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With the summer holidays in sight and the warm weather finally finding its way to the UK, it can seem like a chance to take a breath and step away from the day-to-day routine. Or so it would seem. 

But then comes the childcare juggle, the need to find unique and exciting ways to share the holidays with your loved ones, and the pressure to keep everything on track so that we can feel like we’re ‘making the ‘most’ of summer. And it’s not only busy parents, but life, in general, can feel like one constant ‘on’ switch; with 24-hour news, social media showcasing everyone’s highlight reels and a world of chores that never seems to diminish. So it’s no wonder that overwhelm can quickly creep in —summer burnout is real, you know!

So, with that in mind, we’re sharing some simple ways to manage the overwhelm this summer and to help top yourself back up.

Turn off notifications 

One sure-fire way to stress yourself out and feel like you’re achieving nothing is to multi-task or switch frantically between tasks. Replying to an email, answering a call, a quick check of Instagram, throwing on a load of laundry whilst you pack the kids’ lunch - sound familiar?! 

A great way to find focus and to help you stick to what needs to be done is to turn off your notifications and focus only on the task at hand. That way, you won’t be distracted, and you’ll be finished in half the time too! Multitasking is a myth and only works to distract you further. 

Once you’ve nailed that task, reward yourself with a nice coffee, read your favourite magazine, or indulge in something that makes you feel good! You deserve it. 

Perfect scents 

Our olfactory system (the nerves that pass from the nose to the brain) are responsible for regulating our emotion. So with that in mind, soothing scents can greatly impact feelings of overwhelm and help calm the body down when things get a bit much. 

Try lighting an aromatherapy candle or using an essential oil roller on your pulse points. Then, take a nice deep breath and enjoy the calming scent. Use this as a little reset to give you a five-minute breather when it all gets a bit much!  

Breathe deep 

Speaking of breathing, when overwhelm strikes, we can often forget how to breathe. Holding our breath or taking short and shallow breaths only work to make us feel more anxious. Practice breathing deeply into your body as a way of instantly calming yourself. Simple breathing practices release physical and mental tensions and the great thing is, you can do it anywhere!

Ujayyi breathing (ooh-jah-yee) 

Try this relaxing and soothing breath practice. 

1. Sit in a comfortable position. 

2. Inhale through your nose and let your belly expand. 

3. Exhale completely and let your body empty of air. 

4. Next time you inhale, make a sound like you’re fogging up a mirror. 

5. Close your mouth and repeat this on the inhale and the exhale - it will sound like you’re making an ‘ahhhh’ sound with the back of your throat. 

Repeat for 10 rounds. 

This breath practice is a great way to calm your body and nervous system down.

Nurture yourself with nature 

Sometimes the best way to get out of your head is to step into nature. We spend so much of our lives on our phones and devices that we can forget to claim some headspace for ourselves. One of the simplest ways to feel connected is to get out in nature - and the summer is the perfect time.

Try:

- Going for a walk 

- Taking off your shoes and feeling the grass beneath your feet 

- Stopping and smelling a beautiful flower 

- Planting some seeds and feeling the soil between your fingers

- Sitting and listening to the birds whilst sipping on your morning cuppa 

- Watch the sunset or sunrise 

Do less 

When you’re feeling overwhelmed, you can often burn anxious energy. Chasing your tail, taking longer over tasks because your mind isn’t present, and generally using up valuable energy. Don’t worry about what people are doing on social media; on making sure that summer is perfect and that you have summer planned to within an inch of its life. Strip everything back and focus on the absolute essentials. Then make yourself a cup of tea and sit down… everything else really can wait.

Be kind to yourself 

And remember, don’t forget to be kind to yourself. Maybe you have to work, maybe you’re not jetting off on holiday, maybe summer feels a little like winter right now —and that is more than OK. Spending quality time as a family, when you can, is enough and don’t forget to put your own self-care on that list too! 

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