When Life Is Overwhelming - Breathe
"I'm feeling overwhelmed, and I know if I keep going like this, I'm going to fall apart."
These are the words I told one of my professors while seeing her during office hours. It was a Thursday, and life continued to feel too much to handle alone. I was struggling with anxiety, my body felt weak, and all I wanted was to cry. I ended up walking into her office because I didn't know what else to do. And to be honest, I haven't been taking good care of myself lately.
I know that it's been a while since I last wrote a blog post. It's been almost two months. Since August, I have gone through many changes from transferring to a new college, work, appointments, and projects. And, trying to balance everything while having a chronic illness. This resulted in my blog being one of the last priorities on my list.
But, I wanted to encourage you in another way. This came through several guest posts. I'm thankful for all of the guest writers and friends from these past two months. I have felt encouraged and blessed by what each of them shared.
Today, I wanted to share a short but hopefully meaningful message.
Before I share a message on breathing, let me get back to my story. After telling my professor about the increase in anxiety and stress, she encouraged me. This teacher is not like any other ones I've had in the past three years. She is not only very positive, helpful but has been supporting me since the first day I stepped onto campus.
The conversation we had was what I needed. she knew that the only way I could continue on these next few months is by giving myself the grace to know when I should stop. To know when I need to rest instead of finishing an assignment. If it was up to me, I would continue pushing myself until Thanksgiving break. However, considering there is a chronic illness, that is not an option. I was reminded that taking care of myself is a priority.
Encouragement to Those Feeling Overwhelmed
Friend, I don't know where you are today. I'm not aware of the struggles and stress you are facing. I encourage you to give yourself grace, to know when it's time to stop. Maybe that means canceling a plan with a friend or putting off an assignment to rest and recover from the long week. This could also be through self care like writing in your journal, or reading your favorite book.
No matter where you are in your journey, you matter. Your health matters. And feeling stressed or worried can lead you to feel even more exhausted.
Here are a few suggestions that can help you through the week when life is overwhelming.
Focusing on breathing is a great way to let go of the worries and anxiety. We tend to hold in the stress and feelings of being overwhelmed. So instead of rushing into your next task, take a moment to breathe.
Find a quiet and peaceful space. Maybe that is outside or in your bedroom. No matter the location, make sure it's one that you will not get interrupted. I'm not sure about you, but I get distracted easily or continue to think of the other tasks on my list.
Here is something I encourage you to try, I'm going to as well. Today, take 15 minutes, and sit in silence. You can use this time to pray. Also, turn off any notifications from devices. These distractions can make us feel even more overwhelmed. Through having some quiet time, we can focus more on God and less on feeling stressed.
Talking to God and praying is a beautiful way to feel less anxious. I know when I'm overwhelmed, praying helps me to turn my focus way from stress. And leads me to be calmer and have a focus on God, who is always constant. If you are not comfortable doing it alone, ask a friend to pray alongside you. I pray with a friend every day, and this is a blessing to both of us. And if talking out loud or silently is a struggle, write those words in a journal. God knows what is on your heart, and He is with you.
Music To Encourage
Music also helps me when I'm feeling anxious or overwhelmed. Here are some songs to encourage you in this season. You can even share links to music to a friend who may be in a similar journey right now.
Jonny Diaz - Just Breathe - https://youtu.be/hnjeMwxFuBA
Anna Golden - Peace - https://youtu.be/DosBI881Xrg
Sarah Reeves - Anxious - https://youtu.be/df4_KR06HLI
Avril Lavigne - Head Above Water - https://youtu.be/uAbxrtKOr_Q
Mat Kearney - Air I Breathe - https://youtu.be/KVZu9A-dTfA
I hope that today and this week, you will take time to breathe and recover. God knows that we need this. After all, Jesus took time to rest, too.
When life is overwhelming - breathe.