This month is the launch of the monthly “Ask Andrea” and I'm so excited! If you have a burning question you'd like advice on, contact me. Your name will not be used unless you say it's okay, but you can use a fake name or your initials if you'd like.

Today I have 3 questions:

Q: Do you know of any reasonably priced companies that will convert my many VHS tapes to DVD?  They have like dance recitals and skits with friends and stuff.  Please do let me know.  Hey, you said I could ask ANYTHING! – Alyson

A: Hi Alyson! What do you think I am, Shutterfly? 😉 No, I don't know. However, because of my deep love of skits I will help you. I consulted my team of experts (Google) and you can find reviews here. Now, on to the good stuff….

Q: This morning I got up…revved up to get tons done.  I even wrote down the tasks I wanted to do and gave myself timelines.  The first task and hour went great and then I started feeling overwhelmed at the big picture and my productivity dwindled and I'm feeling like I can't breathe.  This is strange because I have always been tough…hardworking….focused.  Sometimes I don't even recognize myself in the mirror. Any advice for staying on track would be greatly appreciated.

A: Here's the key that got you off track: “I started feeling overwhelmed at the big picture”. If someone is climbing Mt Everest, do you think they look up at the entire 29,000 feet in front of them? No! Or, let's say you have another 50 years to live. Would you not get overwhelmed if you had to plan and map out everything for the next 50 years? So, even tasks around the house, or goals you make for the next month, looking at the big picture is great in terms of how you're going to feel when it's done, but if you linger around the “hows”, details, time, consequences for not doing it and more, you're setting yourself up for not only your gremlin having LOADS to say about you and the task, but you're making it bigger than you. And when that happens, you quit and guess what? Your gremlin has lots to say about that too.

So, first, be aware when this starts to happen. It's hard to reel yourself back in once you've already spiraled into complete overwhelm. When you start to hear the chatter begin, remind yourself it's one step at a time. If breaking it down into smaller bites helps, do that.

I also wonder if there's something else you're not facing that's causing the overwhelm. Sometimes we try to busy ourselves with every day tasks, then find ourselves anxious, or overwhelmed. Check in with yourself to see if maybe something is trying to rise to the surface that you're not letting come up.

Q: What's your take on getting through the bad days, especially when they seem like they'll never end? -Jenn

A: Hi Jenn! Great question! First, you are NOT alone! Everyone has bad days, even the people you would least suspect. I think we need to feel the feelings, whatever they are. I know that when I try to force myself out of a bad mood or “funk”, it never works and just pushes me backwards. That being said, the best piece of advice I can give for getting through the seemingly never ending bad days is to stay in gratitude. I don't care if you think your life sucks ass or you have made terrible decisions to get where you are or if you are lost in victim-hood, take the time to practice gratitude. Start with writing down 10 things you are grateful for right now. Leave it in a place where you will see it and be reminded of those things. Read it to yourself or out loud often. Draw pictures or describe the life you want. Re-write your story. If you are grateful for what you have, you'll get more of those same things, as well as change your focus. Even if this is on a subconscious level. It won't happen overnight, (or maybe it will!) but I can assure you if you stick with it, you'll see changes. If you fall off for a couple days, don't beat yourself up and throw in the towel, just start again. Gratitude is a powerful tool!