No matter how organized or Zen we strive to be; sometimes life gets crazy. Especially this time of year.
Like changing weather we can feel overwhelm creeping in, or it can take us out without warning. It can pass by within minutes, or settle in for lengthy and un-welcomed visits like I experienced earlier in the year.
No one’s immune to overwhelm and it’s guaranteed to make appearances throughout our lives. Fortunately, there are things we can do to help us through it.
Here are 6 simple ways to deal with overwhelm:
1. Do Less
When overwhelmed we feel there’s so much to do and not enough time to do it. We’re burdened by the pressure that we should be doing more.
But what we really need is to do less.
Take a look at your to-do list and cross off anything that’s not absolutely necessary right now.
Can it wait until tomorrow? Next month? Next year? Can you eliminate it all together?
Focus only on what’s absolutely necessary for today and forget about the rest.
2. Be Kind to Your Mind
When feeling overwhelmed our minds tend to take off in the wrong direction. We think the worst thoughts possible and let them run circles around our heads.
Don’t let your mind run wild and freak yourself out. Manage anxiety and fear by reaching for thoughts that make you feel even a tiny bit better.
For example, “I trust that everything will work out.” Or, “This too shall pass.” (Trite but true.)
Remind yourself, “This isn’t the rest of my life.”
Because it’s not.
Slow down your thoughts or even better release them completely with meditation. Even 10-minutes of quiet or guided meditation can majorly help decrease stress. I know this first-hand!
3. Take Time-Outs
Whether it’s 15-minutes, an hour, or an entire day, take time-outs from everything (and everyone) to reconnect, relax and recharge.
Do something that restores you or nothing at all.
Put these “feel good” things at the top of your “to-do” list and leave guilt behind!
4. Connect and Disconnect
When feeling overwhelmed it’s a must that you protect yourself and your energy by connecting only with people who support you. Say “buh bye” to the Debby Downers and emotional piranhas that suck your energy dry. You can return to them when you’re replenished. (Or not.)
And by all means, please give your fingers and spirit a break and unplug from social media. When feeling overwhelmed the less information we’re exposed to the better off we are.
Place your right hand over your heart and left hand on your stomach and take three super deep breaths in and out. This is an old-school centering technique that works wonders to calm even the most overwhelmed.
Take it a step further and repeat an affirmation with each breath. One I tend to use I learned from Louise Hay and goes:
“I am safe. All is well.”
Repeating your name with each breath is another fantastic way to center and connect.
6. Ask for help
Yes, we are amazing and can handle whatever’s thrown at us. We can do one hundred million things and we can do them All. By. Ourselves. Thank you very much!
(And now I’m seeing my little girl self crossing my arms, stomping my feet and declaring, “I don’t need your help. I can do it myself!”)
Yes, we can do everything ourselves. But we really don’t need to.
When overwhelmed outsource and hire help. Call on friends and family. Practice prayer or send requests to the universe.
Even if we can carry the load we needn’t stress ourselves. This is the time to lower our guards, be vulnerable and ask for help.
We’re always happy to help out others – now let them enjoy returning the favor!
Be good to you today!
Love and Smiles,
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