Overwhelm: Practical Strategies for Women Over 50

Show Notes:

Summary:

In this episode of “Aging with Grace and Style,” Valerie dives into feeling overwhelmed, a common experience for many women over 50. Valerie shares her struggles with overwhelm and provides practical tips and strategies to help listeners navigate this challenging stage of life. She discusses the signs and causes of overwhelm and the importance of identifying the source, prioritizing tasks, setting boundaries, asking for help, and scheduling downtime. Valerie also offers valuable insights on using mindfulness apps, digital detox, and breathing exercises to manage overwhelm and stay organized amidst life’s demands.

Timestamps:

00:00 Introducing the concept of overwhelm

01:25 Defining what overwhelm feels like and its causes

02:25 Recognizing signs of overwhelm and sharing a personal story

04:33 Strategies for tackling overwhelm: identifying the source and prioritizing tasks

06:54 More strategies: setting boundaries, asking for help, and taking breaks

08:12 Additional tools and apps to help manage overwhelm

10:39 Changing mindset and overcoming overwhelm

11:41 Finding comfort in knowing you’re not alone in feeling overwhelmed

12:38 Encouraging sharing of personal stories and tips

13:21 Closing remarks and call to action for sharing the episode

Key Takeaways:

  • Recognize the signs and causes of overwhelm and acknowledge when you’re feeling swamped.
  • Identify the sources of overwhelm and prioritize tasks to manage responsibilities effectively.
  • Set boundaries and learn to say no when necessary to avoid adding to your stress.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help or delegate tasks to alleviate the burden of overwhelming responsibilities.
  • Schedule downtime and utilize mindfulness techniques and digital detox to recharge and stay focused during overwhelming times.

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Stay tuned for more inspiring chats, tips, and stories about the midlife journey.

See you soon! Let’s continue to age with grace, style, and a touch of sass.

Transcript
Speaker:

Hey girl. Welcome back today. I want

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to talk about something that a lot of us struggle

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with feeling overwhelmed. Honestly,

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I'm feeling it myself big time

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between travel home projects,

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work. Everything feels like way too much

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right now. I know I'm not alone in this. It's

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like a tidal wave of task, responsibilities

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and changes crashing over us, but don't

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worry, we're in this together. And by the end

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of our time today, I hope that you and me

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both will feel more equipped to navigate these

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waters. So let's dive in.

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What is overwhelm? You know,

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that feeling when there's so much to do

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so many decisions swirling in your head, that it

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feels like you could just short circuit.

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That's overwhelm. It's not just about the to do

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list, but how it makes us feel

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panicked, exhausted. Maybe even like

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you want to give up. It's that sense

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of being swamped by everything you need to do

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so much so that you can't figure out where to start.

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It's like being caught in a storm

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of to dos, expectations, and changes.

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It might come from work, from home renovations,

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which I'm currently up to my neck in family

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commitments or even just the daily

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grind. So why does overwhelm

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happen? Sometimes it's clear.

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Maybe you've got way too much on your plate, like taking on

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new projects at work or volunteering for stuff.

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And, oh, yeah, Deciding to remodel your kitchen.

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Sometimes it's sneaky. Like when you have a bunch

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of smaller tasks that pile up,

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but they weigh on you just as much.

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So what are some signs of overwhelm? Well, again, it can

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sneak up on us signs like being snappier

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than usual, forgetting things, or

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you find yourself, I don't know, just staring into space,

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trying to figure out what to do first,

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or maybe you're procrastinating, avoiding

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all the things that you should be doing, or

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maybe there's sleep troubles. And for me

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skipping workouts, because I just can't fit them

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in. Does this sound familiar?

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These are all signs that

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overwhelm might be getting the best of you.

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So here's a little story from my own life. Currently

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recently I've been traveling for work, overseeing

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a remodel at home and helping with renovations at

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our church. It's been a whirlwind.

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I felt like I was losing control

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and that's a tough pill to swallow for someone who

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likes to be in control. But it got me

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thinking I can't be the only one who's

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feeling this way. And that's why we're here

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today. So sharing this isn't just

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cathartic for me. It's a reminder that

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none of us are alone in these feelings.

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So how do we tackle this beast

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called overwhelm? Here are tips that have helped

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me, and I hope that they help you too. 1st is

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identify the source. So take a moment to list

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what's making you feel overwhelmed. Once you

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know, what's causing the stress, then you can

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start to prioritize and to plan

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next would be to prioritize your task, write

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down everything and decide what needs

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your attention. 1st, try the

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135 rule. So that's pick

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1 big thing, 3

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medium tasks, and

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5 small tasks to tackle today. I know that

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sounds a lot, but think about it. Only one of them is big.

