The feeling of overwhelm is common, especially after loss when there’s so much to seemingly think about. It’s closely linked with anxiety and can affect your mind and body in the same way. So it becomes a cycle that needs nipping in the bud as soon as you are able.
The good news about overwhelm is that it isn’t a ‘thing’. It’s an emotional state which we have created ourselves. You may think, well what’s good about that? The point is we have complete control over our emotional states ad if you created it, you can also ‘undo’ it. Overwhelm will only become anxiety when we allow it to trigger our clever fight or flight system… and in my experience, even anxiety is tame-able.
I’m going to share with you 5 powerful ways you can apply to deal with your overwhelm now and continue to with in the future. Since overwhelm is a state, there are things that we can do to alter our behaviour patterns and thought processes. Yipee!
Have a look at these:
#1 Manage your energy, not your time. There is a misconception that if we are feeling overwhelmed, then we must not be managing our time and cramming enough in. What makes us think such self-defeating thoughts? After all, there is evidence to suggest that depriving yourself of just one hour’s sleep (from what you need), will have an impact on how you perform during the day. So instead of getting up earlier to do more stuff, ditch the ‘hustle’ and develop a good bedtime ritual to help you to properly wind down before sleep.
#2 Examine your boundaries. For example, do you say no to things when you need to and yes to things when you want to? Do you recognise when your self-care needs to take precedence? Designing your own life means you choose the things that are important to you, and you get to feel how you to want to feel. Choose things to help you manage your stresses, not add to them.
#3 Give up the need for perfection and/or control. Trust me, from one former ‘Monica’ to another, there is no such thing as perfection. This is your ego talking and there’s no place for it when you’re heading for overwhelm. Let go and trust in the process you’re going through. Enjoy your journey in the here and now (the ups and downs). Perfection is just a label and accomplishments are only great if they serve a purpose.
#4 Ask for help darn it! As humans, our limited thinking means we often start predicting what other’s will think and say if we ask for help. You’d be surprised at how helpful people can be and the answer may not be “no”. It’s also ok to get professional help if you need it. As a coach, I need a coach too. Therapists need supervisory therapists, and so on. if you need to talk about what you’re going through, let’s chat.
#5 Step away from the ‘energy vampires’. You have enough to focus on without having to feel as though your interactions with others’ suck the life from you. You know the type of people I’m talking about. The ‘can’t do’ people, the ‘mood hoovers’. You have choices here. You can cut them out (as long as you do it from a place of kindness and love), or you can manage your interactions with them by flipping their negative comments. Serve their comments right back to them wrapped in positivity with a sprinkle of glitter on top. In my experience, they will either pull away from you or start to improve their behaviour.
So there you have it. Overwhelm can actually be our friend if you think about it. It’s just a case of being centred, and re-adjusting your state to focus instead on what makes you feel good. As I like to say, every day is a chance to do things differently if you so choose.