrase that will calm you down such as “I can do this”, “I am calm”, or any prayer or meditation that you choose.

2. Prioritize. Reevaluate what is really important in your life. Most women have a hard time relaxing. We need to remind ourselves to just “Chill out” and make that higher up on the priority list. Most men do not seem to have this problem, I have observed. We could learn from them.

3. Use the word “NO’ more often. I used to carry a yellow laminated card in my purse with the word ‘NO’ written in big red letters. I would whip it out when someone asked me to do something I was really not crazy about doing. Picture the referee at a soccer game giving a yellow card to one of the players. You get the idea.

4. Stay in the present moment. Focus on the task at hand. Don’t spend precious energy thinking about what all you have to do that day. Take one thing at a time. Then rest. Then do the next thing. When we spend time complaining or ruminating about everything we have to do, we waste time and energy.

5. Be thankful. Look for the positive side of whatever situation. Instead of complaining about cleaning the house, say “I am thankful I have the energy and the health to clean my house.”  Rather than bemoan your job, your boss, your coworkers, say “I am thankful I have a job and an income.”

These are a few tips to help us all stay calm, cool, and collected despite the many demands and responsibilities of life. There will always be stuff to do. We cannot change that. But we can change our attitude on how we think about the stuff we have to do.

Until next time, remember to take time to rest and as always, keep looking up!

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