Tag Archives: overwhelmed

Combat Stress, Meet New Friends, and Reduce Isolation by Giving Back This Holiday Season

By Jennifer Scott, www.spiritfinder.org

xmas

Do you often choose feel stressed and anxious over the holidays? Purchasing and wrapping gifts, worrying about money, planning and attending parties, preparing meals, decorating, and more leave many people choosing to overwhelm, exhaust, stress, and even depress in an attempt to cope. If stressing, depressing, or anxietying are getting you down this year, why not a take a different approach and volunteer. Here are just a few compelling reasons to consider volunteering as a way to beat the holiday stress while giving back and improving your Mental Health & Happiness.

Volunteering Cultivates Social Skills Development

If spending time alone over the holidays leaves you feeling down and out, volunteering is the perfect fix. Offering plenty of opportunities for socialization, volunteering with a charity that has meaning to you will help you meet new people with similar interests.

Donating your time and energy to people or animals in need can help you overcome the challenges of meeting new people by connecting you with others who are working toward the same goal. Volunteering can even help people who are shy or otherwise struggle with social situations become more comfortable around new people by providing a common ground for initiating conversations.

Gain Professional Experience through Volunteerism

In addition to social skills development, volunteering can also provide networking opportunities that could benefit you professionally. If you’re volunteering for an organization in the same field as your ideal career, you might connect with leaders in the field who can help you land a coveted role in your chosen field.

At the very least, it serves as a valuable resume-booster that can help you advance in your current company or explore new opportunities. So, if finances are a source of stress for you around the holidays, volunteering your time won’t cost you a thing, but it might help you land a better-paying job.

You Can Choose a Cause Close to Your Heart

There are ample ways to donate your time and energy to the greater good this holiday season, meaning that you can choose a cause that’s close to your heart, making the experience all the more meaningful. If a friend or loved one has been given the gift of life thanks to blood donations, consider finding a local blood drive and donating blood in honor of them.

Maybe you’ve benefited from the love and companionship of a service dog, and have a desire to help the animal community. There are thousands of animal shelters all over the country always in need of volunteers to help raise funds and help care for the animals, as well as supplies such as food, treats, and cat litter. If you enjoy spending time with older adults, volunteer to take therapy animals for visits to your local senior living communities.

Volunteering Keeps You Busy

With so many volunteer needs during the holiday season, you can easily fill up your holiday calendar and take your mind off of your stress with plans to help people in need. If you’re not typically a social butterfly who has dozens of invitations to every holiday gathering in a 50-mile radius, there’s no reason to spend a single evening home alone when there are so many ways to get out and about in your community while helping others in need.

Anyone can keep their social calendar filled with meaningful activities by volunteering to help prepare meals for the homeless, offering companionship to homebound seniors, or spending time with older adults at a local senior center or senior living community. Socialization is crucial for the wellbeing of older adults, so these activities are mutually beneficial.

Volunteering helps to put meaning back into the season for those who feel stressed and exhausted, lonely, or depressed over the holidays. From meeting new people and staying busy, offering opportunities for socialization and networking, volunteering provides many benefits, but nothing beats the feel-good vibes you get from doing something selfless for someone in need.

Is it “Being Overwhelmed” or “Choosing” to be Overwhelmed?

By Sue Tomaszewski

It’s become an ongoing joke over the last months with me saying that I’ve just been too overwhelmed to write this post on “Being Overwhelmed”.

The more I’ve considered how many times I’ve heard other people reject taking on one more thing due to being too overwhelmed while others do manage to accept the challenge, the more I wonder about Quality World Pictures, Perceived World Information, and Total Behaviors.

I’ve now come to terms with the “choices ” I’ve made. No matter how overwhelmed I perceived myself to be I did choose to devote time to those things that either seemed more “urgent” or perhaps more “need satisfying”:

  • work assignments that had time deadlines with consequences I wasn’t willing to face if not completed.
  • a friend who was very ill and who has since died, whom I wanted to spend time with and support her husband, as well.
  • even being sure I kept up with my “Words with Friends”, Facebook, and email communications.
  • And, hate to admit it, but also making sure I did watch ALL the “Breaking Bad” and “Downton Abby” episodes.

overwhelmed

Yes, my choices to “balance” perceptions of “overwhelmedness” were behaviors that helped me maintain my QW picture of a competent, responsible person who is a devoted friend who enjoys fun and communication with others. Supposing also that even my TV choices reflect more intense story lines, as I am committed to follow-through!

But, please note, my choices were also actions that were already part of my organized behavior system. During this time, I now realize, even when “Words with Friends” was “too challenging”, I would communicate with my “friends” that I was just too busy to play.

My new reflection is that I DID CHOOSE to be overwhelmed and did opt for actions that were, to some extent challenging, but still part of a repertoire of behaviors that I already possessed. I did DID choose NOT to engage in behaviors that I perceived as more demanding, more new, needing more effort.

I am pleased to say , that WRITING, might NOW also be a behavior that has been added as a new organized behavior still developing as I work to continue being simply “whelmed”.