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Hitting Reset: My Trip to Europe & How it Helped Me Manage My Anxiety

Let’s talk about anxiety and feeling overwhelmed. Let's face it, life can get pretty darn overwhelming sometimes, am I right? As an emotional intelligence coach, I’m all about helping you navigate life, but truth be told, sometimes the coach needs a reset too.

Recently, I felt the familiar grip of anxiety tightening. Deadlines loomed, my to-do list seemed endless, and that constant feeling of being rushed was draining the joy out of everything. Luckily for me, I already had a month-long trip planned to Europe. So, I decided to use this trip to reset. 

This wasn’t just a vacation for sightseeing and drinking wine (although that was definitely part of it). This was a reset trip. A chance to escape the usual stressors and truly re-evaluate everything on my plate. Why was I feeling so overwhelmed? What changes could I make to live a life with more ease and joy? This was a deliberate effort to hit pause, take a step back, and reevaluate everything that's been causing me to feel like I'm on a never-ending treadmill of stress and anxiety.

black girl laying on rocks near ocean in Ibiza, Spain
Ibiza, Spain

I was living my best life in Europe. But guess what? Slowing down and letting go of the daily grind wasn’t as easy as I thought. Even lying and listening to the water crash against the rocks in Ibiza, I couldn’t help but feel like I should be doing more. I didn’t know what I thought I should be doing, but I kind of felt guilty doing nothing (I know I’m not the only one who has felt like this). 

It took a couple of weeks, but I was finally able to fully be present and appreciate the uniqueness of each city I visited, and thankfully by the time I got to picturesque Porto. (which may just be my new favorite city, if you haven’t been, put it on your list). 

black woman sitting on ledge admiring bordeaux france
Saint Emilion, Bordeaux, France

I spent a lot of time thinking about what makes me feel overwhelmed and anxious and things I can do when I return home to maintain the peace I had while traveling. To manage my anxiety, I realized that I needed a way to combat always feeling in a rush and like I don’t have time for everything I need to get done.  

Here are the three key takeaways that are helping me hit the brakes and embrace a slower pace:

  1. Self-Care Isn't Selfish: This trip was a powerful reminder that taking care of myself isn't a luxury, it's a necessity. Inspired by the Gworls on TikTok (you know who you are!), I established a new skincare routine and now pamper myself with relaxing showers. I have no idea what hyaluronic acid and niacinamide do or if it’s going to work for me, but we’ll see. Not only does partaking in my skincare routine twice a day help me to slow down, but a little TLC goes a long way in reducing stress and boosting my mood (I’m determined to be one of the gworls with glass skin).

black woman admiring douro valley
Douro Valley, Portugal

2. Schedule Like a Boss Lady: My therapist once asked me if I make a to-do list or wish list every day. After I blank stared at him for a few minutes, I sheepishly admitted that I created wish lists. Meaning I write a list of things I wish I could get done in a day, but realistically, I can’t. Creating a realistic schedule that factors in all my responsibilities (work, coaching, parents, and yes, even self-care!) helps me feel more in control and less overwhelmed.

Black woman in Porto, Portugal
Porto, Portugal

3. Planning Prevents Panic: This one might surprise you, but planning ahead actually helps me slow down. Instead of scrambling last minute, I'm setting monthly goals and planning them out in advance. This allows me to prioritize tasks, delegate when possible, and most importantly, avoid the anxiety of feeling like I'm constantly behind.

Feeling overwhelmed and anxious is a real struggle, but you don't have to go it alone. These are just a few of the ways I'm managing my own anxiety, and I'd love to help you find what works for you. If you're ready to ditch the overwhelm and embrace a life with more ease and joy, let's chat! I'm currently accepting new clients for coaching.

In the meantime, share how you manage feeling overwhelmed and anxious in the comments below!


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