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And then, like I said, 3 medium and 5 small.

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It makes things feel maybe more manageable.

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Not everything is urgent. And I have to remind myself that of

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that quite often, everything is not an

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emergency. A to do list can

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really be your best friend.

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Number 3 would be to set boundaries. It's okay to say

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no. It's okay to turn down requests or

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invitations. If they're going to add to your stress,

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your well-being, it comes first, remember

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time and energy are precious

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and 4 ask for help

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or delegate. So whether it's at

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work at home in volunteer

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activities, don't be afraid to ask for help or

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to delegate tasks to others. This is the

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hardest, probably of everything we're taught we've talked about and we'll talk

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about. This is the hardest one for me. And I can't tell you why

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for whatever reason I don't ask for help. I try

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to do it all myself and that's not a good thing because then I

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get mad that I'm doing it all myself. So it was

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important to ask for help. We don't

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have to do it all. Next would be to

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take breaks or to schedule downtime. This

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might seem counterintuitive when you're swamped,

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but stepping away, even if it's just for a few

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minutes can drastically improve your

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focus and your energy. It's not selfish

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it's necessary. So So I give you an example. I mentioned this whole

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remodel thing, and the most recent thing we did was

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have my office repainted, which, you know, that means taking everything out

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and then putting everything in. It's taken me a few days to get

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it put back together. But most evenings say about

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7. I'm like, I have had enough.

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I am drained because I will have worked all day. Then

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got off work, done some other things, and then start putting the office back together,

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that mentally, I just can't take it anymore. I can't couldn't

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even look at the box and decide where things went.

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So every night I would just step away and say, I got to

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come back to it the next day. So it really

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is necessary to do so.

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Then it's breathe and believe. So

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take a few slow deep breaths.

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I know it sounds simple. But

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deep breathing lowers your stress response.

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Remind yourself that this feeling is temporary.

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And I mean, you'll get through it, stay

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organized, use tools and

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apps to keep track of task and appointments. A

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little organization goes a long way in reducing stress.

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And speaking of tools, here are a few that have

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helped me keep the overwhelm at bay.

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So there are some task management apps like

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Trello and Asana, And

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I think I've mentioned before that I use this structured

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app, which is good for like time boxing. And

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then I use the to do is app,

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which is a good to do list. So I use the to

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do list digital app, but I am still

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about old fashioned. Got to write down the to do list and

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scratch it out off. So I'll make a master to do

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list. And then I will take some things from

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it and put it in my app. So that could be duplication of

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effort, but it works for me. It helps you

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to visualize what your workload is.

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Then there are mindfulness apps such as Headspace

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or calm, or even the one that I

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use most often is insight timer. And they

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can guide you through meditations that help

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to clear your mind. Then there's

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the digital detox. So occasionally

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step away from digital devices. I know today,

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almost everything we do is on a digital device,

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but it's important to step away. The world is

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going to keep spinning and it's going to keep going. I promise.

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So overcoming over overwhelm, you

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know, we can't control everything. Trust

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me. I am definitely still learning this,

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but with projects like our bookstore remodel,

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I had to learn to let go and just focus on the

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things that I can directly influence.

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Our mindset can play a big part in overcoming

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overwhelm. Instead of seeing everything as a

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massive hurdle view, each task as

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a step toward your goal, It might feel like

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a lot right now, but you're strong and

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you're capable of far more than you think. Don't

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be afraid to ask for support and trust that those small

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steps will add up to big progress.

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And if all else fails, girl, go up, grab

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a good glass of wine or a giant piece of

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chocolate. Those never hurt anybody as long

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it's as it's alongside the healthier coping

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strategies, right? Seriously though, you

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are not alone and feeling overwhelmed. And that in

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itself can be kind of comforting. Sometimes

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it's okay to not be okay.

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And there you have it. We all get a little overwhelmed.

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Sometimes it happens, but it's temporary

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and you can get through this. Remember that

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feeling overwhelmed is a signal, not a sentence.

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It's a part of life, but it doesn't define us.

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It's your body and mind telling you to

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pause, to reassess and to

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adjust. We can navigate it. We can

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learn from it and emerge stronger. Remember,

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be kind to yourself, take it step by step and

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don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it.

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If you've got a good story of overcoming overwhelm

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or maybe a tip that works for you, leave me a

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voice message at pod.agingwithgraceandstyle.com,

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and we might share it on the next episode.

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