Never-ending bad news, additional pressures at work and even more to juggle at home.
No wonder we're starting to feel overwhelmed. When life becomes unmanageable and situations begin to feel out of your control, it's easy to start feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope.
We all deal with stress and pressure differently, reacting in different ways. Some of us may experience feelings of hopelessness, where as others may be angry or agitated.
We've gathered simple tips and strategies to help you manage the pandemic fatigue and your emotions when overwhelm creeps in.
At the root
Think about what is causing you to feel overwhelmed. Sometimes a visual stress bucket or writing it down can help when it feels impossible to think clearly or focus.
Whatever is triggering your emotions, it's important to understand what the trigger is so you can take steps to address it. It could be financial pressures, additional work loads, your children or partner or even the news.
Know your limits
Sometimes we just have to say no! And that is absolutely fine - particularly if agreeing to too much has made you feel overwhelmed in the first place.
The pandemic has taught us all the importance of kindness, but we can over do it and forget about ourselves. So don't feel pressured to do everything for everyone.
Speaking of limits, the media doesn't have many so you need to set your own. If you're feeling overwhelmed by the never-ending news updates, switch them off. If you do need to check, give yourself a set time each day to read or watch a reliable and trusted source of news.
Taking care of yourself is an act of maintenance and self-preservation. It’s not selfish or unimportant.
Start off small, taking 10 minutes each day to do something just for you and that you enjoy. Over time, you'll start to feel the benefits and recognise the importance of keeping up the habit. Remember to spend your energy intentionally and do what brings you joy.
Trying to relax when you're the furthest thing from it seems like an impossible and unrewarding task. Self-care doesn't have to be all about bubble baths and yoga. Keep it simple and think of the five senses.
Experiment with smells and scents to help you unwind. Tune in and listen to what you can hear on a walk or for a moment stood at your back door. Have a go cooking a new recipe or indulge in food you enjoy. Distractions can be a good thing, particularly when your mind is stuck on your stressful triggers. Looking through memories, reading a good book or just watching the sky can all be relaxing.
Pick your battles
When we're overwhelmed and coping with high levels of stress, we're not always fully in control of our emotions and can be quick to react with anger or irritation. It's important to pick your battles wisely.
You can't control how someone else reacts, but can control your own actions by deciding when it’s time to end a discussion that’s going nowhere (or choosing to not engage in the first place if you know it will only agitate and annoy you).
Even if you don't feel like it, staying connected and in touch with others can help when you feel unable to cope. A problem shared is a problem halved.
You don't need to be in touch everyday, but it's important not to isolate yourself. Just because you are struggling, doesn't mean you are a burden to others.
Sometimes we need to take time to reflect and check the facts. Talking our problems through with others can also help us gain a new perspective on situations and feel less overwhelmed.