10 ways to deal with feeling overwhelmed and help ourselves

10 ways to deal with feeling overwhelmed and help ourselves

Many people feel that life post-COVID should make us all feel uplifted, grateful to have gotten through three rough years, and content both in general and in our relationships. Sadly, many people are feeling overwhelmed at home and with life in general as they attempt to re-enter their post-COVID world.

We have all changed, now we want different things for ourselves and the world in many ways seems even more upside down than before. For many, there were joys to be had working from home in their pajamas, in a less pressured environment. For others, more stressed by blurred boundaries, achieving a better work-life balance seemed impossible as major social problems seemed to mix with their own personal problems, creating havoc and a need to redefine what they now want.

If there was one positive lesson we should have learned from the pandemic, many would agree that for the most part it has been missed; we suffer on a macro level, as well as individually – on a more micro level – in our relationships. Today’s column will focus on both.

Having recently celebrated our nation’s 75th birthday, we have much to be proud of and grateful for having been blessed to be able to live here. With the tremendous infighting of the last few months, one might think we appreciate none of it, but 1,000 rockets later, and when my former next-door neighbor Noa Kirel represented us at Eurovision, we were reminded of how united it could be when we they share common values ​​and interests. It’s also much better to focus on what brings us together and what we can achieve together, big and small, instead of constantly pointing out our differences and criticizing anyone who isn’t a clone of ourselves.

Though exhausted and overwhelmed as a country, it behooves each of us to rise up despite our malaise and come up with a plan of action that will strengthen us all.

Feel happy? (illustrative). (credit: Jacqueline Munguia/Unsplash)

AS we move forward, we too must ask ourselves, individually and as a society, how we can best care for one another. Here are some thoughts.

1. Focus on the positive.

Constant criticism is bad for our morale. John Gottman, a well-known psychologist, talks about the need for five positives for every negative statement within a relationship. Our actions make a huge difference and while it may seem like we have a lot of work to do in this area, simply “noticing” the positives in others and commenting on them can be very pleasurable. Imagine, for example, how different the tone in the Knesset could be.

2. Treat others as equals and the way you would like to be treated.

We live in a melting pot with a multitude of cultures. Every person has something valuable to contribute to society and we have a lot to learn from each other just by being open to seeing it. As an Ashkenazi immigrant, I love the warmth of one of our son’s Sephardic in-laws, as well as hearing about life on the kibbutz firsthand from our other in-laws whose family has lived here for 12 generations. Their customs and traditions are incredibly special.

3. Listen empathically to others.

It is no coincidence that we have two ears but only one mouth. This reminds us that we need to listen twice as much as we need to talk. Being an empathetic listener means actively listening to others and validating their feelings. It doesn’t matter whether you agree or not. Your goal is not to judge and just be there for them.

4. Give people the benefit of the doubt.

Others are bound to do things you don’t understand. It’s easy to “react”; however, taking a step back, breathing slowly, and calming your body can help you focus better on seeing a situation in a better light. Just imagine how this step could help decrease road rage. We also know how easy it is to be misunderstood on social media when messages are shortened and emojis are misinterpreted, leaving people confused and trying to determine if a message was sent in jest or out of anger.

5. Speak respectfully to others.

How we talk to each other and how we disagree with each other affects every aspect of our relationships. Each of us must take responsibility for the content of our conversations, as well as for our actions. While it’s so easy to point fingers and blame the next person, it’s even more important to look inward, take responsibility for your actions, and ask yourself how respectful you are to those you come into contact with. When you use your cell phone, keep it on silent and take your conversations elsewhere so as not to disturb others. As you examine how you communicate with your loved ones, colleagues, friends, and as a community, can you see the effect your words and actions might be having?

6. Don’t gossip.

While many people enjoy gossiping, they may not be aware of the impact it can have on the person being talked about and, ultimately, themselves. It would be wise to pause, think before speaking about what we want to say, and ask ourselves how we mean it. How even conversely would we like to hear it? What do you hope to achieve? This will help determine how it is heard.

7. Be present.

While you’re multi-tasking, you may feel overwhelmed by too many big and small things happening throughout the day; you may find yourself sitting on the phone for hours waiting for a service representative to answer, or on the computer because you are too tired to be productive or prefer passive entertainment. It’s easy to lose focus and forget what your goal is. You may just need to remind yourself along the way what it is and evaluate how you can achieve it and if your expectations are realistic!

8. Step out of your comfort zone and do something nice for someone else.

Go out of your way to try and anticipate what others might need or want, and see if you can help make it happen. The sheer amount of hessed (kindness) that surrounds us is truly amazing. People here open their homes, hearts and wallets in a way that should make us all burst with pride. Add to this our nationwide response to disasters around the world.

Hopefully, these serve as a reminder of everything you’ll want to pay for as you act as a role model for the next generation. Teaching your children how important it is to take care of each other is one of the best gifts anyone can give. What you offer doesn’t have to be huge. It has to come with a generous attitude and a smile. You might be surprised how much this in itself is appreciated.

9. Let things go.

It’s so easy to get bogged down and stressed by issues that are now past and in many ways no longer relevant. Since they’ve already happened and there’s nothing you can do about them, your job is to move forward. Remember, you can only be in control of what you can be in control of. This is a reminder to live in the present. When you do this effectively, you realize that for the most part you are actually fine right now.

10. Don’t procrastinate.

It’s so easy to put things off, hoping we don’t have to deal with them at all. Even a comment like “I’ll be happy when…” implies that you’re waiting. Time is precious and that time is now.

While the above tips won’t entirely cure our collective malaise, they can definitely help reduce stress, fatigue, exhaustion, and feelings of being overwhelmed. You are asked to be a giver as you interact with others. This can help each of us become more sensitively in tune with those around us, which will in turn strengthen us in these not so easy times.

The writer is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in Ra’anana and author of Life’s Journey: Exploring Relationships – Resolving Conflicts. Since 2000 he has written on psychology in the Jerusalem Post. ludman@netvision.net.il; www.drbatyaludman.com

#ways #deal #feeling #overwhelmed

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