Do you often feel overwhelmed? Is that a silly question? 😜 I imagine most of us feel overwhelmed much of the time!
Modern life is break-neck-busy. Women and/or mothers know that better than anyone, don’t we? And as much as we might like to simplify and create a calmer lifestyle, life happens and we find ourselves in the thick of it. 🙀
While our knee jerk reaction may be “wine and chocolate STAT” 🍷🍫, there are some even more effective ways of dealing with overwhelm. 😆 Here are my go-to’s. Read on and then share your ideas at the end!
#1: Do a Brain Dump
There’s nothing more overwhelming than having a thousand thoughts bouncing around in your brain like ping pong balls!
There’s a million things to do, plus you’ve got the sneaking suspicion you’ve forgotten half of them and they’re going to bite you in the butt sooner or later… Where to begin?!? 😱
Do a brain dump! To-do lists are great, but a brain dump goes beyond that. After all, you may have things weighing on you that aren’t going to be fixed with one action step. Whatever is on your mind, write it down. Just get it all out!
Sure, you can type your brain dump on your favorite notes app, but putting a pen to paper makes the process more powerful. For many of us, there’s just something about actually writing. But you may be different, so experiment with what works best for you. Either way, you’re going to feel a bit lighter just from getting those thoughts out of your head!
So, you’ve got a page full of ideas, worries, to-do’s, and general gobbledygook. Some of you will immediately know what to do next, and some of you will be just be relieved and ready to ignore it all. HA! 😆
Of course if we don’t prioritize and take action, we’ll soon be back to our old, overwhelmed selves. Asking yourself these questions can help you figure out your next best step…
- What is my top priority right now and what action can I take today to move me forward on it?
- What can I do today that will feel really good to get done?
- What have I been procrastinating on doing that I could cross off my list today (or this week)?
- What just isn’t that pressing that I can give myself permission to address at a later date? (Put it in your planner or set a reminder, so you know it will be handled. That way you won’t keep it ping-ponging in your brain.) 😉
When we are overwhelmed especially, it feels really good to be able to cross things off our to-do list. To switch your feelings from overwhelm to accomplishment, give yourself some doable action steps for today. Just remember to keep it doable. Self care is also a priority, so no burning the midnight oil just to cross things off your list.
#3: Say No
Okay, so all these other things on your paper… are there any you could get rid of just by saying “No” to them? A shocking idea, right? 😜
Saying “No” can be challenging for some of us. We get a FOMO attack just thinking of turning down an invitation or an opportunity.😱 But if we don’t learn to say NO to others, we end up inadvertently saying NO to ourselves and YES to overwhelm.
So think about it and pick at least one thing on your list you can say “No” to today. Then let me know in the comments how it goes! #accountability ✌
#4: Ask for Help
Can I admit that this one gives me the heebie jeebies just thinking about it? 😆 I have such a hard time admitting that I need help.
What about you? Have you also discovered the hard way that the people in your life do not have mind reading skills? 🤣 It’s true, we have to actually tell them what we need.
Of course you don’t want to take advantage of other people, or push off your responsibilities on others. But on the flip side, we can fail to empower others by trying to do everything ourselves.
For example, if you have kids who are getting older, they really need to learn to help. At a job, you may need to train someone else to do things so you can move forward with bigger responsibilities. Or it may be time to pay for some help around the house so you can concentrate on things besides mopping and dusting.
Open yourself up to the possibility that getting help is an empowering thing. Is there a way you can enlist help this week? Do it and feel your overwhelm melting away! 😉
#5: Control Your Breathing
The reality is, we can’t control everything. Stuff happens and life gets stressful. So what then?
While we may not be able to change the circumstances that are causing us stress and overwhelm, we can work on controlling our reaction. This is important because stress really takes a toll on our health. When life seems to be spiraling out of control, taking control of our breathing can help mitigate the stress response.
Try doing the 5-5-7 breath. You’ll inhale for 5, hold for 5, and exhale for 7. Repeat this 10 times. It’s a short 2 minute exercise you can do anywhere and anytime! Things may be going crazy on the outside, but if your breathing is relaxed, your body will relax along with it.
No, breathing won’t solve all your problems, but if you practice this on a regular basis, you’ll likely notice a difference in your energy and digestion. (Because your body can’t digest food well when it’s stressed!) Over time, you’ll notice you’re better able to handle overwhelming circumstances with this simple tool.
So those are my top five things to do when you feel overwhelmed!
Hey, if overwhelm is getting the better of you, why not grab the Do Less & Live More Workbook? It has exercises for some of the things we talked about today, and more. It’s my gift to you, just enter your email in the box and it will be on it’s way through cyber space, lickity split. 🚀
P.S. Could you use a little more help sorting things out? Sometimes when we’re in the middle of overwhelm, we can’t see the forest through the trees!
That’s why having a coach strategize with you is so valuable. Check out my Personal Coaching page to find out how it works!
What tip are you trying first? Let us know in the comments before you go. Thanks for visiting!
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