What To Do When You Have More Than You Can Handle

Life is a series of challenges to be managed. In between challenges, life can seem easy, but the next challenge is always on the way. When faced with too many challenges at once, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and to believe that you have more going on in your life than you can handle.

Regardless of the size or the number of challenges you may face, the solution is the same: Ignore those things you can’t influence and spend your time and energy implementing solutions for those things you can influence.

A level head, a solid plan, persistence, and assistance can overcome any challenge life may bring.

Try these strategies to lighten your load:

1. Acknowledge that you’re feeling overwhelmed. There’s nothing to be gained by ignoring your situation. You’ll be in a better position to deal effectively with your life when you acknowledge the reality of the situation. When you recognize that something is wrong, you can begin to do something about it.

2. Take a time out. If you’re at work, slip away for a quick walk. If you have the freedom to do so, try taking a weekend trip. A change of scenery can make the challenges in your life seem more manageable.

3. Make a plan. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s easy to spend too much time focusing on the challenges in your life. While this is a natural response, it leads to feeling even worse! Rather than focusing on your issues, try focusing on solutions.

Imagine your friend was facing the same challenges, what advice would you give to them?

Make a plan to move beyond your current situation. What solutions can you find? How will you implement them?

A simple change of focus can alter your perspective and your mood. Do you think you’ll feel better focusing on your problems or the solutions?

4. Distract yourself for a few hours. Read a good book or take a friend to the movies or a cute cafe. Now is the perfect time to do all the things you usually do to avoid working!

5. Talk to someone. You could speak to a coworker, a friend, family member, or a mental health professional. Who would you call on in your life to talk you down off a ledge? Pick up the phone and include someone else in your current situation.

6. List the good things in your life. Things might be rough at the moment, but there are plenty of things in your life that you can be grateful for. Make a list of them and reflect on the many blessings in your life.

7. Laugh. Few things feel better than laughing. What makes you laugh? Watch a funny video or spend time with someone who always has a way to make you laugh. Who is the funniest person in your life?

8. Get some help. More heads and pairs of hands can get a lot more accomplished than you can all by your lonesome self. Most people are pretty bored and would jump at the chance to help you deal with your drama. Get some help.

You have plenty of options when you think you have more to deal with than you can handle.

Life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. When life becomes especially challenging, feeling overwhelmed can dampen your spirit and hide the best solutions from you.

Admit to yourself that you’re struggling (that’s the first step) and begin looking for solutions. Allow yourself a few distractions when you need them. Reach out to others and avoid trying to solve everything on your own. Soon, you’ll be back on a more enjoyable path.

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Reading More Books in 2019

I decided that right now, I’m going to sit in front of my MacBook Pro and type whatever comes up in my mind. I do this because I know how debilitating perfectionism can be and therefore, allowing myself to just write freely without trying to perfect the structure and flow of the entire post is quite freeing. It’s also good because that way I can actually get stuff DONE.

I’m sitting in my grandparents’ guest bedroom in Northern California, with my phone face up next to my right arm on the desk, Instagram opened. Today’s IGTV video is 74% loaded, after many many attempts to upload the video. The app kept saying “Upload Failed,” to which I responded by tapping “Try Again” – and this happened probably twenty times, if not more.

You would think that this kind of situation would make a person extremely frustrated and upset, but for some reason I was completely fine (not usually like this when it comes to technological issues).

But this evening as I was tapping “Try Again” for what felt like the thousandth time, I was fine, and even quite upbeat and happy. I think the reason for this is that the rest of my day today was what I’d call a “successful” day.

What defines a successful day? Probably depends on the person. But for me, a successful day generally means that I started my day early with a lovely and refreshing morning routine, completed important tasks throughout the day, gave myself enough time to relax and rest in the afternoon (like a 30 minute nap or so), and spending adequate time planning, evaluating, and adjusting my schedule, my short and long term goals, and just my whole life in general.

It also means that I did things that I consider my lifeline: prayer (30 minutes is ideal), meditating (and really just doing nothing), Bible reading, and reading other spiritual and self-help books.

I just started reading High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard (I recently discovered the amount of value he brings to the world and now trust pretty much every word he says). IT’S SO GOOD.

I’ve never considered myself an avid reader, especially since I can actually count with one hand the books (or series of books) I read growing up: Harry Potter (but I never got around to reading the 7th book..), A Series of Unfortunate Events… and I recall reading some Nancy Drew books every so often.

But that was mostly in elementary school, and maybe some of middle school. Once high school hit though, I don’t recall ever reading a book for leisure. I do remember reading enough books for all my high school English classes.

