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Five Ways To Overcome Overwhelm

Life is not without its share of things to be stressed about. However, lately, it has become quite difficult to manage and not feel overwhelmed by them. The COVID-19 pandemic has magnified this even more, reaching those who thought they got things under control as well. Addressing this elephant in the room, Randall Sean and Selina Garcia share the approach they use to coach ourselves through feelings of overwhelm. They break them down in five ways: focusing on the now, self-care, planning ahead, getting organized, and prioritizing. Don't let stress and anxiety get the best of you. Learn how to manage the ways you react to them. Randall and Selina teach you in this very necessary episode, especially in this trying time.

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Five Ways To Overcome Overwhelm

Stress and anxiety are a given in modern life. How you react to it is up to you. Here's the approach we use to coach ourselves through feelings of overwhelm.

In our episode, we will be discussing overwhelm. I don't know if you feel overwhelmed. 

We all are feeling some type of it because we're in the middle of a pandemic.

This pandemic with COVID-19. 

It's hard not to get into.

It's a heavy issue in so many ways. I know that going through the LX3 Open Bible Study Community and the Prayercast.tv, I’ve opened up a channel where people can submit their prayer requests. I’ve got to tell you, it's not only a COVID-19 pandemic, but there's anxiety, depression, overwhelm in so many ways. Moms and dads, for example, their kids are at home and maybe they lost their job and they're homeschooling or trying to work from home with their job, while they're schooling their kids and they still have all the other responsibilities. The possibilities and situations are almost endless. Everyone has found themselves in a different place in this pandemic. What we decided to do for our episode is show you five ways how we like to overcome overwhelm.

Let me start with the scripture that I preached from. It's 1 John 5:4-5, "For everyone born of God overcomes the world." Not just some people or people who are gifted, who are called or who pray every morning but everyone born of God overcomes the world. You can have that peace of mind to know that if you were born of God, if you were born again, if you've given your heart to Christ, you have overcome the world with God. It's not because of something that you've done, but it's because of what He's done. The verse continues. It says, "This is the victory that has overcome the world. Even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the son of God." That verse is so powerful and it speaks so powerfully to me because I know that we can live from a place of victory. I remember I was taking an insurance exam not too long ago when I first started my insurance business.

I remember specifically that I knew I had three attempts to pass this test. The first time, I didn't study that hard and I failed by two points. It's because I went into that test knowing, "If I fail once, it will be fine. I have three total attempts." I then took it a second time, but I didn't even study hard the second time because I only failed by two points. There I am, failing by two points again, a 68. All I needed was a 70 to pass. The third time, I studied so hard. I made flashcards for the first time in my life. I stayed up every night. I read and studied. The next day before I walked into the exam, I knew I was going to pass with flying colors and I did. That's the difference in mindset when we live from a place of victory rather than defeat. The first two times I was already almost defeated like, "It's okay. I might squeeze by and pass the test." The third time was that place of victory. That's powerful.

It sure is because sometimes we get a little too stressed when we are thinking about what the unknown is. A lot of times that when we think too far into that, we stay in that. Living out of victory and not living out of defeat, you're going to overcome whatever you're faced with. The Lord is going to take you over that. He's going to walk you through and you're going to be stronger than you ever thought you were before. I love that. It was a great illustration of overcoming but tell us about point number one.

Focus On The Now

Point number one, focus on the now. One of the ways to overcome overwhelm is to focus on the now. Accept what is happening right now. Focus on what's in front of you, and try not to think of the future. A lot of times we can have this future of the unknown. For me, I'm a futuristic thinker, so the future is always bright for me. It doesn't matter what's going on in my life. If I think of the future, I get super excited. I could be in the worst situation in my life, but the future is always better. Not everyone's minds work like that and sometimes the future can cause overwhelm. It can cause anxiety and a lot of things. I’ve got to tell you, naturally we all have different types of personalities and different strengths.

