4 Steps to Deal with Overwhelming Stress

You know that you’re getting over-stressed when your four-year-old grabs you by the face and tells you that you need to breathe.I’m totally vague-blogging here…but there have been some “surprises” that have come up at home this week and I’m feeling a little overwhelmed.  At one particularly stressed moment, little Bae took my face in his little hands and started a mindful breathing exercise. For me. Because I was on the verge of losing it.

This last week, old me really wanted to go sit on the floor of our walk-in closet at the back with a bucket of chocolate brownie ice cream. But new me tries to deal with stress head-on. And so, being mindful (as Bae suggested), I came up with a plan that might also help you to deal with stress…so I wrote it down.

[tweetthis]Old me really wanted to go sit in our closet with a bucket of chocolate brownie ice cream. [/tweetthis]

4 Ways to Deal with Stress

Eat. Regular. Meals. 

I’m really bad at this. And I can go either way—I might not feel like eating, and I also might eat the entire contents of my freezer (especially if I have a lot of comfort food stocked). I regularly go without breakfast even on a good day. And I do it knowing that I’m much more likely to suffer from low blood pressure as a result (and have been known to faint). After the car accident, I stress lost 30 lbs in a few weeks, and then very quickly gained it back on a steady diet of chocolate and tacos.

I’m lucky though—Hubs realizes that this is one of my faults. And he makes me eat. Even as simple a thing as making an “extra” piece of toast and placing it in front of me. It gives me the energy I need to tackle the things I need to.


This is another thing I usually suck at. When things get overwhelming, I’m Type A enough that I need to think about the problem all the time to the exclusion of everything else in my life until I solve it. But sometimes there are no easy answers, and vibrating 24 hours a day trying to solve a problem is not the way to live your life.

I’m lucky again here—the weather has finally warmed back up. Instead of staying inside and buzzing all weekend, I got out with my kids, roller blading, bicycle riding, scootering, going to the park and generally forgetting my worries. I even turned my phone off (and wore SANDALS).

Line Up Support

You’re never alone. Never. Everyone has friends, family – someone they can lean on when times get tough. I spent some time talking/texting to a few close friends and my mother this weekend. And Hubs and I had some hushed conversations, and there were lots of hugs. There is nothing in this world that will make you feel better so much as a hug. Hugs are mandatory if you’re under stress.

Find More Help if You Need It

Don’t be afraid to seek out professional help if you need it. And if you’re not sure what kind of help you need, then ask. Talk to your family doctor. Talk to a psychologist. Call a help line. Get a lawyer. Whatever you need—make sure you line it up.

The problem with stress is, sometimes it creeps up on you. Learn to recognize it—and its effects. Both emotional and physical. The only way to combat stress is to recognize it and develop a plan to mitigate it. Hopefully, I’m half-way there now.

How do you deal with stress?


  1. Oh my goodness, about 6 months to the day AFTER you published this, I wrote a very similar post – with similar advice! Guess we were both on to something! (I trust your stress has gotten better since you first published this? mine was occasioned by my broken-and-not-healing foot, which has thank goodness finally mended with surgical help!)

  2. Oh do I get the ‘VIBRATING ALL THE TIME’… and that overwhelm hits me on the regular. Liv, you nailed it with these tips. I am sharing this everywhere. <3

  3. Great advice, Liv. I think #3 and #4 are the hardest to do. It’s always hard to ask for help but so important.

  4. I am really bad at managing stress. the only thing that helps me to calm down is writing. I just write down the stuffs that are irritating me.

  5. I don’t think I deal well with it. I’m a bottler. Yesterday I hit my tipping point and it was almost my four-year-old telling me to breathe! Instead, it was Cassidy. They’re both so cute that it would help either way.

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