We’ve all felt overwhelmed at one time or another. This can last a day, week, month or a year. That feeling of being overwhelmed, just doesn’t go away. For whatever reason, going to work or just getting through the day can feel really hard.

Maybe, there is an environment stressor, or you are struggling with anxiety or depression. Maybe, you’ve had your heard broken or have gone through a life-threatening illness. There are many different reasons as to why you are feeling overwhelmed. Or, maybe there isn’t a cause, you just can’t shake the feeling.

Whatever the case may be, I want you to know that you are OK. This doesn’t make you less lovable, capable or worthy. This means you’re human. You don’t have to be perfect. When you put that expectation on yourself, you will never reach it. And, it causes unnecessary stress. Here are five tips that can help get you through this difficult time:

  1. Say no to extra obligations. The first step is telling yourself it’s alright to say no. It’s alright to let others down. When you always say yes, you add a lot of stress to your life. It’s also easy to not feel appreciated, when you are always saying yes. Start saying no today. It’s doesn’t matter if your house is messy or you take a nap.
  2. Watch a comedy. This will make you laugh, and laughing is good for your health. It can be something you find on YouTube or a movie. You can watch it alone or with friends. This will help you to not take life so seriously.
  3. Breath. Sounds simple and it is. Stop and take in the fresh air. If you can get outside and do it, all the better. Enjoy the scenery. Try to walk where there are trees, birds, water, etc. Nature is good for our mental health. Breath in to the count of four and out to the count of four. Try and work yourself up to a count of eight. This is a time where you can clear your mind and just be.
  4. Take a long, hot, bubble bath. Water is soothing. Make sure to lock the door and put the do not disturb sign on. Add a candle and some light music. We need to rest our muscles and this will help do that. You also can’t bring your phone into the bathroom.
  5. Write a list of 25 great things about yourself. I often ask my clients to tell me three great things about themselves. Many of them struggle with this. Why is it so hard for people to notice the good in them? Three is not a big number and neither is 25. Start your list right now. It’s also helpful to talk about your list with others.

Remember, what you are going through now is temporary. We all go through seasons in life, and one season doesn’t last forever. Change is part of life, start to embrace it for what it is. By starting on this list you are taking the first step in changing your thinking. Also, my hope for you in reading this, is that you are hearing me say, that having struggles in life is the normal and natural path for life.

Lianne Avila is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She can help you reduce stress and create the life you want. Reach out to Lianne at (650) 892-0357.

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