One of my strengths is optimism. That's why the future always looks bright. Maybe, you are a critical thinker or you do lean towards anxiety. First of all, that's something that we pray about it. Selina and I pray about anxiety all the time and that's okay. We all have our different things, but focusing on the now and focusing on what's in front of you can definitely help. One of the exercises that I've done in the past is to voice out loud. “I am here right now,” and then I say what I'm doing. I remember specifically when I was working crazy hours when we first got married and I would hold Cole, which sparked the show by the way, you would tell me all these things that I needed to work on. One of them was being here now. 

I said it in a loving way.

I have no shame in admitting it, which is why this show sparks so much in many people. I remember, I listened to an audiobook or another podcast and they said, “To verbalize where you're at, just say I am here right now,” and I would say, “Holding Cole.” It sounds so simple, but all my thoughts, everything that I was thinking of in the future went away and I was able to say, “I'm here right now holding my son.” It hit me in such a different way that I was able to practice that and repeat that over and over and be present more often. It ended up becoming more natural to me because, to be honest, it was hard for me to live in the moment. At times, I still struggle but this is one exercise that helps me to focus on the now.

Self-Care

Especially right now with what's going on in our world. It's hard to not think of the future. I feel like in a way, even though it's a little scary, some people have lost their jobs, some people are going through a lot or have lost people to this terrible virus. The best thing is that we're able to come together as families and it's the best time to live in the now. I'm going to go and take us to number two, self-care which I did some with a foot mask. 

I hope to do self-care, which was wife care for me. Self-care for you, wife care for me. 

There's a lot of time that we're here at home. A lot of us like myself are homeschooling too as well. A lot of the time, it's the wife and mom's job. Daddy is working hard and I'm totally fine with that but it's like, "Mommy," even when daddy is sitting right there. You have to admit like he's sitting right here and I'm about to sit on the piano and play a little bit because I've been learning, but then they're like, "Mommy, can you give me a water?" I'm like, "Your daddy is sitting in the kitchen. You can ask your daddy." There's a lot of pressure, a lot of things that we’ve got to take care of. We’ve got to make dinner. Even daddy's like my brother Sam, he cooks all the meals in the house. There's a lot of pressure and it's important for you to do something that you enjoy at the end of the day. Once you put the kids to bed, once you've taken the dog out, whatever you have to do, take that time to sit down and enjoy your life.

I read a book and I'm going to share how I was feeling a little weird about it because I was like, "Should I be reading this book? I feel bad that it's a fiction book and I'm not reading the Bible." I want to let you all know that we talked about this and it's okay to read regular books because I was feeling like, “Shouldn’t I like be sitting down reading the Bible?” Read something that you like and the Bible because I'm going to get to that. Read something that you enjoy, watch your favorite movie, FaceTime all your friends or get on Zoom call with your family. The biggest thing that I could suggest for your self-care is time with the Lord. If you do not have time with the Lord, your self-care is not where it needs to be. I can tell a huge difference in the way I treat situations throughout the day when I have my time with the Lord in the morning versus when I don't.

If I don't get up in the morning and do my devotionals or read His word, my whole day is cranky. I can be a cranky person. I'm admitting like, "I need my cup of Jesus in the morning." One of the verses that has helped me because I have struggled with anxiety and be completely vulnerable is from Psalms 61:2. It says, "From the ends of the Earth, I will cry to you. When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I." That brings peace to know that my God is fighting for me and I'm not in this alone but it is my responsibility to spend that time with Him. Number one, self-care is to spend time with the Lord. It's a real huge big one. 

Amen to that. I love that Psalm. I could imagine David writing that. The last part, “Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” It’s almost like he's climbing a mountain or something. He's saying that next level, “I want to go to that higher heights. I don't want to think my low thoughts like your thoughts are higher than my thoughts. Get me to that point. If I can get my thoughts to that point where I can see what you see, God, then my anxiety and overwhelm goes away because I can see things the way that You see things.”

We're talking about not looking ahead at the future of the unknown because it's a little scary. What gives me peace too is to think that I see what's right in front of me but the Lord sees the whole picture. He sees what's going to happen and He's for us. 

Plan Ahead

Number three is plan ahead. I feel like I'm good and bad at this when I want to be. 

