I want to spend a little time on something that plagues even me. Overwhelm. I go through really stressful bouts of feeling completely overwhelmed. It can make me anxious, irritable and sometimes even give me a panic attack.
What causes the feeling in the first place? Everyone is different and the reasons are endless but here's some possibilities :
Never ending to-do-list
A life changing event like a move, birth or death
Derek Jeter's retirement from the Yankees (at least for my hubby)
I have strategies to stop overwhelm in its tracks and I want to share them with you because one less stressed out person running around the world is a good thing.
1. Embrace the feeling. Sometimes you've just got to stop fighting it. Breathe it in, acknowledge it and remember that it will pass.
2. Change the way you look at it. It's all in your mind, baby. Instead of thinking, "Crap, this to-do list is impossible. I'll never get it done." or " I'm crazy busy!", stay positive. "Yes, this is a busy time but I can take it step by step." Focus on what you are getting done instead of what you're not.
3. Take a break from the stuff stressing you out. Seriously... walk away. Do something that you really enjoy. Meet with a friend for a cappuccino. Get some pampering. Practice some dance moves.
4. Get real and get help. We often have just WAY too much on our plates and unrealistic timelines of what we can actually achieve in a day. Get real about what you can accomplish and ask for help. Hire a VA (virtual assistant) or college student to help with tasks. Delegate to family members.
5. Break it down. Write out every task that you're stressing about. Take a look at it and cross off things that do not need to be addressed immediately. Break down the rest of your list into small doable steps. Put them on your calendar and work on them a little at a time.
6. Just say no. Do not take on more than you can handle. Say no to events, volunteering or any other time consuming activities until the overwhelm eases.
I'm not just the president, I'm also a client
(random 80's commercial reference)
I recently (this week) felt like I was drowning in a sea of overwhelm.There's tons going on right now. I'm rebranding, creating a new website all while being fully booked with clients, volunteering at my son's school, carting him to baseball, helping with homework, spending time with loved ones, cooking/cleaning (aka wifely duties) and trying to practice a little self love. Holy crap that's a lot on my plate!
Instead of breathing into a paper bag to ease anxiety, I practiced some of the above. Today I went for a run, mediated with my boy Deepak for 10 minutes and wrote every task down. I crossed stuff off my list and broke the rest down into small steps. I'm also going to say no to some things that I previously said yes to (sorry to those who will soon be receiving that call).
Guess what? I feel SO much better. Calm, at peace and energized. Panic attack averted!