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5 Steps to Overcome Overwhelm

Am I the Only One? Hope for the Overwhelmed!

Overwhelm comes, oftentimes, when I forget how much I’m loved and accepted by my Heavenly Father just the way I am. I forget life is about relationship with Jesus, not perfection. I have this list to live up to and feel so much pressure!

Where do we get that from? Who says we have to? Well, the devil, the accuser, that’s who. And, I help him too much of the time.

Here are 5 “emergency” steps, things you can do now, until you get to the hospital. 1st responder help. More help for prevention and long-term recovery is below!

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5 Steps to Overcome Overwhelm

1

Step 1 – Remember

Remember that God is in control and He will take care of you.

2

Step 2 – Relax

Relax, and be calm. Thank my God, as I close my eyes and take a deep breath. Breathe in deeply for a count of 4 through my nose, then out through my mouth slowly for a count of 8. Repeat. Physically relax my muscles beginning with my head and face, all the way down to my toes.

3

Step 3 – Restructure

Allow for a LOT of margin in your life (no matter WHAT it TAKES!) Say no. Cancel plans. Stay home. Have unplanned, unstructured time, in every day. Leave things undone. Yes, undone. For a time.

4

Step 4 – Retreat

Stop the expectations. Push back (Retreat) from the table of activity. Pull away from people and groups. And, especially pull away from Social Media! Before you totally crack. And, draw near to God.

5

Step 5 – Reset

Reset your thinking. The world will not end if that thing does not get done, that event is not attended, that person is not helped by you–now. When there are too many responsibilities, requests for your time and energy, even recreational activities, overwhelm is almost certain.

Overwhelmed meaning doesn’t really have to be explained. It’s not a sin, friend. Am I the only one crying out to God for help? No, you’re not the only one. Thank the Lord, there’s help!

Am I the Only One?

Sometimes I wonder. Am I the only one? I beat myself up with the “shoulds”–you should be able to spin all the plates easily – – you should have no problem doing everything–you should have a perfectly picked-up house, a healthy meal on the table every night, every stitch of laundry put away all the time–you should be like “her”–you should cook and clean and behave perfectly and have a smile on your face all the time!

The American Psychological Association defines: “Stress is often described as a feeling of being overwhelmed, worried or run-down. … By definitionstress is any uncomfortable “emotional experience accompanied by predictable biochemical, physiological and behavioral changes.” That’s the world’s definition. We need a solution, so, what does God say?

What to do when you feel overwhelmed as a Christian

Do you feel overwhelmed?

What to Do When You Are Overwhelmed

God, our Loving Heavenly Father says, in Psalm 61:1-2, through the Psalmist,

“Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee,

when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”

Overwhelm is Inevitable, But There Is Hope

It doesn’t say IF I am ever overwhelmed. It says WHEN. What to do? Go to God and cry out to Him, literally. We will feel overwhelmed. Jesus was completely exhausted, falling asleep in the back of a boat, sleeping right through a violent storm. Matthew 8:24: “And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep.”

A source to help you learn how to homeschool in the midst of the hard things?

Homeschooling and Overwhelmed? Go read the “How to Homeschool in the Midst of the Hard Things Series” here

Jesus was surrounded by people wanting something from Him, and pushing on Him. He and his disciples were so busy, and pressed upon, they didn’t have a chance to eat!

Mark 6:31: “And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.”

Jesus was just like you, mom of small children, when your kids are so needy, and hang onto you all the time. Perhaps you’re trying to Homeschool in the midst of the overwhelm, too. Turn to Jesus. He knows what you’re going through.

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Steps to Help You Overcome the Overwhelm

Overwhelm will come. What to do, when it does, is the question. And, how to avoid it, as much as possible.

​​​​Here are 10 Steps to Overcome Overwhelm. Long-term recovery, prevention, the treatment plan. Not a list to beat yourself up with, just to try to aim for.

10 steps To Help You Overcome the Overwhelm as a Christian

How to Overcome Feeling Overwhelmed!

  • Go to bed at night at a decent time, as much as is possible. Overwhelm comes more readily, when exhausted.
  • Get up at the same time each morning. Your circadian rhythm works best with a regular bedtime and waking time, and you’ll feel better, and not so out of sorts.
  • Have a regular morning routine. We all thrive on routine.
  • Spend solid time, if not a long time, in God’s Word everyday. Jesus said, in John 15:, “Abide in Me.” We must abide in Christ.In order that we might have abundant joy and bear fruit. “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” John 15:11 Jesus said in John 15:5, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” Your time in God’s Word may not always be long, but connect with God, and abide in Christ throughout your day. I am reading through the Bible in a year following a schedule, and I listen to the Bible, throughout the day, on Bible Gateway, to saturate my mind with His Word, His thoughts, and abide in Christ. I also listen to sermons by John MacArthur on Grace to You. It helps.
  • Spend solid time in prayer every day. Pray for one another. I have a schedule of who I pray for each day, including three families from our church each week, a Prayer Ministry that I haven’t been as regular with as I would have liked, but I’m working on it. We need to pray for one another and ask for prayer, when overwhelmed.
  • Keep your thoughts under control and set your mind on things above.

