As we start another week, what’s on your To Do list? People under stress can often feel that their life has gone into overdrive, and they’ve lost the ability to pull on the handbrake. Time speeds up, adrenaline starts pumping and you can feel breathless before the day gets underway.
Alternatively, you may feel so overwhelmed by the day ahead that it is difficult to make any decisions. You feel exhausted and even simple tasks require enormous amounts of energy to complete. Time for you slows down. The day seems endless whilst the pressure to get stuff done increases. But where do you start? Maybe you even question the point of trying. Unable to face the day, you may look for ways to hide such as going back to bed, doing tasks which are not important or even necessary, or watching endless tv.
When life is stressful, it is important to create some space to breathe, relax and take stock. If your day runs at 90mph your head is down and you lose sight of how far you have come. Pause. Take a deep breath in, hold it for a brief moment, then let it out slowly through your mouth. Feel your shoulders drop and tension in your neck ease. Repeat it again, but hold the ‘in’ breath a little longer this time before you release it. This simple exercise enables you to think more clearly and relaxes your body. Look around and congratulate yourself for anything you have achieved so far, or spend a moment being thankful for what you have. Now drink a glass of water. When we are busy we tend to breathe shallowly and can forget to drink enough water which may leave us drained of energy and feeling headachey, so try to have a pit stop a few times each day – stop, breathe, relax, praise, drink water.
If, on the other hand, you can’t seem to get motivated and the pressure to get on is mounting, try the above exercise, but after your drink of water, think of one task you’d like to complete and see if you can break it down into manageable goals. If you can factor in pit stops along the way, great.
However, if you feel that you need some extra support at this time, I would encourage you to see your GP. Most counsellors take self-referrals so another option is to contact a counsellor.