Every so often I feel overwhelmed. Like really! Not just the by the business, or the issues of mothering a twenty-something son from a distance, but by everything. Sometimes I feel like my head is going to explode, if my heart doesn’t first. And although I know logically that I am being irrational, sometimes it’s just hard to see the woods for the trees or your way through them.

To bring myself back to my usual calm self, I often do these things to find inspiration and solutions.

Use motivational quotes and affirmations

It seems that no matter how many times I read or hear my favourite quotes or poems, it resonates with me almost as much as the very first time I heard it. My favourite, really my mantra, is one by Emerson in which he says to be successful in life could be as simple as leaving behind a garden patch, a healthy child or something more global as a redeemed social condition: to know even one life breathed easier because you lived. I like to believe in that idea.

Find inspirational imagery

Sometimes you come across inspiration by seeing something in nature, like a beautiful sunset or beautiful birds or other creatures. Other times you may be inspired by a photograph, an image in a book, or a painting at an art gallery. Sometimes it’s my own random snaps that inspire me or help me refocus on my goal which in turn motivates me to keep working towards it.

Watch motivational videos 

Websites like YouTube offer a plethora of motivational and inspirational videos. Some videos, such as the late Randy Pausch’s poignant “Last Lecture,” https://youtu.be/ji5_MqicxSo has inadvertently inspired millions, even though it was originally intended for a much more personal audience. Also, I watch TEDtalks, where there are thousands of people doing amazing inspirational things and sometimes, were in much less fortunate positions or situations than I am or have ever been.

Read stories of endurance and inspiration

I find them in the strangest places. A few books I downloaded to my kindle for free. Like the one about the actress with an eating disorder, or the black American who started a school in the midst of slavery being abolished, or the African woman who suffered the cruel fate that awaited all the girls of her village but who rose above it & achieved so much. I even have read the short snippets on http://www.marcandangel.com/2010/12/27/101-short-stories-that-will-leave-you-smiling-crying-and-thinking/ and ok most are American, but still inspirational.

Reflect on your own life

Once I reflect on my life and how I overcame some difficult circumstances, I realise that I am capable of overcoming anything once I put my mind to it. Logically stepping it out one step at a time, makes the path through the trees much easier to see and follow.