I. Am. Going. To. Lose. It, I thought, as I pulled into a parking spot at my kids' school that morning after drop-off and bawled my eyes out. Yes, I was that mom you saw with the radio cranked, the tissues flying, and mascara all over her face.
There wasn't one specific thing driving me crazy, but lots of little tiny things piling up: behavioral issues with the kids; my never-ending to-do list; a beloved relative who was annoying me with her comments about an upcoming event; too many church activities that I'd overcommitted our family to.
Life overall was good (everyone was employed, and no major illnesses), but at that moment, the stress of everything brought me to my knees (well, OK, to my steering wheel) as the tears flowed. I call this feeling "death by a thousand toothpicks," and on that particular spring day, those toothpicks felt more like foot-long skewers. When life is overwhelming, all we want is peace. We want our problems to figure themselves out and go away. We want the heavy, dark clouds of our emotions to scatter and to feel the hopeful rays of sunshine again.
The problem is, of course, that's not always possible. Most of our problems can't be fixed with the snap of our fingers. Life is extremely complicated and sometimes even excruciating. True, when we're overwhelmed, it can be helpful to delegate, prioritize, and even let go of some things. Establishing rhythms and habits also streamline life and minimize stress. Personally, I'm a huge fan of working in bulk (freezer meals and monthly grocery shopping are my friends).
There are tons of great resources out there to help with this aspect of stepping out of overwhelm, but that's not this post. Instead, I want to give you a practical in-the-moment mindset tool to help you when you're in the throes of overwhelm and need to calm down and reconnect to God. I want to teach you how to create a mental reframe—a new perspective on your situation that honors the frustration while allowing you to focus on truth and find peace—as an essential life hack for whenever overwhelm and stress come knocking on your door. Even when life feels like it's spinning out of control, the great news is that we always have the power to take control of our perspective and lovingly find relief for negative, anxious thoughts.
Written By:Alicia Michelle