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I know I speak for almost everyone as we can relate to times when we feel “overwhelmed.” It could be daily, weekly or only sporadically, depending on our respective lives, situations, and current world events. I won’t even go into what “overwhelms” each of us, but I think we can all agree that, at times, we feel out of control, or burned out and that it’s all “too much.”
We know what this looks and feels like – accelerated breathing, fatigue, shutting down, crying, mood swings, avoidance, etc. As we all know, we can’t control what’s happening in our lives, but we CAN control our reactions to them. In today’s post I’m sharing a new mantra that I’ve created for myself in navigating “those times,” and hope that by sharing, it might help you too!
Pause, Breathe, Reflect, and Reset
Pause – When I’m clearly feeling overwhelmed, the first and most important thing for me is to pause. I literally stop what I’m doing.
Breathe – Next, is breathe. I close my eyes and mouth and then start breathing slowly in and out through my nose, counting up to 20.
Reflect – Next, I sit back and reflect. I ask myself these questions:
- How does my body feel? Your body doesn’t lie: knots in the stomach, headaches, fatigue, etc.
- Do I have too much on my plate? If so:
- Is what’s on my plate, life or death?
- Is it of true value? (or am I trying to score points or people-please?)
- Can this wait another day?
- Did I take time out for “me” today? A wise person told me years ago to “pay yourself first” (applies to both self-care and saving money)
- Did something/someone trigger me?
- Can I honestly control this?
- If there are realistically too many important things on my plate, can I get someone to help? (Learning to delegate has always been a big thing for me. I always “needed” to do things myself. Accepting that “good enough” might be better than “the perfect or stressful” way. i.e., buying cupcakes vs. baking them for kids’ party or event.)
- Can I break this task into manageable parts?
Reset – Okay, so after being honest about answering these questions, it’s time to reset. Let’s get real about lowering expectations and choosing “manageable” in our lives where we can.
For me, this recent practicing of Pause, Breathe, Reflect and Reset is a great form of “self-care” because I don’t want to feel “overwhelmed,” and I’m able to take immediate action by stopping and focusing on my breathing. The Reflection and Reset pieces really help me identify how I can move forward and make healthier choices for myself. I’ve amazed myself with what can simply wait or be eliminated from my plate.
Trust me when I say that I feel “lighter” in both body and mind when I do this exercise. Give it a try, you might be pleasantly surprised!
Granted, life is throwing us A LOT these days. We can’t do it all and be there for everyone, but we can take the load off of ourselves. This practice is helping me stay “present” and “being” for all that I value in this life. And of course, it starts with ourselves.
Wishing you all Grace, Authenticity and Peace in your lives.
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