Regardless of who you are, what you do or where you live, you most likely have days when you feel stressed and overwhelmed. Stressful days may turn into weeks or months, especially during recent times. This has been a summer of extreme weather conditions with life-threatening hurricanes and more across the world, leaving many people facing devastation and loss on a very personal level. Add this to the continuing risk of violence and news stories on a possible war with North Korea, and many Americans are feeling like they’re in an emotional tsunami lately.
How can you stay balanced in the face of all of this (on top of whatever else is going on in your life)?
- Get your rest. One of the most stressful things many of us face in a period of feeling overwhelmed is not being able to sleep, which then compounds our stress. It’s difficult to sleep soundly when you are worried or afraid. To help, empty your mind by writing down all of your concerns at least a couple of hours before you plan on going to sleep. Beware: writing the list too close to bedtime can result in a higher anxiety level, so earlier in the evening is definitely best. If you are not in your home due to traumatic weather conditions, sleeping can be downright impossible. Rather than trying to get a full night’s sleep, close your eyes and rest whenever and wherever you can.
- Waking up due to scary nightmares can result in people being afraid to go asleep. Write down your dreams to determine if there is a recurring theme or story that comes up during your sleep. Once you determine if your dreams are following a pattern, try to practice positive reinforcement by reminding yourself that your dreams are not real and that you have the power to consciously wake up whenever you desire.
- Stay in the present moment and do not focus on all the things that are wrong. Living through a natural disaster, constant stress or act of violence can traumatize people for many years, and it takes a strong mind not to keep thinking about all you have lost or what could go wrong in the future. Talking with a trusted resource, such as a counselor or therapist can help. If counseling or therapeutic help isn’t available, economically and/or logistically, seek trusted friends … and be a trusted friend to others.
- Support and assist others by volunteering to help. There’s no better way to shift out of a period of being overwhelmed than giving to others. It may be as small as offering to assist a mother who also has children — trading services to give each other time to do needed things or simply to rest. One church in Dallas has an organized effort that led to its members opening their homes to 300 people who needed help due to hurricane devastation.
- Maintain a consistent prayer and meditation practice. Even 5 minutes of focusing your mind on being peaceful has a big effect on keeping your blood pressure down. There have already been news reports showing people in hurricane evacuation centers who are praying together. Group prayer is one of the few things we can do to share our hearts with others.
- Ask yourself, while meditating: is there anything that I need to know today? Many times, the information we are looking for is right at our fingertips, if we take the time to listen.
In my role as an Intuitive Strategist and Coach, I share with my clients that there is no right or wrong way out of feeling overwhelmed. It is impossible to separate yourself from what is going on in and around you. The reason why being overwhelmed needs to be carefully examined is because it is easy for our bodies to absorb the emotional stress we are all experiencing. Finally, it may be necessary to take a news break from the traumatic pictures of loss that are happening all over the world. If you find yourself crying uncontrollably or waking up feeling hopeless, try taking a break and do something that makes you feel hopeful and happy.
Intuitive Strategist Sheree Franklin works with individuals and corporations. She is a career columnist with Black Enterprise and the author of Intuition: The Hidden Asset Everyone Should Learn to Use. To learn more about Franklin’s book go to www.amzn.to/1UxlWLG.
Sheree is also a practitioner at Holistic Health Practice at One East Superior, in Chicago. Her practice includes one-to-one coaching as well as corporate speaking events, workshops and facilitation. For more information go to www.shereefranklin.com.