So you’ve come from a Place of Yes (thanks a lot, Bethenny Frankel) one too many times. Don’t panic! Use these four strategies to stay afloat and in tact through jam-packed weeks.
1: Trim what you can
When you feel you’re being pulled in too many directions at once, bailing on an obligation or two can seem intimidating. Thoughts of external judgment creep in. But if I don’t do x,y or z, so and so will think I’m a, b, or c! Keeping your word is important, but we’re all only human. Think of the times a friend has had to cancel on you. If they don’t do it every day, chances are you understand. If there’s a social function or obligation you feel too worn down to attend and it can be easily rescheduled, consider politely asking for a rain check. While it’s never good to be flaky, self-care is essential.
2: Slow it down
If you must do it all (ha! good luck) try to be mindful of each thing you do instead of mentally skipping ahead. When we feel overwhelmed, it can be easy to start thinking of the next obligation or task during the present one. But try to take one thing at a time. Know that whatever’s coming next will arrive and no matter how prepared you are for it, it will pass. In the meantime, focus on what you’re doing in the present moment.
3: Call a confidante
The best thing to do when you’re stressed? Say so. It's important to be conscious of dumping all of our problems onto someone else, but if there’s someone you trust and can talk about your schedule with, it can be helpful to simply express that you're feeling the effects of stress and need to talk it out. Tell your confidant that they don’t need to say anything clever, just be there to help you process how you’re feeling.
4: Do something indulgent (yet calming)
When burning the candle at both ends, it can be easy to speed blindly through the day, subconsciously seeking out little rewards for our perseverance—sugary snacks, for example, that keep up our high adrenaline but don’t give us what we REALLY need: time to relax. No matter how busy you are, you need to find at least a few moments to indulge in something in a calming way—not in a hectic way or with rewards that secretly make you feel guilty later on. One way around the sugar cravings that so often creep up when stress is high? Keeping a dark chocolate bar at your desk or work space. Whenever you feel life’s wheels spinning faster than you can keep up with, take five minutes away from all screens and eat a square or two. It’s shown to lower blood pressure, and while you'll still get that feeling of a pleasurable reward, you'll be experiencing it in a calm manner that delivers on what you really need. Other suggestions? Take a half hour to soak in the bath, flip through a visually-pleasing magazine, or even a five minute Pinterest break. Looking at images that you find appealing can relax you--and give you some much needed downtime to prepare for another busy week.