It seems like everyone lately is struggling with some sort of nervous system overwhelm or overstimulation, and rightfully so. The world is loud. Our minds can easily get cluttered like tabs on our computer or our never-ending laundry basket. Technology is evolving faster than our brains can keep up with, I mean I can’t even keep my apps updated.
The default is to stay stuck, to accept that stress, anxiety and overwhelm has to rule our days…and let’s be honest, for me, some days with 3 small children it does. Lately, it’s almost as if it’s fashionable to be stressed and overstimulated.
BUT…You were also made for so much more. Your body and brain want to thrive. Your body wants to serve you. God promises a “fullness of life.”
What if we said: NO, STOP, right here right now. What if we stopped talking about decreasing our stress and actually jumped into it?
Remember, it takes strength to go against the norm. Each intentional step to support your nervous system in an overstimulated world is a victory. Victories can be small or large, but celebrate your victories.
Let’s acknowledge the drain and stress of modern times on our nervous system and start doing something about it. Are you ready?
Download our free guide Reset Your Nervous System to get 30 quick and easy ways to regulate in real-life moments.
Set aside 15 minutes each day to organize your thoughts, priorities and tasks.
Organization doesn’t magically happen, it’s up to you to go through the process. I adore my Golden Coil planner because you can personalize the planner to fit your needs. But I also have to set aside time to get the swirling thoughts out of my head. Something about the physical motion of pen to paper that instantly releases so much overwhelm.
I get into a flow of taking time on Sunday to plan out my week (both professionally and personally, start my day by opening my planner rather than social media or my email inbox and after I get the kids into bed, I open my planner briefly to see what didn’t get done so it’s the top priority for the next day. If you find your mind racing at night, pull out your planner or paper to reflect on your current day—this releases your thoughts rather than allowing them to keep circulating.
Eat more, not less.
As modern women, we often glorify the “I haven’t eaten all day” or “I had coffee for breakfast” line. Your body and brain need the building blocks to move through life’s stressors and rationalize an appropriate response—nutrient dense foods are the foundational building blocks.
Don’t overcomplicate it—fresh fruit, sourdough with butter, spoonful of Chocolate Hazelnut Butter, a handful of nuts, a few slices of cheese can all quickly fuel your body.
Create a 2 minute flow for life’s overwhelming moments.
This is your bread and butter for those real life intense moments of stress, toddler meltdowns or when your mind is racing. What can you do in 2 minutes or less to shift away from the overwhelm and stop the spiral downward? This won’t prevent the overwhelm but it will give you a temporary pause to be more rational and less reactive.
Here’s what I like to do:
- Immediately change locations or walk away temporarily.
- Run cold water over my hands.
- Stretch (depending on where you are) or do calf raises or anything to get your blood flowing a bit.
- Drink cool water.
- Microdose CBD—I take nano CBD daily in the morning, but love using Hemp Flower Extract for those intense moments. This is absorbed sublingually so it calms instantly.
Ask yourself: what can I do right now? Then celebrate that victory.
Never ending to-dos fuel overwhelm, and let’s be real…is the list ever really done? I’m often too paralyzed with overwhelm to even begin. Ask yourself, what can I choose to do right now, fully complete it and then celebrate that victory. The other day, I was so excited that I finally had caught up on all the laundry only to find another bucket—I quickly pivoted from being discouraged to celebrating what I had accomplished and it gave me a boost of energy and confidence.
What you can do right now might even mean ignoring your to-do list and taking a bath or power nap. Rest is a productive activity!
Use your hands to create.
There’s something about using your hands, the rhythmic motion, that is so grounding. Chopping vegetables, kneading bread dough, putting together a puzzle, even blow drying your hair. Expressive writing can be another powerful tool to support your nervous system.
On days when I feel really overwhelmed and like I don’t have the time, I always prioritize making dinner. Despite the dishes to clean and little ones under foot, I always feel refreshed and grounded.
Close the tabs on your computer.
Enough said, just do it. I’m the worst at this but always feel so free with a fresh screen. Your brain wasn’t designed to keep track of 100 tabs at the same time.
Throw away 10 things.
This could be something as simple as a gum wrapper or those old socks that have a hole in them. This is something I love doing daily and it always makes me feel so accomplished—rather than focusing on all I didn’t get done, I can quickly think, wow I got that done and my house feels less cluttered. Clutter is one of the biggest contributors to overstimulation.
Set a timer and do this as a family. Challenge your kids to walk around and find 5-10 things (depending on their age) to get rid of—I have them put them in a pile so I can make sure they are actually meant for the trash! 😉
Get outside—the effects of ‘forest bathing’ are real.
It hasn’t been ‘till the past few decades that we spend the majority of our days inside—think about it, our ancestors used to sleep outside, work outside in the fields and even bathe outside in a river. As humans, we were designed to be in nature and fresh air—nature grounds us, energizes us, calms stress hormones like adrenaline, lowers blood pressure and even increases serotonin, one of the feel good hormones.
Whenever you feel your nervous system overwhelm and start to bubble up, get outside, even if it’s only for a few minutes!
These tools will smooth out the ups and downs of life so that the moments don’t seem so overwhelming or intense. We all know that the overstimulation of modern times isn’t changing anytime soon, but you can use these tools to stay balanced! What is your favorite way to regulate your nervous system?