What to Do if You're Feeling Overwhelmed Right Now

"And the most you can ever do is the best you can"
- Bill Withers

*Orignally published: 10/16/2020

The other day, I told someone how I'm a bit cynical right now. With everything going on in this world and country, I'm having more WTF moments than usual. Since I don't want to operate like that, I'm taking control of it and taking intentional steps to avoid feeling overwhelmed. You can take them too.

Connecting with nature
First, I am making sure I am connecting with nature every day. Every morning when I take my dog for a walk, I make sure I take him through a local park. While I'm there, I notice nature and its beauty. I connect with it, allowing myself to elevate with it. At the very least, I stand on my back deck and take it all in.

After a short break because of messy weather, I walked through one of my favorite parks by a river. Some trees fell across different pathways, and it reminded me of how resilient they are, how present. They don't fuss and worry over what's going on around them.

People do. And where does it get us?

Nature provides living examples of presence, the divine in action. When you see that and take it in, you can't be cynical.

Finding joy all the time
When I'm in work mode, I'm hyper-focused. My dog watches me and gets on his back, baring his belly with a grin on his face. He reminds me to take moments to be happy, connected.

When I'm outside, I notice the assorted animals in my neighborhood. I named two of them because they are characters whose personalities jump out whenever I see them.

Cleopatra Jones is a beautiful feral cat who likes a lynx. She walks around the neighborhood like she owns it. Jiminy is the squawking squirrel who makes as much noise as cricket, hence the name.  As far as I can tell, he likes the sound of his own voice. I never heard a squirrel make so much noise in my life.

Why the hell did I name random animals in the neighborhood? They make me laugh when I see them. Grabbing a laugh whenever you can is never a bad idea.

Backing away from the news
We live in historic times right now. Like many of us, I pay attention to the pandemic and the shitshow that is American politics.

It's good to be informed, but when you're flipping off the TV screen when you see certain
politicians, you need a break.

I'm keeping my finger on the pulse of what's happening, but I realized I don't have to put my whole hand on it.

Staying connected
Between everyday life and social distancing, it's easy to lose touch with people. I make sure I send random texts and pick up the phone, something I didn't always do. I set aside time to talk to people who make me feel good.

Staying connected to myself and committing to my self-care is where I focus my attention no matter what. My exercise and my meditation are daily activities I make sure I make time for.

Paying attention to the things that keep me healthy and sane are my best tools to stay away from feeling overwhelmed.

Find yours.

Until next time... look behind and beyond the veil...