Time to get real with y'all. Recently, I've just been feeling overwhelmed about life. There are a lot of unknowns right now--when will the baby come? What's being a mother going to be like? What will happen after Joe graduates chiropractic school? Will I go back to work in the fall? One thing that makes me especially overwhelmed is that people ask me these questions, and I don't have a way to answer many of them! Talk about stressful!
I think it's really common for us to get worried, anxious, or overwhelmed in life. It can be over little things or big things, changes or new situations, or just everyday life. As I've been dealing with these feelings this year, I wanted to share some general ideas of how to cope with these feelings.
1) Ask yourself: Is this a situation that I have control over?
As a worrier, the first thing I always have to ask myself when I feel overwhelmed is, "What can I control about this situation?" Sometimes, I can control the whole thing. Other times, I have control over a part of the situation. Still others, I have zero control over the situation. To deal with my feelings of being overwhelmed, I have to start by figuring out my level of control.
2) Do what you can.
If I do have control over some or all of the situation, the next step is to do something about it! Sometimes, doing something really does ease the feelings of worry or anxiety, especially if it helps in that particular situation!
For example, when I feel overwhelmed about the baby coming, I do something that I actually have control over to prepare. I organize the baby stuff we already have into piles according to when we'll need it. I de-clutter the room that will be the baby's room. I read up on things that I have questions about or things that I'm worried about. I make a list of things that still need to be done and estimate a deadline for them.
Having control over some or all of the situation that's causing worry or anxiety really does help me calm down a lot faster. Actually doing something about it helps even more!
3) Pray about what you can't control.
There are a lot of times that we really have NO control over a situation that's causing us to feel overwhelmed. These are the tough ones, the ones that can cause us the most worry, anxiety, and stress. We just have to sit back and wait for them to come, whether we like it or not.
In these times, I lean on prayer and Scripture to help ease my worry and anxiety. That's why I chose the first two memory verses I did--to arm me with those comforting verses whenever I have no control over the situation. It's the hard part, but "letting go and letting God" really can provide peace if you trust in Him to handle the situation. Last Sunday's sermon was actually about that very thing, and the pastor suggested to switch the order by "letting God then letting go." Interesting way to think about it!
4) Talk to someone that's been in a similar situation to vent or get advice.
Especially when I have no control over a situation, it helps me to talk to someone who understands what I'm dealing with. Sometimes it's comforting to know that your feelings aren't unique to you--they're things that other people have felt. It's also comforting to hear how someone else dealt with a similar situation.
If there's no one that understands what you're dealing with, sometimes you just need to talk out those feelings of worry of anxiety with someone who will listen. It may not seem helpful since you aren't finding solutions, but just letting those emotions out is a step in the right direction.
I am by no means an expert on coping with being overwhelmed, but I just felt like I needed to share these tips with y'all that I have found useful over the past few months. Hopefully, something in this post will help someone out there!
If you are feeling overwhelmed and are having a hard time coping with it on your own, please seek help from a professional.
Question for you: How do you cope with worry, anxiety, or feeling overwhelmed?