There's so much heaviness in the news these days. A historic hurricane, unprecedented wildfires, record high unemployment, and the shooting of yet another black man at the hands of the police. Professional sports teams boycotting games to protest racial injustice, a Presidential election season full of fear and smear, and a failing USPS. Oh, and there's the global pandemic, too.
Closer to home, parents are sending their kids off to school, hoping they'll be safe. Or settling in for the long-haul of at-home learning. Employees are dreading yet another day of endless Zoom meetings. Small business owners are struggling to keep their doors open. Out-of-work Americans are filling out their 1000th job application. We're all missing our friends and family, and worried about our health.
It's easy to feel overwhelmed and scared, especially when so much is out of your control. Stress builds up, leaving you disoriented, off balance and wondering where do I even begin?
No matter the circumstance, there's always some small step you can take to set yourself on the path toward equilibrium. Here are a few options:
1. Wallow in it. Set a timer for 15 minutes and get it all out. Scream, cry, complain, feel sorry for yourself. Whatever you need to do to get those heightened emotions out of your system. I promise you'll feel better afterwards.
2. Get outside. Go for a walk to clear your head. When I'm really struggling with something, I'll talk it out with myself (I'll often pop in my headphones so people don't think I'm crazy). Even a few minutes of breathing and light stretching outside can be a great reset.
3. Write it out. Grab a piece of paper and brain dump everything that's weighing you down, in no particular order. Take a short break (see #2), then grab a second piece of paper and highlighters. Rewrite your list, placing every item into one of two columns: I have control over or I don't have control over. For every item in the 1st column, highlight it according to its priority. What absolutely has to happen today or this week? What's important but can be pushed back a week or two? What's least important or doesn't deserve your time and energy? Lastly, put a big D next to anything you can delegate to others. Don't be afraid to ask for help.
4. Create a quick win for yourself. Maybe it's throwing in a load of laundry, making that call you've been dreading, or squeezing in a quick workout. Something to help you gain momentum (and mojo).
5. Change your perspective. Perspective is power. Read this blog post.
The only certainty in life is that life is uncertain. Even when unexpected and sh!tty things happen (and they always will), you still have control over your head and your heart. You still have the power to choose how to respond.
So if you're feeling overwhelmed, I challenge you to take one small step toward regaining your equilibrium. You can do this! And if you need an extra reminder of how amazing and capable you are, slap our stickers in places you'll see often. They're like mini pep rallies for your soul.