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What You Need to Do If You Feel Overwhelmed

Posted by on September 26, 2020 in Conscious Evolution, Conscious Living, Inspirational with 0 Comments

tired worker

By Kelly Ramsdell | Tiny Buddha

“You are worth the quiet moment, you are worth the deeper breath. You are worth the time it takes to slow down, be still, and rest.” ~ Morgan Harper Nichols

I want to talk about overwhelm, which is something I suspect I’m not alone in dealing with, especially given our current global situation.

Even before the pandemic struck, I was on the edge of overwhelm. I live with two autoimmune conditions—rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia—both of which cause me to have health issues when I’m stressed out.

I started the year completely stressed out, thanks to a new health condition that reared its head: some irregular tissue was growing inside my duodenum, affecting my digestion. On my first visit to a specialist to try to remove it in February, it turned out to be far more extensive than expected, and I had to be rescheduled for a far more involved procedure.

Then COVID hit, and I was deferred for a bit. To say that I was struggling is an understatement: we were isolating at home, my health was in jeopardy, and while we believed that the tissue wasn’t malignant yet, it was definitely the sort of tissue that was trying to become cancer.

I found it difficult to do my usual tasks, and I was decidedly fatigued and somewhat short-tempered from adding all this additional stress and uncertainty into what was already a fraught situation.

Not knowing what else to do, I fell back on some serious self-care practices. I’m not talking about face masks and bubble baths, though I did increase the number of baths I took using Epsom salts, since they soothed the aches and pains that came with my increased stress levels.

I spent far less time than usual on social media, in order to avoid “doomscrolling”: that’s where you keep scrolling through social media to find the latest, most upsetting information on whatever catastrophes are occurring. To my husband’s consternation, it also meant that I stopped watching the nightly news with him; instead, I would read a book, or watch something light and happy on my laptop.

I made sure to get outside every day as long as the weather permitted, in order to allow nature to do its thing and make me feel better. I set and met a goal to exercise at least five days a week for twenty minutes or more, and I made sure to drink a lot of water and not skip meals.

I also returned to my meditation practice, which had lapsed in prior months, as it sometimes does, and established a bedtime routine to set me on a path to successful sleep

Here are my takeaways from that time period.

If you need time away from it all, take it.

If you need to establish boundaries with those around you in order to protect yourself, your emotions, your mental health, and/or your energy, it’s fine for you to do so. You cannot pour from an empty cup, so it’s important to take care of yourself.


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