How to Manage Stress, Anxiety and Overwhelm
The past few weeks have been roller coaster of emotions and shifts in mindset and business. The clocks changed, and I snapped into hyper creative mode. The idea generation and strategy building stage of Mrs Mummypenny goes into overdrive. I am exploring lots of ideas, discounting many as I go along, and then taking on more. This can get overwhelming with all these ideas popping into my head. I am constantly writing things down, creating to-do lists, trying to get ahead.
With this overwhelm, comes stress and anxiety. And there are certain triggers that make it even worse. Caffeine is the worst culprit, and I stopped drinking it five days ago. I found I was needing at least one a day, but even that one would make my mind and heart race.
I often find myself inspired by others, but also comparing myself to others. Why has C got that campaign and I haven’t, when I know we were both in contention. Why can’t I have 50k social media followers like B? It does me no good at all and I need to focus on my own path.
I am not eating well enough and often enough. And I am not drinking enough water (she writes whilst taking a big gulp from her bottle).
My coping Mechanism
My coping mechanisms include, well, writing! I write honest and genuine posts like this to share my story. It helps by getting the thoughts out of my head and onto my laptop and website. And if the post helps one other person, then have achieved a huge amount. To-do lists are my friend, I work my way through the list every day, striking through as I go.
I have a strict exercise routine including a run every week, a personal training session and a HIIT session followed by Yoga on YouTube.
And I read lots of self-help books. I have just bought The Mindfulness Journal by Corinne Sweet, whom I met recently at an event. So far, I have read page 1 and I am impressed so far! I have read Braving the Wilderness by Brian Brown, a brilliant read about facing the unknown and getting to know the real you.
What techniques do my Blogging Colleagues Use?
For me the best way of dealing with stress is getting out on my bike. Road biking is amazing for clearing the mind, but mountain biking is even better if I am particularly stressed. The fear factor as I hurtle along the trails certainly makes me forget all my worries, as I concentrate on just staying on!
Being mindful of my breathing short term. We tend to shallow breathe when we are anxious which gets less oxygen to our brains. So controlled breathing in for 5, hold for 5, out for 7. Longer term it’s about writing lists for me! Getting everything out of my head and looking at the things I CAN change (then prioritising) and accepting the things I can’t.
Having a few days of technology detox – no social media, working on my laptop, and even my phone on occasion – can really help me de-stress. There is so much pressure we put on ourselves nowadays because of that small device in our hands.
I’ve tried lots of things over the years to calm my anxiety, with mixed results. But I’m currently reading Rewire Your Anxious Brain, and I’m finding it hugely helpful. It’s all science based and really helps you understand what’s going on in your brain when you experience anxiety, and the mechanisms that may or not be helpful, depending on the nature of your worry. If you feel like you’ve tried everything, I’d recommend giving this book a read – it’s really helped me see things from a different angle!
Write it down! Reframing negative thoughts that are causing the anxiety can help immensely. Spend some time thinking about what is causing the anxiety. Then think about how you would feel it that problem didn’t exist. Spend some time feeling it and being in that place. Think about what you could do that would help move you to that position of strength right now. (Small change).
Jane from Shoestring Cottage says
This is a hard one for me as I’m struggling with it now. However, yoga kept me sane through my teenage years, when my kids were small, through my divorce and I am sure it will continue to do so. Little and often is the key. Chuck in a bit of meditation and that will help a lot.
This may sound mad – but then nothing that comes from me is likely to be normal. I deal with stress and anxiety – of which I’ve had shedloads recently, and then some – by ‘talking to dead people.’ I’ll clarify that by saying that going to spiritual development sessions and working with meditation, crystal healing and energy healing has helped me to stay calm under the most stressful circumstances, so I can deal with things in the right way without adding to the aggravation. A new, absorbing interest takes my mind off my problems and helps clarify my thought processes and make the right decisions for me. I realise it’s not a solution for everyone, but it works for me.
I am currently having CBT for my anxiety problems which is helping slowly. A recent holiday has told me that I need to start delegating more. I have made it a task to get a cleaner! That already feels like a weight off my shoulders and I haven’t even got one yet!
Please comment below if you have other ideas.
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