Preventing Overwhelm in Unpredictable Times

Preventing Overwhelm in Unpredictable Times

The world can be a very overwhelming place. Violence, weather, cultural shifts, economic struggles, political fallouts, and other stresses and catastrophes take place seemingly every day. This is especially true in 2020, where a global pandemic has added untold misery and destruction to an already overburdened world.

If you’re feeling beat up, or even beaten, by the unpredictable times that we live in, you’re not alone. Fortunately, there are many small-yet-significant steps that you can take to maintain a healthy perspective and cultivate a positive attitude in your own life — even amid so much pain and fear.

Take Some Time to Unplug, Regularly

Unplugging is an incredible tool. Modern technology serves many good and wonderful purposes, but it can also be a very overwhelming burden at times. Things like regular negative news notifications and harmful conversations over social media can feed pessimism.

A simple solution is to unplug from it all. Plan time to turn off all of your devices and avoid screens for hours, days, or even a week at a time. You can use these periods to focus on introspection and pursue quality interactions with your loved ones.

Unplugging doesn’t just have to be about your tech, either. You can also use it during stressful seasons of life. For instance, if you’re overwhelmed by the holiday bustle, you can create reasonable boundaries that allow you to unplug and take breaks between events to recuperate.

Practice Mindfulness and Optimism

Often the way you feel about the world around you is contingent not only on your surroundings but the way that you perceive them. Of course, there will always be pain and suffering, but obsessing and focusing on it in an unhealthy and unproductive manner will do more harm than good.

Instead, try to focus on valuable mental skills, such as practising mindfulness and optimism.

Mindfulness focuses on an awareness of how your body and mind are responding to your circumstances and surroundings. Optimism takes things a step further by using that awareness to focus on the goodness that can be found in everyday situations.

Practice being aware of your mental and physical condition and consciously choosing to focus on the good. That way, you can foster a sense of peace and serenity not just for yourself but also for those around you.

Find Eco- and Social-Distance-Friendly Hobbies

Sometimes the best way to avoid being overwhelmed is to distract yourself for a bit.

Of course, it should be pointed out that distraction is a double-edged sword, and you must not use it to avoid stressful situations that can be remedied. However, when you’re faced with unchangeable stressors and situations that cannot be changed, distraction can be a useful tool.

Ideally, you should look for distractions that do two things:

  • Provide you with a distinct benefit
  • Have a positive outcome

For the former, if you try to take up a hobby like hiking or using a metal detector to go geocaching, it can help you get up and moving, which can increase endorphins and decrease stress levels.

For the latter, if you look for activities like gardening or creating items out of recycled material, it can help you maintain a sense of responsibility and positivity toward the larger world that you live in.

Socialise with Others in Acceptable Ways

Finally, remember that reaching out to and interacting with others can be an effective way to avoid those overwhelming feelings. Socialisation with other human beings can boost your mood, increase your positivity, and help you process feelings and emotions.

If you’re going to socialize during a pandemic, though, you should assess the spectrum of risk in each scenario by:

  • Understanding how the virus is currently being transmitted in your local community.
  • Considering if anyone in the group is at high risk
  • Evaluating how social-distance-friendly or -unfriendly each activity is

If you follow protocol and consider others, socialising can be an excellent way to avoid feeling stressed out.

Successfully Combating Overwhelm

Stress is a natural thing, and countless stressors in everyone’s life are completely out of their control. What isn’t out of their control is the ability to seek refuge in activities such as

  • Unplugging.
  • Practising mindfulness and optimism.
  • Finding constructive hobbies.
  • Socializing in acceptable ways.

If you can find tools like these to release the stress, you’ll be able to stay positive and healthy in your body, mind, and soul no matter what the future may hold.

About the Author

Jori Hamilton is an experienced writer residing in the Northwestern U.S.

She covers a wide range of topics but takes a particular interest in covering topics related to health and wellness, including mental health awareness and addiction education.

You can follow Jori and learn more about her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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