What To Do When You’re Too Overwhelmed

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At one point (or maybe more than a hundred points) in your life, things will become just too much. Too many items on your to-do list. Too much pressure from your boss. Too much anxiety over things you have no control over. Too many people in the room with you. Too much anger over a situation. Too many things on your mind. When faced with too much, here are some things that you can do.

Talk to God. Don’t make this your last option. You don’t have to say a “formal” prayer. Make your prayers as normal as breathing. The more you talk to God, the more natural it will feel to turn to Him when things get too overwhelming.

Breathe in, breathe out. The act of physically taking a deep breath and releasing it after a few seconds can help your brain and your heart slow down. Do this a few times until you feel calm enough to think with a clear head.

Step out/away. If you need to leave a roomful of people, do it. If you need to walk away from a person you’re talking to, do it. When you need to leave that to-do list and walk around for a few minutes, do it. When you’re ready to face whatever needs to be dealt with, go back.

Read, watch, or listen to something. It sometimes helps to do something that is so far from your current, overwhelming task just so you can get your bearings back. Read a few chapters from a non-school or non-work book. Watch a few minutes of your current favorite show. Listen to soothing (or rocking!) music. The idea is to get your mind off things, if only for a while.

Sleep. Yes, sometimes, you just need to fully rest.

This is an excerpt from Dawns: A Weekly Devotional for Self-Care and Spiritual Growth, co-authored by Isa Garcia, Janina Marie Rivera, and Ida Torres. Published by OMF Literature, Dawns is available at OMF Lit Bookshop and other leading bookstores nationwide. The book can also be ordered online through shop.omflit.com.

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