Have you ever had so much happening in your life that it felt too much? That you can’t make sense of it all? Don’t know what to do? Who to turn too? And just want to make it all disappear? Yep, I have, and always at the worst possible time.
Life isn’t easy, there is so much for us to navigate, so many experiences that come when we aren’t prepared, sometimes – all at once. It often takes something so small that can trigger feelings of overwhelming exhaustion or stress. It can simply be a glance in the mirror, a voice, a picture, a smell, a memory, and when all the negative thoughts set in your only escape is to shut yourself away, cry uncontrollably for hours…maybe even days. Is this, okay? ABSOLUTELY it is okay, however, and I have said this in a couple of previous blogs, you cannot stay in your sadness for too long. In these moments we tend to be extremely hard on ourselves, we start to self-judge, and become very self-critical, thinking we are ‘not enough’ or haven’t ‘done enough’. It is nearly impossible to go from being harshly self-critical to super positive, however, after finding myself in these situations more times than I thought I would, I now have a little bit of a ‘self-help’ stress-aid kit in place. I keep it stocked and bring it out whenever I need…which is probably a lot more than I expect to!
My Stress-Aid Toolkit…
- Item 1: STRAWBERRIES! Re-evaluating my standards
Sometimes the standards we set for ourselves can be too high, some days unachievable, and too much to expect of ourselves to reach. I do this all the time, my work standards are extremely high, if I have a deadline due and have not reached that deadline at least 1-2 days early, I struggle with it. What’s wrong with having it done on the day its due?? Nothing, there is nothing wrong with that, but I have put added pressure on myself by trying to get it in early. I have changed that thought process. I have a pile of washing that needs to be folded, it should have been folded as soon as I brought it in from the washing line. What’s wrong with folding it tomorrow? Nothing, there is nothing wrong with folding it tomorrow. I have changed that thought process. Some things can just wait….and it’s okay – just do your BERRY BEST!!
- Item 2: SKITTLES! Talking it out
Find yourself someone who is your safe space, your ‘go-to’ when things get a little difficult to handle. I have that person, they listen when I need to offload and help to break down what seem like big problems, into smaller parts so I don’t feel so heavy. Talking about your feelings is an essential element in your toolkit. Sometimes the very emotions you are dealing with – like guilt, or shame – can feel so overwhelming that you just don’t want to talk about it. No matter what the reason is that you feel you want to keep it all in – talking, sharing – is powerful. Be open, be honest, vent, talk it out. Get a SKITTLE bit of help from your friends!!
- Item 3: GUM! Praise yourself
Praising yourself, talking yourself up to yourself. You will have successes, no matter what they are, whether it is just getting out of bed in the morning, or smiling at least once during your day, these are all successes we tend to forget about. There will be failures time to time mixed up amongst your happy times, accept it, and accept yourself in the process. Compliments, no matter where they come from, feel great. Take the time to compliment yourself, credit yourself for all the many things that you are doing well, the big things, the little things, take credit! “I am proud of myself for having the courage to try”, “I have been working hard, I deserve to rest”, “I am doing my best and that’s all that matters”, these are just a few of the praises/compliments I give myself, you need to as well. CHEWS yourself!!
- Item 4: MORO BAR! Recognise your blessings
Don’t think that you are not good enough, living up to your potential, living your dream, working in your passion. Life can feel hard because we want so much more, and that’s okay, but it can take time. We are humans in a world full of challenges and at times we have to deal with human struggles. It is important to be grateful and recognise all the good things in your life, which can be difficult to do when we are in our lowest moments. Try simple gratitude’s such as the flowers, the trees, a drawing a child may have done for you, a ‘thank you’ you received. Start a ‘Gratitude Journal’ by simply noting down all the positives around you. Do it today, don’t wait until to-MORO!!
“You can make your pathway bright, fill your soul with warmth and light, turn your darkness into day; as the shadows fly away, if there’s sunshine in your heart today” Helen Silcott Dungan
It is often in the darkest hours that we discover our true strength, our own brilliant light. Find the sunshine through the clouds, fill your heart and your life with it.
She was overwhelmed….she did it anyway.
Shared with love, Karen xxx