You're really good when you have an idea. He finished his Master's in nine months. 

Overcome Overwhelm:  If you've given your heart to Christ, you have overcome the road with God.

 

I'm very strategic. I can plan ahead and I can get everything knocked out that I really want to get knocked out. When I'm taking a trip, I do not plan ahead. I pack the morning I leave or the night before or something like that. I pick and choose when I'm good at this but planning ahead is something that can help you overcome overwhelm. Even though I might pack last minute, I still do get overwhelmed because I'm like, "I should have done it before." I still haven't learned my lesson. Planning ahead like you do for vacations, you have your checklist and you have everything all planned out. It’s super organized. I feel a lot more comfortable with it. When you pack, I'm not overwhelmed. I’ve got to tell you.

It’s because I pack extra. I plan ahead for the extra.

If I pack, I'm always like, "I think I forgot something." If you pack, I'm like, "I know I have extra of everything." 

Get Organized

That happened when you were traveling. You were about to walk out and I said, "Do you have your charger?" You were like, "I forgot my charger." I'm going to take us, which goes hand-in-hand to number four, get organized. He went for a number one, focused on the now. Two, self-care. Three, plan ahead and now four, get organized. This is huge for anxiety and feeling overwhelmed because I notice it and I notice it even in our living room. It's a mess with toys. It makes me already get into a crazy mood. It's going to be everything you need for homeschooling and working at home. For all those parents out there who are working from home plus homeschooling their kids, you are amazing. You can get through this. Do not worry about them. They're going to be great next year. The teachers are taught to do this to get those kids where they need to be, but they're going to be fine so don't stress about that.

The biggest thing is tell them to read every single day and do their math facts and they'll be fine but get organized. That's the biggest thing. Create a space for your child to have their school time and they have to know that this is not playtime, it's school time. That will be the place that they will be learning and they understand that, so get organized. Another thing is get organized with your household stuff. I have a funny story. I've been big about organizing and cleaning out our closets. About a few years ago, Randall got home from work and had a huge bag of stuff from our closet. It was because I saw this show on Netflix called Marie Kondo. You look through everything that you own and if it doesn't spark joy in your life, you put it in a bag and give it to someone who might spark joy in their life. I went through Randall’s closet and I was like, "This doesn’t spark joy in my life, so I'm going to put it in the bag." It was a lot of fun. 

It's a great lesson in business as well. That's how I unsubscribe from emails. I say, "Does this email give me joy?" I unsubscribe. 

All the sales bring me joy. I have not unsubscribed from all the sales that are going on. 

Too much in my mailbox overwhelms me. 

That's a big one, when I don't check my email and he sees my phone.

That's another way to overcome overwhelm. 

Prioritize

Get organized, it's so hard to live in a life where everything's clutter. I know that when we organize the house and our space, it organizes our thoughts. It helps us, where you're going to bring us into this next part, which is number five. It helps us what?

To prioritize. I love this one. You already know the story I'm going to tell. I've always been a huge reader. Selina shared about how she felt bad reading fiction books because I read nonfiction books. There's nothing wrong with fiction books. About several years ago, I came home and I was like, "Babe, I finished my 40th book of the year." My goal was to read one book a week for the whole year, which are 52 books. It was mid-year June, I was ahead. By the way, some of them were audiobooks, but regardless. Selina looks at me and she knew what I was reading. She was always keeping tabs. I was always telling her about what I'm reading and what amazing information I was learning. She looks at me and she goes, "How many of those books were on marriage or parenting?" She just mic dropped on me big time. She does that a lot. The books were everything that could grow my business. I figured if I'm spending that much time growing my business and I'm not spending that time trying to grow my marriage, be a better husband, a better father, a better spiritual leader, growing myself spiritually, then what am I doing?

If you would've asked me at that point in my life, "What are your priorities?" I would have said, "God, my wife, my kids, my health and then work." Number five is work but my time delegation and where I was delegating where I was growing in life was a complete opposite. It was work number 1, work number 2, work number 3. Everything else fell by the wayside. Here's the thing, there's nothing wrong with self-improvement, reading books on business and stuff like that. You’ve got to get your priorities straight. What I started doing is I started living according to my list. If God is number one, what does that mean in my day? He's going to be the first person I talk to in the morning.

