In the week I write this post, I am in a place where I feel exhausted and away from my body. I think part of that is that I still feel exhausted after a very busy social summer. Another is that our kids are adjusting to school and I support them and their emotions through the process. The other reason is that we haven’t set a timetable yet where we will help the kids after school. I have brain fog, I procrastinate, and I am not able to make decisions as quickly as usual.
Sound familiar to anyone else?
When I’m feeling overwhelmed and out like that, there are a few small practices that always help me connect to myself again. Nothing revolutionary, in and of itself, but it’s easy to forget when you’re in that kind of elevated state. I’m sharing it today in the hope that it will be useful to anyone else who feels the same way.
Little Practices That Help When I Feel Overwhelmed
1. Get an ice pack
When I start to panic, I put an ice pack on my chest for a few minutes. Sensation helps me focus on the present moment. There’s just something about this tactile act that helps a lot when I’m panicking or like I’m in full flight mode.
2. Move my body
When I really feel weak or unmotivated, it usually means that I need to move my body. A short, fast walk is often all I need to feel better. Sometimes I’ll get dressed to play without pressure take to go for a run. I’ll start walking, and if running seems like a good thing, I’ll do it, even if it’s only for thirty seconds.
3. Do a body scan
This is a really helpful and deliberate way to check how I feel. Sometimes I will do this in whatever position I am already in – whether I am standing or sitting – and sometimes I will lie down. I mentally examine my body, all the way from my toes to the top of my head, noticing where I’m feeling tight and where there is a locked energy that needs to be released.
4. Create my own copy of the safe space
When I’m feeling overwhelmed, I sometimes like to play classical music and arrange where I am at the moment. I would choose a small space – whether it’s in my office, bedroom or kitchen – and spend a few minutes arranging it. This little act makes me feel like I have a safe space to simply be present.
5. Do whatever makes me feel at home
I’m asking my self, When do I feel at home the most? Then I make an exact list – just my own – and work on one of those things. It could be something as simple as opening a window to feel the connection outside or calling a friend.