Last Thursday I was in overwhelm. My head was spinning. I had way too much stuff on my plate all with a tight deadline, and I’m also trying to take care of my baby.
Which means I have less than 3 hours total of mishmashed time to get it all sorted out. This was not even kind of enough time for the projects that I felt needed my attention.
Did I mention that my baby was also teething the night before and decided 4am was as good a time as any to start the day?
I was overwhelmed AND exhausted. Not the best combination for sure.
I could feel my head becoming more and more crowded and the heat of panic rising.
You know that feeling when you almost start vibrating, because it’s like all the stuff inside is trying to race out of you at once?
Yeah, that was happening.
I should tell you that overwhelm and I go waaaaay back, we have a long history together.
We used to date for years. I used to be a chronic work-aholic and I spent most of my 20’s either working two full time jobs or working full time and going to school full time.
(Somehow I still managed to party my ass off in between…)
Now that I’m a recovering work-aholic, overwhelm and I only have a quick make-out sesh before I’m done playing and onto the next thing.
I want to share with you my 3 super quick and dirty tips to get your own overwhelm under control:
1) Get back to homeostasis, asap.
One of my coach’s said to me years ago, “Overwhelm is one or two things over homeostasis.” Meaning, that if you can get one or two things off your plate quickly, you will immediately feel better. This means either delegating, finding something that can be completed quickly, or taking something(s) off the list altogether.
This is like a huge exhale and you will instantly feel better.
2) Clear your head space.
It is impossible to think clearly, make wise decisions, or access creativity when our minds are cluttered…and that’s exactly what overwhelm is: too many thoughts competing for our attention.
Sit quietly for a few minutes and connect to your breath. Your thoughts may or may not slow down, it doesn’t matter, Still sit.
Then lay a hand on your heart to access your inner wisdom and listen as though you’re waiting to hear an answer.
Sometimes you’ll get an insight into exactly what needs to be done next. Maybe you’ll hear nothing at all. But almost always things have quieted down enough to move forward without spinning out or running around your ottoman in circles.
3) Take strategic action.
If your coping mechanism for overwhelm, pressure, and stress is procrastination (like mine), you know how effective that is. It’s the WORST!
Taking action is the only way to stop from falling into that trap. Being strategic ensures being effective with your time.
A quick tip to know what your next best steps are, is to shift your perspective from YOU (the one in the middle of shit), to the larger you, or the “fly on the wall” (the one looking down at the shit).
This is like the old adage, “you can’t see the forest for the trees.”
Instead of looking at the trees, expand your perspective to see the whole forest, and this will give you a better insight of what might be some great possible next steps.
I’d love to hear from you now: What are your best tips for overcoming overwhelm? Do you run around your ottoman like a crazy person too? Tell me I’m not alone here! Share in the comments below.
If you found these tips helpful please share this with all your friends on Facebook, Tweet it out loud, and forward this to someone who could use it right now.
I want you to know that I love you and I think you are amazing even when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Thank you for being you!