My brain and chest felt like this today.
There are all kinds of reasons I could psycho-analyze myself with as far as why that pesky overwhelmed feeling takes hold and tries to anchor me to laziness in a day. Feeling overwhelmed sucks. Though I try to re-focus and regain my balance, it is so easy to let those feelings of stress and being overwhelmed grab hold of your thoughts again and pull you back down into their pit.
Fortunately for me, I've never been known to do things the easy way =). As a matter of fact, I tend to choose the most difficult, challenging, and sometimes stupid directions in my life, and I know it.
And what is life, really? A series of days that turn into weeks, months, and years. So what is a day? A day is an opportunity - actually, more like 12-24 opportunities, because usually a single idea or activity doesn't take all day. Sometimes it does, but you can at least still have a number of ideas or a number of activities that you do in a day, right?
Let's keep it simple: a day is an opportunity. The average day is full of thoughts, actions, emotions, activities, and plans. Each of these are not positive or negative; a thought in and of itself is not positive or negative unless you make it positive or negative. Though this can be difficult to remember (or control) sometimes, it's still the truth.
Today, I felt overwhelmed. The small human was being difficult, I was trying to focus on my clients and my business at the same time (my clients make me the money I need to run my business and pay my bills), and I had all these ideas that I was passionate about for my business that I felt I couldn't get started on because my first responsibility is to my kids - making sure the bills are paid and little bellies are full. That was discouraging.
The headache began forming above my left eye.
What do I do when I feel like this? Well... if it gets really bad, I go hide in the bathroom for five minutes and let some of the pressure out through my eyeballs. That's tears, people. Crying is a stress reliever... and it helps, actually. It opens you up a little bit, gives you just enough "poor me" to make you want to slap yourself silly and recover, and it makes you focus harder on regaining your composure.
Then, I step outside and try not to think about anything for a little bit. Just breathe. Air is good for you, especially when it's cold because it serves as a punch in the face to your emotions and reminds you that you're in control of them, not the other way around.
Then I revise my mindset. Instead of trying to think about and brainstorm ideas while I'm working on a client project, I let the ideas flow, write them down, then go back to work on the client project. Or vice versa, whichever is happening first. The important thing is to do only one thing at a time if you're having an overwhelmed kind of day.... one thing at a time means push everything else out of your head, don't try to multitask unless one or the other doesn't require focus, and don't even think about anything else while you're working on something.
Lastly... relax. Chill out and have a glass of wine. No, that does not mean get drunk and pass out... it simply means relax, have a glass of wine, and let yourself breathe. If you tend to have anxiety episodes it could be just enough of a chill pill to mellow you out and get you back on track.
Plus I love wine. =)
Sure, it might be another late night. But you know what? Better to work while relaxed and focused than while overwhelmed and on the verge of tears, because that is never cool. My work is fun! I shouldn't be feeling like it's too much or overwhelming. I love my job and I love my clients, so I know the problem during times like these is 100% with my mindset.
Mindset is everything. Attitude = altitude. Don't you ever forget it.
Twisted yet positive coffee enthusiast with an appreciation for blood, mystery, and Root Beer floats.
All content © Jennifer-Crystal Johnson.
For inquiries about speaking engagements, freelance work, or consulting, please email jen (at) brokenpublications (dot) com.