Anyway, my point is that when I say a book is good, it’s usually a pretty big deal. But then again ever since I became obsessed with all things personal development, pretty much every self help book turned into a good book.

Here are some enlightening quotes that struck a chord in me today from High Performance Habits:

“Who are these people, and what’s their secret? They are high performers, and their secret is their habits…With the right training and habits, anyone can become a high performer…”

“What you need is a reliable set of practices for unleashing your greatest abilities. Study high performers and you will see that they have systems built into their days that drive their success. Systems are what separate the pro from the novice…Without systems, you cannot… repeatedly deliver exceptional results. In personal and professional development, these systems and procedures are, ultimately habits.”

“High performance is not achieved by a specific kind of person, but rather by a specific set of practices, which I call high performance habits.”

Anyway, just a few things that stood out to me and gave me renewed hope, all within the first twelve pages of High Performance Habits. I’m suuper stoked to finish the rest of the book!

One of my goals for 2019 is to READ MORE. So please send me your book recommendations and I’ll put it on my To-Read list!

I really really believe that 2019 will be the best year yet, and something just tells me that my life will be drastically different by the end of the year. Maybe it’s just a feeling, but anyway, these motivational people like Brendon Burchard give me much hope and expectation for amazing things to come this year!!

How to Feel Motivated When You’re Feeling Down and Low Energy [PART 2 of 3]

In Part 1 I talked about the first “extreme” way of looking at the issue of lack of motivation. Extreme #1 is all the way on one side of the spectrum, basically saying that if you’re not motivated, suck it up and forget about your feelings. It’s not about the feeling of motivation. It’s about straight up self discipline. Just do it.

So what does Part 2 look like? Now let’s go to the complete opposite side of the spectrum and discuss a much more “forgiving” way of looking at it.

Extreme #2: Mental Health

On the one hand, sure, self discipline is absolutely necessary to accomplish pretty much anything in life. But at a certain point there is the need to look at what it is that is causing the lack of motivation. Sometimes, it may very well be related to one’s mental health, or lack thereof.

Despite all the stigma of mental health problems, this is actually something that is probably more common than we realize. I was personally never too aware of some of these issues until I became victim to a stigmatized illness myself, for lack of better way to say it. I never thought I could experience a “mental illness,” but to my surprise, life happened and depression decided to pay me a nice long visit.

This post is not about me and my experience of depression, but rather to emphasize this often neglected point, that sometimes, the “lazy” person who won’t get his/her act together may very well have the best of intentions in terms of work ethic, but can only fight against the weight of internal imbalances so much before it takes over him/her.

I never understood why it was so difficult for me to get through college, or any other longer term endeavor, when I KNEW 100% that I was NOT a lazy person and had no intention to be lazy. In fact, I am probably one of the most ambitious people I know, to put it plainly. However, I couldn’t understand why my inner ambition and desire to overachieve didn’t manifest itself in my actions. I would try, and try, and try, only to succumb to that invisible weight that always seemed to win in the end.

You don’t have to feel sorry for me at all. I just don’t know how else to make my point more clear. But I would say that if you’ve been having some serious motivational problems over a longer period of time, and you know that you’ve tried your best (or close to your best), you might want to consider paying a visit to your primary care physician to discuss this struggle of yours. What can you lose just by inquiring?

I don’t know too much beyond depression and anxiety (which I’ve also experienced to some extent, but not as much as depression), but the realm of mental health is a vast territory of mysterious things that I don’t even know about or understand. We human beings are rather complex creatures, to say the least.

I do know however, that for someone with depression, having low energy is not uncommon. I’m not a doctor but I know it has something to do with our physical body and the chemical/hormonal stuff going on inside. And a lot of this “stuff” can be treated with just a little pill, or even just a little bit of therapy. Actually, I really believe that everyone in the world can benefit from therapy, because we ALL have deep issues and wounds that we probably aren’t even aware of. Tis true.

So, this second “extreme” approach or view of dealing with motivational lack is a rather forgiving one, and really gives a person the benefit of the doubt. But I am also hesitant about being too forgiving lest people who actually don’t have clinical mental health issues think they can get away with certain kinds of behavior. But, how do we really know what’s going on in a person’s complex soul? Meh. I don’t know. I don’t have all the answers. I just have my experiences.

So Part 1 stresses exercising self discipline, and Part 2 stresses taking care of mental health, both of which I feel are important. But both are also on opposite sides of the same spectrum. Hence, we need to find a way to bring these two points home, perhaps finding a happy medium. Which I guess will bring us to…

Part 3 – “Normal” – whatever normal means..