How to Survive Stress when Life Becomes Overwhelming

Jul 21, 2018 · 3 min read

Am I going down with the ship?

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Photo by nikko macaspac on Unsplash

Right now I’m struggling with money problems. The problem is that there’s too much going out and not enough coming in. Savings are dwindling fast. I can see how people end up on those hoarding shows. A huge negative event happens in your life like a death or a divorce and you get caught in a downward spiral. Then if you lose your job it’s extremely difficult to get a new one if you’re depressed. Repairs to vehicles or homes might need to be put off because there are no funds to have them done. Chores such as mowing the grass may get ignored until the neighbours start to complain.

When life becomes overwhelming, where do you start?

Here are a few steps that I’m implementing that can help put you back on your path.

1. Remember to Breathe

When I get stressed out, I forget to breathe. Take a deep breath in through your nose, and then exhale from your mouth. Repeat a few times until you calm down. Go ahead and try it now.

Through Scandinavian friends I learned about Wim Hof who is known as the Ice Man. After his wife’s suicide he recovered via a combination of cold therapy, breathing, and commitment. He developed the Wim Hof Method to help you become strong, happy, and healthy. I am following his method and it is helping me.

2. Focus

Just pick one thing a day to get done. Today my son and I will be putting the oak kitchen cabinet doors back on. They were taken down, and refinished a year ago but the project was never completed. The “friend” that I paid to do the work never returned the screws or the handles. The lesson this experience and other similar ones has taught me is that I’ll be hiring professionals from now on. The other day we went to the hardware store and bought new screws and handles. So we’re good to go now.

Yesterday I mowed the lawn — not the whole lawn because it’s huge and takes multiple days. No, I did the section under the apple trees by the driveway because that’s the most visible from the street. Then I did the lawn in front of the porch because I see it every day and when the grass looks unkempt it makes me feel bad. I didn’t mow the backyard. It can’t be seen by anyone else, and I’m not out there often so it doesn’t bother me as much. On another day this week I will tackle just the backyard. After that I’ll have a day to take the electric hedge trimmers to the bane of my existence — blackberries. My house was built where an old farmhouse stood. Blackberries were planted as part of the farm and stretch behind my yard into the orchard. The trouble with blackberries is they are extremely invasive, and they haven’t stayed just where they were planted. But that’s a job for the future and not today.
You can’t fix your world in one day but you can correct a tiny bit of it.

3. Ask for Help

I’m not very good at asking for help because I’m very independent. But I decided that the cupboard doors needed to go on. That takes one person to hold the door firmly while the other one attaches it. So now it’s getting done, and seeing them where they’re supposed to be will make me feel so much better.


Sure there are more ways to alleviate stress but to list them all would just be overwhelming. Little improvements every day will get your life back in order.

Just remember to breathe, focus on completing a single task per day, and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

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