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Finding solace when life overwhelms you

What to do when you have too much to do and not enough time
Taking a break is necessary when life gets overwhelming. (Photo credit: Joe deSousa)

Elvenia Gray-Sandiford

Have you ever had one of those days when everything seems to go amiss? When your to-do list seems never-ending, and there aren’t enough hours in the day to check off all the items? Well, you’re not alone. Most of us have found ourselves in the whirlwind of life, trying to balance family, work, and various responsibilities.

Sometimes, a restless night’s sleep and mounting tension can set the tone for a day that spirals out of control. As the hours tick by, each task takes longer than anticipated, throwing our well-laid plans for the day off course. We find ourselves overwhelmed, struggling to keep up with the demands of parenting, managing household chores, work, and the other things that fill our day.

In our quest to regain a sense of control, even a seemingly “quick” grocery store visit can quickly turn into a source of frustration, thanks to unexpectedly long waits. As the sun dips below the horizon and the burdens of an unfinished day weigh on our shoulders, we find ourselves contemplating how to salvage what remains.

When life becomes overwhelming, whether due to family-related issues or simply the challenges of daily existence, I’ve discovered a simple yet effective way to regain composure.

In moments of overwhelm, I reclaim tranquility amidst the chaos by preparing a comforting cup of tea and finding a cozy spot to relax. Wrapped in a snug blanket, I cradle the warm mug in my hands, finding solace in its comforting embrace.

Setting a timer for five minutes, I close my eyes and focus on my breath. Starting with expressions of gratitude and thanksgiving, I offer a brief prayer. This practise realigns my mindset towards positivity, emphasizing the sensation of being grounded and firmly connected to the present moment.

With each exhale, I release accumulated worry and stress, freeing myself from the burdens that have gathered throughout the day. Fully present in my body, I grant myself the freedom to release external chaos and discover peace.

For those navigating being overwhelmed with young children demanding constant attention, finding a peaceful moment becomes more challenging. In such scenarios, even a brief five-minute escape to the toilet or a cozy corner can serve as a momentary respite. While physically tending to the needs of the little ones, the act of setting an intention for a brief mental reset can still provide a moment of relief. Stepping outside into the crisp, fresh air and taking a few deep breaths may help to ground you in the moment.

The key lies in acknowledging limitations and finding small ways to infuse moments of calm into the chaos. It may seem counterintuitive to let go of our agendas for a five-minute self-love break, yet the rewards are immeasurable.

Life can be unpredictable, and we all encounter moments of overwhelming stress, but I encourage you to think about what you do for yourself when you feel overwhelmed.

Finding solace and calm amidst the chaos is crucial for our well-being. Take a moment for yourself and experience the power of a few minutes of self-care in the face of a day of overwhelm.