The week that I am writing this post, I am in a place where I feel overwhelmed and very out of my body. I think part of it is that I’m still feeling exhausted after a very busy social summer. Another is that our children are adjusting to school and I am supporting them and their emotions through the process. Another is that we don’t have a schedule yet where we have help with the kids after school. I have brain fog, I’m procrastinating, and I’m not able to make decisions as quickly as usual.
Sound familiar to anyone else?
When I feel overwhelmed and out of place like this, there are a couple of little practices that always help me reconnect with myself. Neither is revolutionary per se, but it can be easy to forget when you’re in this kind of heightened state. I am sharing them today in the hope that they will be helpful to anyone else who feels the same way.
Little practices that help when I feel overwhelmed
1. Take an ice pack
When I start to panic, I put an ice pack on my chest for a couple of minutes. The sensation helps me focus on the present moment. There’s something about this very tangible act that helps me a lot when I’m feeling panicked or like I’m in full flight mode.
2. I move my body
When I feel really down or unmotivated, it usually means that I need to move my body. Often a short, brisk walk is all I need to feel better. Sometimes I even get dressed to go for a run without the pressure of having to go to run. I’ll start with walking, and if running sounds like something that feels good to me, I’ll do it, even if it’s only for thirty seconds.
3. Do a body scan
This is a really helpful and intentional way to check in on how I’m feeling. Sometimes I do this in whatever position I’m already in, whether it’s standing or sitting, and sometimes I lie down. I mentally scan my body, from my toes to the top of my head, noting where I feel tight and where there is blocked energy that needs to be released.
4. Create my own version of a safe space
When I’m feeling overwhelmed, I sometimes like to put on classical music and declutter whatever space I’m in at the time. I’ll pick a small area, whether it’s in my office, bedroom, or kitchen, and spend a few minutes tidying it up. This small act makes me feel like I have a safe space to just be present.
5. Do what makes me feel at home
I wonder, when i feel more at home? Then I make a granular list, one that’s personal only to me, and I act on one of those things. It could be something as simple as opening a window to feel a connection to the outside, or it could be calling a friend.
Kate is currently learning to play the ukulele, much to the despair of her husband, children, and dogs. Follow her on Instagram at @witanddelight_.