I’ve felt super overwhelmed lately. To the point of almost having a panic attack the other day. I have this problem where I take on way too many things for a few reasons – 1. I have a problem saying no. 2. I like to be busy. 3. I like having a lot of projects to distract me. 4. I really don’t know how to say no.
BUT it’s okay. I’ve got an awesome mini-road trip coming up this weekend with a friend (including some live music!) and I’ve decided to take a break from technology and the internet for the whole weekend – NO Twitter, NO Facebook, NO blog (sorry, guys!), NO Instagram (Okay, maybe one or two pictures), etc. I need the break for a lot of reasons and I’m really looking forward to it. I’m bringing at least two books with me, ones that I want to read FOR ME and not ARCs, no books I should read by a certain date, just ones I’ve been looking forward to for a while.
The whole point of telling you all this is to start a conversation with you. I know I’m not the only one who gets overwhelmed; this post isn’t a pity party. This point is meant to see what you do to deal with feelings of anxiety or your to do list that feels like it’s going to smother you and give you a few examples for how I deal. What do you do to calm yourself down, to focus on what you have to do and get it done?
Here are a few things that I like to do that (sometimes) help me stop overthinking, freaking out, panicking, giving up:
- Read. This is a given. But I mean read FOR ME. Like a lot of bloggers, I have a list of ARCs that I’ve requested/been given and sometimes I just want to NOT read them. So I pick up a book I want to read and read it. I try not to think about how I’m going to review it (which has become a problem for me recently – WHY do I do this??). I lose myself in this new world and take a mental road trip, if you will. Sorry that was cheesy.
- Listen to music. This is another given for me. However, I have to fit the music I’m listening to to the mood I’m in. Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of pop stuff because anything dark or with lyrics that hit too close to home (read: twenty one pilots – one of my two favorite bands but not something I’ve been able to listen to for about two weeks). I’ve been listening to Vinyl Theatre’s Electrogram a lot. I’ve also created a playlist on my computer called “Get out of your f*cking funk” that has some Eric Hutchinson, Fall Out Boy, Uptown Funk, One Direction (I don’t even care if you judge me), Bleachers, and a bunch of other peppy songs. Any recommendations?
- TRAVEL. I know a lot of wanderers will be able to get this: I feel a constant restlessness when I’m not going places. Traveling – driving, experiencing new places, seeing amazing sights, meeting fun new people, all of it – is something that settles me. It calms me on the inside and centers me. Some people won’t understand this at all and that’s okay. But for me, travel is a necessity. I’ve just downloaded and printed Sarah Shott’s Adventure Generator to take with me on my trip – a choose your own adventure type thing for the real world! I’m so excited to use it. I think I’ll probably share where the Adventure Generator takes me.
- Sleep. I tend to not sleep a lot when I have too many things going on. I stay up way too late working on whatever it is and then, because I’m a morning person/I’ve got an internal alarm clock that wakes me up around 6 a.m. every day, I wake up without being fully rested. Sometimes I just have to tell myself that I need sleep and the project will wait until tomorrow.
- Breathe some fresh air. I work inside at the library and since I have an online job, I spend most of my time inside. This is really horrible for me but I somehow forget that all the time. Then one day I’ll realize I can barely breathe because it feels so stuffy wherever I am, and I’ll do #1 outside. It’s amazing how much better I feel immediately when I go outside and breathe some fresh air. I’ll sit on my porch and read – even if it’s only for thirty minutes. I feel so much better.
So now I want to hear from you – How do you combat the stress? What do you do that helps you breathe better and not panic? Or if your one of the lucky ones who doesn’t freak out or knows how to say no when you have too many projects already, how do you keep track of what you have to do? Let’s talk for real in the comments!