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8 Healthy Ways to Cope When You Feel Overwhelmed

Whether you’ve just started a brand new business, are trying to stick with your wellness routine amidst stressful life changes or working around the clock to balance different facets of your life, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed from time to time. In fact, burnout and sicknesses such as adrenal fatigue have become increasingly common among women. Not sure how to deal when the world feels like it’s spinning out of control? Try these 8 tips from Breanne Kallonen, Naturopathic Medicine professional and Doula.

Photo courtesy of Breanne Kallonen

8 Healthy Ways to Cope When You Feel Overwhelmed

  1. 1. Maintain a positive mindset. Breanne swears by looking at the glass as half full, even when things feel chaotic or out of control. “This creates a much different feeling than always seeing the negative side of a situation,” she explains. Having trouble seeing the silver lining? She suggests setting positive intentions each day rather than simply wishing for something.
  2. 2. Adjust your breath. Feel a panic coming on? Pause for a moment, and adjust your breath. “Take a slow steady breath while slowly counting 1-2-3-4,” Breanne suggests. “Pause at the top and hold your breath for a slow count of 1-2-3-4. Next, release the breath, exhaling slowly and smoothly for a count of 1-2-3-4. Now empty your lungs completely, holding the breath out for 1-2-3-4.” Repeat a few times and you’ll likely feel some much needed relief.
  3. 3. Laugh! We bet you’ve heard that laughter is the best medicine—and Breanne confirms that she believes it’s true! “Laughter increases your endorphins, relieves stress and increases oxygen delivery to your body,” she notes. “Try to find humor in everyday events, or just turn on a funny video.” We love it!
  4. 4. Move more. Science says that regular exercise brings heaps of healthy benefits, and Breanne reminds us that moving enough to have a positive impact on your body and mind doesn’t require much. “Take a walk with your family, or find a short workout routine you enjoy.” Not up for a crazy Crossfit class or intense cycling class? Spare yourself the guilt and get outside to decompress.
  5. 5. Find the good around you. It’s easy to forget how much great stuff is happening around you when you feel overwhelmed. “No matter how hard your current situation is, you can try to learn something,” Breanne notes. “Trust that good times are ahead, and cherish the everyday moments happening right now.”
  6. 6. Remember that less is more. Feelings like FOMO or a need to keep up with people around you can exacerbate stress and feelings of being overwhelmed. When things feel like to much, do your best to simplify so you can create actionable ways to sort out your stressors. “Its definitely a ‘disease’ of modern society to never be content with what we have or keep reaching for more,” Breanne acknowledges. “Try and find ways to simplify your life and be content with what you have.”
  7. 7. Take care of yourself. Though staying healthy definitely won’t prevent feelings of being overwhelmed, being well-rested and having energy to problem solve or take action can help you navigate tough situations. “Actively nourish your body with whole foods,” Breanne suggests. “Sit down and eat slowly.” Self-care is critical, even in stressful times where others need your help.
  8. 8. Practice gratitude. “Think of something you’re thankful for every day,” Breanne advises. “You can keep a journal, or simply carve out a few minutes to be still and reflect.” She tells us that practicing gratitude will open your eyes to how much good is happening. “Of course this doesn’t mean that life is perfect—hardships, challenges and letdowns still exist. But, when you can see life as a whole, you’ll be able to pinpoint some things to feel good about.” How’s that for a powerful dose of perspective?

Want more tips for living W.E.L.L.? Check out 3 easy ways to love yourself more and our wellness tips from experts in the field.

About The Author

Krista Gray

Krista Gray

Krista Gray is a web producer and freelance writer who lives in San Francisco. When she's not working with clients through her company GoldSquare, she loves reading, traveling and learning new things.