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Combating the overwhelm.

We all get overwhelmed from time to time, right? I've had points in my life of having frequent breakdowns from feeling completely overwhelmed. It's taken me until relatively recently to really grasp what I can do on a daily basis to prevent the overwhelming breakdown.

As the fall season gets busy and schedules become filled, I thought I would share a few things that help me keep my shit together. (or at least, give the illusion of keeping it all together!)

One of my 2019 New Years resolutions was that I would journal more - some call it daily writing or 'mind dump' - whatever. The point is that I write pretty much every morning. Sometimes it's just to remind myself of that day's schedule or to create a to-do list, but frequently it's to write thoughts, feelings, and experiences while having a few minutes of calm reflection in the morning. - Here are a few beautiful journals to help get you started!

Lists. This might seem like the same thing as journaling but to me its TOTALLY different. Making a list is especially helpful when I have multiple concerts and/or auditions on the horizon. I can make a list for each concert or audition with categories for pieces and where attention is most needed. This helps me tackle each day of practice feeling like I have a clear and actionable plan rather than feeling overwhelmed by a giant stack of music. - I prefer physically making my list with pens and paper but a list or note app could work, too.

Reviewing my calendar is super helpful to me in prioritizing work and time. Literally just looking and taking in what on deck for the day and what's coming up. - I'm an apple girl so iCal works best for me, but you do you!

And a few other helpful activities:

Walks and just generally spending time outdoors. I love walking in Frick Park.

Yoga - I go to I am yoga in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh.

Meditation - I don't currently meditate (although I have, and I should) but my boyfriend swears by the Waking Up meditation app by Sam Harris so I'm going to go ahead and recommend it!

I'm curious. What do you do to stay calm and collected during busy times?

from a walk in Frick Park in the springtime

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Frances Duff
Frances Duff
17 sept. 2019

Responding to the overwhelm - Over the years lots of things have worked and, uh, not worked at other times. How about pretending that I was dong just fine when I was in really bad shape emotionally - not a good idea but sometimes the only option. I love to sit by a lake or waterfall or fast running stream. The water is very soothing and healing for me. Writing is a good meditation too. In the old days when phoning was too expensive, I wrote letters sharing my deepest thoughts. The added reward was that 2 weeks later I would get a lovely letter in response. A few times a year I try to send a handwritten lett…

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