Wow, in just a few short weeks it will officially be fall, but that just means hotter weather here in San Diego.  It generally doesn't start to cool off until around November.  I'm going to an outdoor concert this month to see Luke Bryan and I'm really excited about that.  I remember years back I was flying to Nashville and while waiting in the terminal most of his band was waiting there as well.  They all had Luke Bryan stickers on their bags, but this was before he had skyrocketed into superstardom, and they were all traveling with the regular folk.  I would have gotten some autographs if I had known.



Overwhelmed?  There is a Way Out              by Jan Cerasaro

Merriam Webster defines overwhelmed as:  "completely overcome or overpowered by thought or feeling".  I'm sure that we have all been overwhelmed from time to time in our lives and generally, it is short-lived.  However, with the experiences of this past year and a half, many people are overwhelmed on a daily basis.  So it's important to know how to handle it if you find yourself overwhelmed.

First, it's helpful to identify what triggers you to get into a state of overwhelm.  There can be so many different things causing it and sometimes it's a combination of several.  Some of the triggers can be a project deadline, life changes, health concerns, relationships, financial problems, or employment issues. 

The symptoms of overwhelm can be:

  • Physical (nail-biting, clumsiness, neck ache, poor eating habits).
  • Psychological (forgetfulness, rudeness, defensiveness).
  • Social (poor hygiene, inadequate boundaries, substance abuse).
  • Spiritual (loss of sense of purpose, unsure of what’s important, feeling lost and alone). 

Noticing these triggers and symptoms is like setting off the two-minute warning buzzer—giving you time to implement your proven intervention techniques. 

Some Strategies

Write down all the nurturing things you can think of to do when overwhelm starts to set in. They’ll help you reconnect with yourself, to re-collect and re-focus your energy inside. Keep a copy of that list with you and one at home. When you notice your symptoms and/or triggers, use the list to remind yourself of things that have worked in the past. Here are just a few suggestions. Be as creative as you want. 

  • Breathe deeply. Remember the breath’s metaphor:  Breathe in peace; Breathe out stress. 
  • Wrap up in a blanket.  Kids do something similar by carrying around their "Binky".
  • Dance alone, with or without music. Let your body lead the way. 
  • Listen to violin, cello, or piano music. Let the music elicit tears.  When you are overwhelmed crying can be a great release.
  • Light a candle. Maybe it’s one small candle at your work desk or lots of candles around your house. 
  • Watch a funny video. Laughter has a positive effect on brain chemistry. 
  • Ask for help. It’s a gift that allows others the opportunity to give. 
  • Go for a walk. When we move our bodies we change our focus to the movement of our muscles and the overwhelm disappears.
  • Lie on the grass outside. Look up at the clouds and imagine shapes just like when you were little.
  • Go to your room—or your car—and sing to yourself. Or hum quietly as you work. 


Having a practice of any kind can keep you tethered in the present moment for those times when overwhelm wants to scatter your energy to the wind. Regularly repeated, these practices are best cultivated in times when things are going well so that they are there to sustain you when you get overwhelmed. Some examples are: 

  • Say a small prayer, read a motivational book, write down several things you are grateful for, or meditate each morning to start the day. 
  • Write in a journal as fast as you can for 15 minutes first thing in the morning without editing or judging. Pour it all out on paper. 
  • Do the “Sun Salutation” yoga postures every morning after arising. 

Things to do today: 

  1. Inhale     "Breathe in peace"
  2. Exhale    "Breathe out stress"
  3. Inhale     Repeat the above
  4. Exhale
  5. Inhale
  6. Exhale 


One of the practices suggested was to do a yoga Sun Salutation as a way to start your day in a calm and centered fashion.  If you would like to try this I have included a link to a YouTube video showing you the right and wrong ways to do this. 


Well, there is a lot going on with me and my escrow friends in the next few months. 

September 16th I'm doing another Stress Tips session for the San Gabriel Valley Escrow Association.

September 21st I am the speaker for the San Diego County Escrow Association educational meeting.

October 8th and 9th I will be attending the Annual Conference for the California Escrow Association to earn my designation credits and meet up with old friends, this is being held in Costa Mesa, CA.

November 13th I am one of the speakers for the Arizona State Escrow Association Annual Conference being held in Sedona, AZ.

It's a tough life, but somebody's got to do it.  I look forward to continuing my service to the escrow community. 


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Stay safe, healthy, and happy!

Coach Jan 


Jan Cerasaro
When You Control Your Stress: Your Change Can Be Easy