(Hug) Hey anon. Here is what I do when I feel overwhelmed.
- Breathe - Seriously, take some deep breaths. In an out - will yourself to find calm. This will both make you feel better and prepare you to take your next steps.
- Assess - Take an objective review of where you are and what needs work. Write it down, try to be objective and focus on the facts. Sometimes I find it isn’t as bad as I think. Even if it is, at least I have a real list to start a plan.
- Plan - Brainstorm different solutions to your issue. Once you have a good list, ask yourself “What is one thing I can do to help make this issue better?” You can either do the easiest thing (so you get a win) or the most important thing (so you can drive improvements.) Both have merit.
- Do - Take the first step toward implementing your plan. Sometimes taking this step makes me feel so much better.
- Check - Periodically check on your progress and adjust as needed.
Let me give you a simplified example, from your note above. This is just example, since I don’t know the details of your situation.
Problem: I can’t afford healthy food.
Breathe - Done. I am calm and ready to fix this.
Assess - I am on a fixed budget of X. That barley covers my expenses. I can get free food from my work, though it isn’t the healthiest. While I could probably go on like this, it makes me feel sick and is holding me back from my fitness goals.
Plan: I have a couple of options:
- Look into the local food bank. It isn’t ideal but this is why they are there. Perhaps I could volunteer to help give back.
- Get a part time job. 15 hours a week would be enough to help me eat healthy. It will be hard with my course load but can be done.
- Stop spending $$ on XYZ. I like it but eating healthy is more important to me.
- Ask my parents for help. I hate to do it, but may need to.
Do: I am going to 3 and 2 for now and see if I can make it work. I will limit my spending on XYZ to $15 week and will start applying for jobs tonight.
Check : 2 weeks later I will take a look at how things have changed and adjust as needed.
This may or may not work for you, but I find using the analytically part of my brain to troubleshoot a problem helps me get out of the emotional overload I feel when I am overwhelmed.
Good luck anon.
P.S. Life is too short for toxic friends. (Hugs)