In a hurry? Here’s what you need to know now:
Overwhelm shouldn’t be a required part of your daily experience.
The opposite of overwhelm is presence - so practice some mindfulness to relieve the pressure
Overwhelm is all about mindset - it’s an excellent opportunity to look closely at your boundaries & expectations, and to realign your daily actions with your goals!
Picture this: you open your eyes in the morning, pull back the covers, turn off that incessant alarm - and before your feet hit the ground your mind is already racing a mile a minute.
Only seconds have passed since you woke and already you’re feeling the weight of a million tasks that must be completed ASAP. You’re brushing your teeth and trying to ignore the sinking feeling in your gut that arises as you get closer to heading to work and that never-ending to do list. When you finally get to your desk, it’s like the hours fly by in a blurry mess of meetings, missed reminders and passed deadlines.
You’re overwhelmed. And it feels like a constant state of being for you these days.
The problem with living in a state of constant overwhelm is that it acts like a sponge, soaking up all of your time, energy and attention with manufactured urgency. It creates mind & body exhaustion, and leaves absolutely no space in your life for the things you’re craving - the opportunity to create, to explore, and to relax. Overwhelm is excellent at convincing us that everything and everyone is more important than our wellbeing and happiness - and it’s just not true.
There are a million different ideas to explain why we as women get overwhelmed - is it because we’re taught to take responsibility for others from a young age? Is it because we have more access to information and quicker workplace timelines than ever before? Is it because we’re not being realistic about the number of hours in the day? I’ll be honest that I can’t vouch for the specific answer (and I think it’s likely different for each of us!), but I can tell you that I’ve certainly experienced it - and have created a set of tools that allows me to beat it every time.
Shift your mindset.
When you start to feel overwhelmed, pause. We are not destined to be ruled by our knee jerk emotions, so I want you to consciously think about your options in the current moment. Do you want to feel overwhelmed? What feeling would you prefer? Is there a different way of showing up in the world today that would actually be more in service of your goals?
Practice presence and focus.
Overwhelm is constantly whispering distractions in our ear in order to keep us in the panicked spiral. When we are feeling overwhelmed, we’re often drawn to making long lists, learning more things or taking up new hobbies - but all these things do is add to the feeling of overwhelm! The opposite of overwhelm is presence. Focusing on a single task at a time and being in tune with your body and environment will help you to feel grounded as you start to complete past-due tasks. Some tools to try here would be mindful breathing, a 2 minute meditation, or turning off your phone to enable better focus, or doing some light stretching. Commit to only being present to the here and now - the rest can wait.
Be willing to go deeper.
Once you’ve gotten grounded and gained a little bit of headway on your task list, I’d encourage you to examine the way overwhelm operates in your life. Is it a habit that’s common for you? Does it occur around specific events or people? Is it one of your defense mechanisms? In my experience, overwhelm is simply an indication that I’m attempting to distract myself from a big, scary project, or that I don’t feel fully bought into the things I’m currently committed to. Be curious about what the experience of overwhelm is trying to tell you - and generate a few creative ways you can subtly shift your lifestyle to be more in alignment.
How can you integrate these tools into your daily life and beat overwhelm once and for all? Come over to Instagram and let me know!