When I’m Overwhelmed, I Let Myself SNAP!

You might get the wrong idea given the title. But let me explain…

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed. And when we do, it’s likely because we are overwhelmed. It could be the weight of any number of things bearing down on us. But that’s the problem, isn’t it? There are lots of those “things” from work to managing a household to parenting to coping with a chronic condition. You get the idea. And I get the feeling—and the frustration.

Ironically enough, I’ve started using a little acronym I originally created to help fourth graders while I teaching years ago. It helped them then, and it’s helped me (tremendously) now. And it’s my hope that it helps you, too.

It’s called “SNAP,” and it stands for:

Stop your brain.

Nothing but nice.

All that you know.

Put it to use.

When we’re overwhelmed, our thoughts—and worries and anxiety—can snowball and bulldoze right over us, making things worse. The trick is to remember to stop. Then, speak nice, kind, encouraging words to yourself. I’ve handled things before, I can do it again. I just need to take one step at a time. I know how to get help when and how I need to. Then, remind yourself of all that you know. (Because the truth is that you know a lot. It may just not feel like it right now.) Finally, put it to use. Take things bit by bit and step by (small) step. That’s how progress is made. And that’s how to regain control.

If you’d like a printable poster of these steps, click here.