… you know you need to be doing ‘something’ so you end up doing ‘anything’ but it’s ‘everything’ but THE thing that you need to be doing.
What if your head is buzzing with ideas, conversations you want to have, connections you want to build, articles you want to write and yet when you have 30 minutes left before the children get home from school, you feel paralysed with overwhelm.
How do you cope when your thoughts and ideas are waking you up at night?
How do stop the noise and the chatter in your head?
How do you know if THE thing is the RIGHT thing to do right now?
What if actually there just aren’t enough hours in the day?
What if you get it wrong? What if nobody comes? What if nobody books? What if they don’t like it? What if I fail? What then?
If these are the thoughts running through your head at 100 miles an hour, here are some ideas to help you stop and reflect on what is happening.
It is OK to feel overwhelm.
Even if you are successful and confident. We all have days, weeks even, when we are overwhelmed. I’m not saying it’s right to feel overwhelm, but don’t beat yourself up. Accept that is where you are. Recognise this overwhelm as a sign to change or do something different.
Declutter your brain
Often the overwhelm is when you are carrying all those notes, all those thoughts, all those ideas in your head. Eventually your head will explode. OK maybe not literally however there comes a point when the pre-frontal cortex is overloaded and your brain will stop functioning efficiently. Your creativity dries up. Decision-making falters. Confidence shrinks. You feel stuck.
The quickest and easiest way to declutter your brain – take 15 minutes and a blank piece of paper. Offload everything – all your thoughts and ideas and questions and reminders and everything – onto that blank piece of paper. Write it all down.
Take a bath
Yes, a long soak in the bath. Just stop and relax and forget everything. Try to notice what you are and what you feel. Notice your breathing. Stop thinking. When thoughts pop into your head, let them go away.
If a long soak in the bath is not your thing, try a run in the woods, a brisk walk, a spot of mediation or – my favourite – go digging in the garden.
Choose something, even for just 15 minutes, that will take you away from the feelings of overwhelm.
No-one is immune
We all suffer from overwhelm from time to time. It’s how we deal with it and the strategies we employ to rise above it, that makes the difference.
Want some different suggestions, you’ll like my action sheet. I share more practical ways to deal with overwhelm so you can get more done.