28 Apr How to take charge when OVERWHELM creeps in!
Have you ever looked up the definition of overwhelm? I hadn’t until writing this post. Here’s what comes up when asking Google to define this hefty term:
bury or drown beneath a huge mass.
give too much of a thing to (someone); inundate.
This word that I too often hear my clients use needs to be put back in it’s place.
A client mentioned she was feeling overwhelmed the other day and wanted to book a session. I don’t usually offer lengthy insight via email, however since we’ve been working on managing this feeling in her life, I couldn’t help myself. Here’s what I shared with her that I believe might be beneficial to you (and anyone you know who uses the word overwhelm too often).
The first thing that must happen in order to take control when overwhelm sets in is the following:
YOU MUST DECIDE THAT YOU NO LONGER WANT TO LET OVERWHELM BE IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT OF YOUR LIFE + COMMIT TO TAKING ACTION IN ORDER TO GET YOUR POWER BACK.
Here are a few things you can do once you have made that choice:
– Put a timer on for 5min and find a quiet place. Remove distractions (put your phone on do not disturb if using it as your timer).
– Place your hands on your heart &/or abdomen and start taking deep inhales (4-5counts) and slow exhales (4-5 counts from nose or mouth). Allow your body to relax and breath slowly.
– Once the 5 minutes is up, write your Top 5 priorities in your life right now on a blank sheet of paper.
– Ask yourself if you are doing what needs to be done to honour these priorities. You may need to review what actually needs to get done and place these things in a timely order. If you aren’t clear as to what needs to get done, overwhelm quickly can creep in. Write the actions you need to take; today, this week, month, etc. BE REALISTIC with what you can do, and then DO IT.
Overwhelm tends to be tied with high expectations and perfectionism. SHUT IT DOWN. Get grounded and get real with where you are at and what you can do.
*If you notice that you are doing what needs to get done in order to fulfill your priorities and still feel overwhelm, you may need to review WHY these are your priorities. Are these from the heart or from a place of “should” and expectation. A powerful WHY makes tackling important tasks more manageable. Not being clear on this makes one feel as if they are running around without purpose. Ask yourself WHY and do yourself a favour, answer HONESTLY.
– Notice if your sense of overwhelm is coming from things that aren’t on that list. If that is the case ask yourself if:
- You can remove yourself from being the one to do these things.
- Ask for support.
- Create accountability by letting someone know that you will not be doing these things moving forward or for a certain period of time as you are focusing on your priorities.
Other things that can lead to feelings of overwhelm (or present similar symptoms):
- Drinking too much caffeine or other stimulants. If you are already feeling anxious, this can make it sky rocket.
- Not sticking to a sleep schedule conducive for your productivity and well being.
- Eating too much processed foods, sugar, and drinking too much alcohol.
- Saying YES to every request instead of taking the time to pause and see if it actually works for you. Practice asking for time before giving an answer if you need it. I like to allow a 24h window when I feel overwhelm is roaming near.
- Not taking time to slow down, pause, and evaluate where one is at on their plan. You wouldn’t go on a road trip without taking moments to stop and see if you were on the right track right? Do the same in your life.
Remember, life doesn’t throw things at you that you can’t handle. You are an unlimited being. Don’t let the media or that nasty voice in your head tell you otherwise.
Decide TODAY to take your power back and kick overwhelm off of your life team for good! + Let me know in the comments below if these steps were helpful for you!