The beginning of the school year is always, without a doubt, an overwhelming time of year for me. Of course, it's not the only time of year that brings up the feelings of having no control, the never ending to do list, and the lack of social life because "it needs to get done", but it's a strong reminder to me that these times do happen. Not just in my life, but in everyone's. So, here are some of my tips for keeping the storm at bay when life just gets overwhelming.
1. Gratitude Journaling
Take just two minutes out of your day to write down the things you are grateful for. It's so hard during trying times to not focus on the negative. And truthfully I'm not saying to ignore the negative, because it's good to acknowledge those feelings as well. But if you are writing down things you are grateful for, it helps you to realize that it's not all bad, and this time will work itself out. It's a friendly reminder of all the incredible things you have going for you!
2. Stay Active
Even if it's just for 15 minutes, get yourself outside and go for a walk. This will help endorphins to get moving in your body, causing you to naturally start to feel better. Listen to your favorite podcast or music, or just enjoy the sounds of nature. Even if it's just a couple laps around your house, get up and moving!
3. Take "you" Time
Whatever relaxes YOU, do that. For me it's a bubble bath with a glass of wine. For others, it may be a nap. What you do with your "you" time will most likely make you feel a little icky at first because that annoying to-do list is sitting on that table just staring you in the face. But I promise you, after that "you" time, you're going to feel like you could conquer the world. Chances are, you'll end up getting more of that to-do list done than you would have had you allowed it to take control of you.
Remember when you were a kid and loved to color? I'm reminded every time I tell my students they have the opportunity to color something. Why did we like it so much? Because it made us feel good by allowing us the opportunity to express ourselves. And you know what else? It really doesn't take much brain power. Give your brain the time to relax, too, and you'll notice the calm overtaking your body so quickly.
5. Stay Organized
Even with these last 4 tips, the tasks at hand are NOT going to go away until you do them. Be proactive about the things you need to get done. Write them all out and then prioritize. What NEEDS to be done today? Write that on today's list. What could be put off until tomorrow, or even next week? Pencil those in on the days that would work best. Then use the rest of today's time to focus on you.
Because you are so worth it.