Set Your Mind On Things Above

The devil wants to take my thoughts and run with them, to accuse me, to get me on a pity party, to get me to focus on what I can complain about, to think about what is negative, to think bad thoughts about others, to be offended, and he’d like to distort my thinking to think on what is false. You and I must obey the command, in Colossians 3 (KJV) to, “Set your affections on things above.” Which, means, your thoughts. I rein in, not without effort, my thoughts, to think on what is true and good and honest and pure, of good report, and praiseworthy. Philippians 4:8 And determine to be thankful.

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8

  • Do the next thing. Not in a hurried or harried way, but Keep. Going. Do a little, at least, but do the next thing. But, lower expectations of yourself right now. It’s ok.
  • Be at peace. This is by your will. And, presenting your requests and supplications to God, with thanksgiving. Philippians 4:6 and John 15:9 “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.” You’re loved! 
  • Laugh. Do something you love. Enjoy today. Smile at yourself in the mirror. Or cry. It’s ok, it’s ok, it’s ok.
  • Trust God as you cry out to Him for help, strength, comfort, direction, wisdom, filling and satisfying. He is there, and He WILL help you!

Am i the only one guilty of being overwhelmed as a Christian?

You Are Not Alone in Feeling Overwhelmed!

Remember, Relax, Restructure, Retreat & Reset

I work at these 5 steps. Especially when overwhelmed, or on the verge of it. Give all my effort to it. Remember that God is in control. And, you’re LOVED just the way you are. (Too much to leave you that way, though.) Relax, and be calm. Allow for a LOT of margin (no matter WHAT it TAKES!).

Margin is the empty padding of time around the activities and busyness of my day; unplanned, unstructured time, which is much like the necessary white space around the words and sentences on a page. This requires a Reset of your thinking. The world will not end if that thing does not get done, that event is not attended, that person is not helped. When there are too many requests for your time and energy and not enough margin, overwhelm is certain. It’s ok to say No. Here are those 5 steps again.

Image result for god is in control quotes

1

Step 1 – Remember

Remember that God is in control and He will take care of you.

2

Step 2 – Relax

Relax, and be calm. Thank my God, as I close my eyes and take a deep breath. Breathe in deeply for a count of 4 through my nose, then out through my mouth slowly for a count of 8. Repeat. Physically relax my muscles beginning with my head and face, all the way down to my toes.

3

Step 3 – Restructure

Allow for a LOT of margin in my life (no matter WHAT it TAKES!) Say no. Cancel plans. Stay home. Have unplanned, unstructured time, in every day. Leave things undone. For a time.

4

Step 4 – Retreat

I stop the expectations. I push back (Retreat) from the table of activity. Pull away from people and groups. And, especially pull away from social media! Before I totally crack. And, draw near to God.

5

Step 5 – Reset

Reset my thinking. The world will not end if that thing does not get done, that event is not attended, that person is not helped by me–now. When there are too many responsibilities, requests for my time and energy, even recreational activities, overwhelm is almost certain.

When overwhelmed, you must lessen the busyness, Restructure your Schedule, and ease up on the pressure you put on yourself! You’re heading to the hospital after a crash. I am the one who puts the most pressure on me. It’s not God. It’s not my husband. It’s not anyone else, but me.

So, stop the expectations. Push back (Retreat) from the table of activity. Pull away from people and groups. Temporarily. And, especially pull away from Social Media! Before you totally crack. Give yourself grace and mercy.

Allow yourself to “not care,” to listen to God Alone. Not to look at what anyone else is doing. Not to CARE what anyone else is doing. In a Biblical way, to fully concentrate on an Audience of One.

Only God’s opinion of you matters. He instructs us in His Word to help each other, to hold each other’s arms up at times like this. I must be willing to humble myself to ask a friend to pray.

We Need to Pray for One Another.

Overwhelm is a Signal, a Symptom

When overwhelm comes, it’s a signal we pushed too hard, went beyond our resources. Didn’t listen when God said go to bed, slow down, it doesn’t have to be done. Or it doesn’t have to be done now.

For me, maybe I also ate the wrong food. I didn’t get enough exercise. I didn’t get outside and get fresh air.

God is Faithful to His Promises

One of my favorite verses in the whole Bible is Psalm 107:9, “He satisfies the longing soul and fills the hungry soul with good things.”

He. promises. to Satisfy and Fill. Period. And, if there’s one thing I know about God, it’s that He’s Faithful to His promises.

“He satisfies the longing soul and fills the hungry soul with good things.”

Psalm 107:9 (KJV)

So, am I the Only One who is guilty of being overwhelmed. No, everyone experiences overwhelm sometimes, even Jesus. Guilty? No. It’s not a sin, though I may have sinned by not obeying His promptings, which resulted in my being overwhelmed. Can I get out? Yes. With God’s help. Remember, Relax, Retreat, Restructure, Reset. God loves you and is there to help. Go to Him.

Wendy Gunn, Christian Blogger for Your Home For God

P.S. Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram, and watch my Facebook live videos. Follow my Homemaking, Homeschooling and Growing Your Spiritual Life Boards on Pinterest, where you’ll find tons of great information and things to help you in your home and family. Remember, I’m here for you. Reach out to me with any questions, problems or prayer requests you may have. I’m praying for you!

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