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As the mother of a newborn and a toddler trying to run a business during a pandemic, my life has been a little hectic lately! From the lack of sleep and the constant need to pay close attention to taking care of 2 little humans, on top of our normal everyday tasks for the business, I know what it feels like to be a bit overwhelmed.

You may have experienced the feeling of being overwhelmed lately for different reasons. Maybe it’s from the uncertainty of the economy, or from being nervous about this virus, or just from the lack of social interaction? Either way, when I feel overtired and start to feel the “overwhelm” coming on, I have found that I am able to have some control over changing the way that I feel.

I wanted to share some simple tips that have helped to make all the difference for me when I’ve felt a little overwhelmed. Here is what I do:

1) I take a deep breath

It’s amazing what a big, deep breath can do for your overall physiology and mindset. I stop what I’m doing, close my eyes, take a huge inhale to try to fill my lungs as much as possible, and exhale slowly. GAME CHANGER.

I used to do these breathing exercises in college before performing (I was a voice major back in the day!), and it would help me to feel a lot less nervous. I also used to teach this to my team of students when I mentored college kids who were starting to feel overwhelmed with balancing school, studying, work and their personal lives. Your body feels so much better after a concentrated, full-bellied deep breath!

2) I drink a big glass water

I have found myself not drinking as much water as I would like to lately, and I notice that when I drink a big glass of water, my body feels instantly refreshed and less stressed out! Are you drinking enough water?

3) I move my body

I haven’t been cleared to return to my normal exercise routine yet because I’m only 3 weeks postpartum, however I have found that I instantly feel better when we simply take our family walks! Sitting around and watching TV or scrolling to my phone can add to that feeling of overwhelm. Get up and move your body- it’ll make a world of a difference!

4) I focus more on positivity than negativity

If I really start to feel overwhelmed or stress, I try to be conscious of what I’m focusing on or allowing to have my energy. There are certain things I can’t control of course, like how well Quinn decides to sleep through the night, or if nursing is going well with her, or if Chloe decides to play in the dog’s water bowl, however I CAN control certain things that can add to the overwhelm.

For example, when I watch the news for too long or read the comment threads of someone’s politically charged social media post, it tends to heighten my level of anxiety! However, when I FaceTime with a loved one or a friend who makes me feel good, or when I listen to music that I love, or just drop what I’m doing to play peek-a-boo with Chloe, it changes things around immediately.

5) I journal or make a gratitude list

I talk about this often, but it really is hard to feel super overwhelmed when I’m thinking of the things I am grateful for! When the overwhelm seems to be taking over, take 2 minutes to jot down 5-10 things that you are grateful for in that very moment. It doesn’t need to be deeply thought out, it can be as simple as “I’m grateful for this coffee that I’m drinking” or and “I’m grateful that I still have a job” or “I’m grateful for the beautiful spring flowers that are blooming in my yard”.

Let me know if any of these simple tips resonate with you, I would love to hear about it!

— Mandy Webb, KW Fitness Co-Owner