Relief from Overwhelm

I don’t have to get into the detail of how so many of us are stressed and overwhelmed. Electronic communication has become both a blessing and a cause for anxiety.

I realized today that, after close to three straight weeks of being primarily on the computer and phone, I needed a break. I imagine I’m not alone.

Come join me in stepping away – whether it be for just a few hours, a day or longer.

Here are some suggestions for healthy, calming use of this time. What appeals to you?

Meditate:

For many who feel scattered, a grounding meditation can be powerful.

There are several meditation apps available for free use. My favorite is Insight Timer with thousands of free meditations and talks. Here are some of my favorite guided meditations for grounding and relieving anxiety. If you search on any meditation app, I’m sure you can find something similar.

  • Mountain Meditation (a variety of people have created adaptations of Jon Kabat-Zinn’s classic. I particularly enjoy Gareth Vaughan’s version)
  • Relieving Anxiety by Bethany Auriel-Hagan
  • Any meditation by Sarah Blondin. Learning to Surrender and Loving and Listening to Yourself are two of my favorites
  • Ten Minutes of Mindfulness by Tom Evans
  • Golden Threads by Joanne Withnall

Alternatively, forget the electronics entirely and meditate while focusing on your breath or ambient sounds.

Do you have some favorites? Please share them in the comments.

Journal:

Journaling is one of the best methods I know for releasing anxiety, getting centered, and exploring ideas.

Every morning, I create a list of 10 things for which I am grateful. I ask my inner wisdom for guidance (a lot these days!) and write out whatever comes forth. My plan for the day comes next. During the day, as ideas come to me or if I feel anxious about something, pen and journal come back out. Yes, I converse in writing with myself. It can get quite interesting!

I order an inexpensive but new custom designed journal from Plum Paper every month. Every month, I fill almost every page. Here is a picture of this April’s. My husband journals also and uses inexpensive composition booklets.

Would love to hear some of your journaling habits.

Music

Create and listen to playlists of your favorite songs. I have playlists for: Relaxation, Happy Music, Instrumentals (for when I’m working) and, of course, Outlander Faves.

Read

Fiction, non-fiction, audio, in print, or electronic (without interruption). Give yourself the gift of an hour of time to enter another world or learn something impactful. I am currently reading the Big Leap for my professional development book club and Richard Russo’s (my favorite living author) Chance’s Are . . .

Get Outside

Walk the dog or go for a hike. For those in Western New York, Outside Chronicles recently released its list of 32 different hiking locations, group by location. Practicing physical distancing is not difficult at most of these places. Jim and I recently took a walk at Niagara Falls and saw fewer than 20 people.

Projects

Whether work-related or personal, set a timer and spend focused, uninterrupted time on a working through a project. Enjoy the feeling of accomplishment when it’s complete.

Create a blocked schedule for electronics time

A certain amount of electronics use is necessary and helpful but can you limit it? One of my clients has decided to check her emails, texts, and social media three times a day and she limits these times to 30 minutes.

However you decide to spend this time, stay focused and intentional.

How are you giving yourself a break from stress and overwhelm?

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