Life is a series of ups and downs, surprises and challenges both good and bad and all these things have to be managed. In between challenges, life can be easy to managed, but the next challenge is inevitably always on the way. If we could just handle one challenge at a time, life would flow pretty easily, but more often than not, we are faced with a series of challenges at once. When we are facing too many challenges at once, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and to doubt your ability to handle the situation.
Regardless of whether you are facing one small challenge or a number of huge challenges, the basic solution to managing your stress is the same: Put aside the things you can’t change or influence and spend your time and energy developing and implementing solutions for the things that you can change or influence.
When you start to feel overwhelmed, try these strategies:
1. Acknowledge that you are feeling overwhelmed.
Ignoring your situation will only make things worse. Once you acknowledge the reality of your situation, you will be in a better position to deal effectively with it. You can begin to fix a problem until you acknowledge that the problem exists!
2. Take a break.
Whether it’s a weekend trip or a quick walk, a change of scenery can help you focus and get things in perspective and that is the first step to making the challenges in your life seem more manageable.
3. Make a game plan.
Once you’ve acknowledged the situation and taken some time to clear your mind, it is time to focus on solutions. Make a list of the issues that you think you are able to change or influence and brainstorm some ways to respond to and handle those issues. One way to do this is to Imagine that a friend or family member is facing the same challenges and think of the advice that you would you give to them. Another way would be to think of people who have faced similar challenges and look to them for ideas and guidance.
4. Reach out for support.
You could speak to a family member or friend, a mental health professional, or a coach. Pick up the phone and include someone else in your current situation so you don’t feel like you are going through things alone. Sometimes getting an outside perspective makes a big difference!
5. List the positive things in your life.
Although things may be rough at the current moment, there are always plenty of things to be grateful for in our lives. In stressful times, it can be hard to remember the good things so make a list of the positive things in your life, your accomplishments, and the things you are grateful for and reflect on the many blessings in your life when you start to feel overwhelmed.
What makes you laugh? Rent a funny movie, watch a comedy special or spend time with someone that lifts your spirits.
7. Ask for help.
A team can get a lot more accomplished in less time than you can all by yourself. Think of some trusted people in your circle and reach out to them to see if they can give you a hand.
Life isn’t always a sunny day but with a level head, a solid game plan, dedication and persistence, you can overcome any challenge!