|| 5 Ways to Overcome the Overwhelm ||
1. Step AWAY
Sounds simple, I know. But sometimes, we can become so engrossed in what we are doing and trying to make things just right that it becomes hard to step away. However, you can’t get away from feeling overwhelmed from a place of overwhelming confusion. You have to step away to be able to view your circumstances from a fresh perspective.
Suggestion— Move to a different room, get up from your desk, go out for a walk/yoga class or go sit in a café. Stepping out from the current situation and changing your environment will help you gain clarity, and shift you away from your overwhelming state of mind.
When we are feeling overwhelmed, our mind becomes clouded by the task at hand, and by the thoughts that cause us to feel stressed in the first place. Many times, we get so caught up in the doing, that we forget why we are doing it. Instead of being busy and simply hoping it will lead us to where we want to go.
Suggestion — Start with asking, “How do I want to feel?” And then focus on feeling that way. Set your intention! You might ask yourself, “What is truly important to me?” And then focus on doing things that are important to you, instead of the multitude of tasks that are overwhelming.
Whenever we are feeling overwhelmed, there is likely a lot going on inside our head. Ideas and thoughts swimming in our minds, cluttering up our mental space. The best thing to do is to get these thoughts out on paper. I cannot emphasize this step enough- it is by far the number one suggestion I give to most of my clients.
Suggestion — Grab a pen and a piece of paper, a notebook, scratch paper — whatever! Start jotting down everything on your mind. Write without editing and write out every thought. If you have a bunch of to-dos running in your head — list them out. If you have an idea —brain storm on paper. And remember not to worry about keeping things looking neat and perfect. This will only limit your freedom to get whatever it is out — the stuff that’s keeping you feeling overwhelmed in the first place!
People are amazing. Often, we are the problem that is disallowing help from happening through our limited thinking. We think family or friends will say no, and so we don’t ask.
Give it a try. Ask for help, and be prepared to be amazed at the generosity that others are willing to provide. The key is to be open to receiving what others are willing to provide. Just imagine the worst case scenario—They say no. Not a biggie.
Time is our most precious commodity. So be mindful. Spend it wisely and consciously. Suggestions — Start with asking yourself what is most important to you and identifying how you want to feel. Then figure out what activities will support those feelings and things of importance. How much alone time do you need to re-charge? How much time do you want to spend with the kids, family, community etc? How much do you want to engage in creative endeavors/spiritual evolvement? Once you’ve decided what’s important and how long you want to allot, create boundaries around important activities and do not budge with any incoming distractions. Do not allow unimportant noise and activities to creep in. Because both email and Facebook can be such a time suck, set boundaries such as only checking it once a day for 30 minutes. In other words, do only what’s absolutely necessary, and anything that doesn’t get done during this time will just go on the list for a future time.
Remember, you simply cannot answer every email that comes in, or get to every chore on your list. And that is okay. You are not obligated to do everything. You have the ability to design the life you want and the freedom to create the rules.
Another suggestion — Everyday, make sure to do at least one thing for yourself by yourself. Alone time is of utmost importance and not enough people realize this. Take a hot bath with candles, or sit with a cup of chamomile tea while reading a few pages of something inspirational.
Are you or someone you know looking for a Psychotherapist who specializes in Marital & Family Relationships? Contact me HERE! I offer face-to-face sessions in Orange County as well as Online through eTherapi.