Signs of stress and overwhelm

Plus what you can do to feel better ASAP!

Feeling a little out of sorts these days?  Just not yourself?  Like most of us, you’re probably feeling like the world is falling apart and there’s nothing you can do about it.  

Do any of the descriptions in the list below sound like what you’re going through?

  1. FORGETFUL.  Do you find yourself questioning whether or not you actually just brushed your teeth, or if you only thought about it?  Or if you just took your pills?  Or what about the laundry?  Did you put it in the dryer… or not?
  2. DISTRACTIBLE.  You start a task and then realize you didn’t finish the last one you started.
  3. DISTRUPTED SLEEP CYCLES.  Awake when you’d typically be asleep; tired when you’d typically be wide awake.  Or, maybe you’re sleeping all the time.
  4. FEELING BLUE.  Sad, lethargic, unmotivated.  Maybe you don’t really even have the energy to get dressed.
  5. OVEREATING.  In the short term, it soothes us.  Long term not so much.
  6. OVERDRINKING.    It helps us unwind and relax, but ultimately it can be detrimental.  Not just the next day grogginess, but also the compromised sleep cycles and the depression or sadness alcohol can contribute to.
  7. COMPLAINING.  You find yourself venting and complaining a lot more than usual – to your spouse, your kids, friends, and even on social media.
  8. YOUR HEAD HURTS.   A dull headache that just won’t go away.
  9. FEELING FRAZZLED.  You’re restless, anxious, maybe even a little compulsive.  You can’t turn your brain off.  (This is me!) Nothing satisfies you or helps you feel calm.
  10. FEAR OF MISSING OUT.  You’re addicted to the news – glued to the TV waiting for the next update or press conference.
  11. EMOTIONALLY FRAGILE.  Snapping at people without justification, or on the verge of tears, or feeling super impatient.

If you’d rather not be feeling this way, what can you do about it?  Here are some things that work for me.

  • Make a cup of tea.  Something about the process of preparing the tea and then sitting down with a warm mug in my hands soothes my frazzled nerves.
  • Exercise.  My exercises of choice are walking my dogs, hiking, or yoga, but any exercise that you enjoy is the right choice for you.  Not sure where to start while social distancing?  Simply take a walk around your neighborhood.  Or sit down in your living room and stretch.  There are also SO many free videos on YouTube!
  • Stay busy. Clean your house. Do a puzzle. Call a friend or family member. Cook a meal. Organize a closet. Just stay busy and productive.
  • Supplements.  CBD, magnesium and B12 are excellent for emotional wellness.
  • Meditate.  Never tried it? It’s amazing! Try these free apps:  CALM or InsightTimer.
  • Lie down.  You don’t even have to sleep.  Just rest your eyes for 10-15 minutes.
  • Start a gratitude journal.  I swear by this.  It’s so helpful!  Blessings are all around us.  Writing them down keeps them top of mind and helps us keep our perspective.

The reality is that things will probably get worse before they get better.  There’s no better time than today to commit to taking care of yourself.  How we choose to spend our days in the weeks ahead will determine whether we reap the hidden benefits of America’s forced slow down, or whether we spend this time in misery.   The choice is ours. 

Until next time… stay well everyone!

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