Can you recall your earliest memory of visiting a candy store?  Do you remember colors?  The smells?  The glimmering lights?  The seemingly endless options?  How to choose?!

 

 

 

While this may have been a blissful experience as a child, it’s a slightly different experience as an adult.  When it’s nearly every store you walk into.  When it’s nearly every product you need to purchase.  When you’ve worked all day.  Your tired.  Hungry.  Your feet hurt.  The kids are cranky.  It’s rush hour.  There aren’t enough cashiers.  That sinking feeling in your tired, hungry gut when you realize this store doesn’t even sell that one product you’ve scoured the isles for the 20 minutes looking for and now you have to go to another store.

Yeah, I think we’ve hit on too much of a good thing. 

When you’re leading a busy life, when your’e dealing with emotional overwhelm, when you experience flashbacks, when you’re trying to model how to live a wholesome, healthy life to your children, these are the sort of situations you need to carefully avoid.  But how?  You have to shop.  If nothing else, then for groceries, I can hear your stomach growling from here.

The below tips will help you control the crazies.  These are the exact steps I practiced on a daily basis when my life was at it’s busiest and most stressful.  These steps were so revolutionary for me, I practice them to this day and attribute much of my success to learning to get ahead of the crazy and stop it in it’s tracks.

 

Tips to Avoid Options Overload

Plan ahead all you need to do for the day and in what order you’ll do it.  I would do this at night after the kids were in bed.

No matter what you’re shopping for (groceries, gifts, shoes) have a specific list and stick to it.  No brain power needed AND it helps avoid impulse shopping.

In addition to knowing what you want, know why. If you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for, knowing the ‘why’ may help you decide on a 2nd best or help you decide that the ‘right’ thing is worth waiting for to purchase at a later time.

Practice daily self-care by making sure you are well hydrated, well fed and well rested.  Be sure to have a snack before grocery shopping.

 

Don’t miss the next post, where we take a closer look at Options Overload in modern society and the ensuing stress.  For trauma survivors, even more so than others, mitigating stress is always our first goal.  You have suffered so much- your mind and body have worked so hard and have borne all the burden of other’s sins against you.  Over the coming months we’ll dive even deeper on how to fortify yourself.  You’ll learn tools and techniques to avoid and mitigate stressful situations such as Options Overload by boosting your self-esteem – a win-win.

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