I'm going to spend time with Him first. If my wife is number two, what am I going to do to make her number two and so forth and so on? I’ve got to say since that day, our marriage has been completely different. There are times where we get off track but we know. We feel it and we get right back to where we need to be especially in our spiritual life, our marriage and as parents. It changed everything the way we do things. I always say this, "Don't prioritize your schedule, just don't do it." Don't have your schedule and then see what you're going to do first. Schedule your priorities. That's what changed for me in everything. I started scheduling my priorities. Selina knows that I have a morning routine, which I don't follow 100% of the time. My morning routine consists of making sure I'm spending time with God, making sure I'm writing Selina some love notes or something that can touch her heart. 

I'm remembering. He's done so well with that and I sometimes envy him because I'm like, "That looks so awesome. I wish I could do that." He used to be so detailed that he would schedule when he brushed his teeth. Do you remember that schedule? 

I would schedule every five minutes of the day.

I love that. It's important to do that. Don't you agree with what's going on and being home all the time? If you don't prioritize, I can't even imagine how much you would fall off or lose that. Even the blessing that being home with the kids is. Randall gets up in the morning and does all he needs to do. We have this agreement like he's going to be working at home, I try not to bother him unless I have an emergency or I need help. It's been so nice to have him home working here but he prioritizes so nicely that he's done by 5:00. He's able to come and enjoy that time with us. It's been good because you're able to get everything done and be with us. 

Here's the difference. One of the things I’ve always liked to do is write down my top three goals that I like for the day. The problem with writing down your top three goals for the day is that they're not prioritized or they're not scheduled in your calendar. I could say, I want to finish a school assignment, I want to finish this project at work. I want to read two chapters of a book or something like that. Those are my three goals for the day, but where do they fit on the calendar? If you're working 9:00 to 5:00, what time slots are you giving them? Another thing is that changed everything for me. They’re on my calendar now, so I know when I'm doing an assignment or project. It’s scheduling time with your family. One of the things that we did a few years ago, it's not on our calendar any more specifically, but after we put the kids to bed, we had a time slot that’s set. It’s a quiet time with Selina and Randy. We knew that after we put the kids to bed, that was a date night every night. It's a habit I would say.

Listening to you speak, I need to do that a little bit better with my time with the kids because sometimes I get a little crazy overboard with the house. I try to clean, do all the laundry, and I feel like I am missing out on those moments with the kids being home. I shared this with you. I was like, "I need to be more on their level and not worry about all the mess in the house at that moment." There are times like, "Right here, let's clean, let's spend time with this child." All of our children require one-on-one attention. You might have children who need the exact same thing, sharing love language is quality time. I know that we can always do better at that. Our time with each other has always been awesome. 

Make sure of your priority list. Mine is God, wife, kids, health and work. Make sure that your priority list matches your calendar. First, put down your most important priorities in your calendar and then schedule your other tasks around it. That's the main thing. This was a good five points and five ways to overcome overwhelm. You did most of the work here on this one. 

I almost named it Coroverwhelmed, but I didn't.

 Overcome Overwhelm: If you do not have time with the Lord, your self-care is not where it needs to be.

 

I want to remind you that you can go to ChristianLeadership.net and you can see all of the shows. Some which are already there, some which we’ll be adding very soon. You can also see the LX3 Bible Study, so you can increase your faith. Prayercast.tv six days a week, Monday through Saturday at 7:30 AM. We do prayercasts. The prayercast is we pray for your needs. You can submit those. We do praise reports and we dissect scripture together. It's always fun. We started scheduling other Christian leaders, other pastors and worship leaders. It's going to be great. Join us on Prayercast, LX3 Bible Study or all of the other things on ChristianLeadership.net. Thank you so much for joining us for another episode. We're always blessed to be here. Do you have anything else to add?

I don't, surprisingly. We love you all and we're excited to be back. 

We’re signing off.

Peace and blessings.

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