3 Ultimate Tips for Mastering your Overwhelm
That crushing feeling of overwhelm.
Like there’s so much going on in your mind and in your life that you don’t even have the time to take your next breath.
I’ve been there.
Looking at a laundry list of tasks with what seems like never enough time to complete.
This feeling has become all too familiar in a world like ours. Some days (or every day) it feels like we’re living in a world with a never-ending to do list and an attention span that only lasts as long as the space between phone vibrations and notifications.
3 Ultimate Tips for Mastering your Overwhelm
It can be easy to find yourself overwhelmed and flustered when you’re juggling school or work with your social life and trying to keep yourself mentally and physically well.
Take a step back and breathe
Ok, so something you may not know about me is that I’ve always struggled to define the space I find myself, my feelings and my beliefs as this “space” i find myself is an interesting medium between “woo” and skeptic. It always takes me a really long time and repeated encouragement to try something that right off the bat doesn’t sound like it makes a difference.
When I first started to get into health and wellness practices and started making a conscious effort to live more mindfully I would ALWAYS hear people talk about a few things that I always thought were bogus. I would hear people say “just breathe” and “journal everything”. When I encountered these ideas I would give a courtesy nod and a smile and then never “take a deep breath” or write my thoughts out on paper ever because what the HELL could that possibly do? I mean, I was already thinking them, what would getting them out do?
It wasn’t until I was at a very low point. I felt hopeless and filled with a hurricane of emotions. I couldn’t think of one thing that would help me feel better at all so I surrendered to the practices that I thought were absolutely stupid. Breathing and journaling.
Turns out, they worked. They worked wonders.
Taking deep, cleansing breaths and pouring out my thoughts and feelings onto paper have become the most therapeutic practices I have in my life. They are EVERYTHING!
When I become stressed and overwhelmed with anything in my life I take a step back from whatever it is I’m doing, close my eyes and breathe.
Often when I feel overwhelmed I have trouble breathing. It’s like I feel like I have so much to do in such little time or that there’s so much going on in my head that I don’t have time to breathe.
Allowing yourself to step back and get some good, deep breaths in allows you to calm yourself down in the immediate moment and get into a good headspace to actually take action on conquering your overwhelm.
Write it ALL out
Whether you’re overwhelmed with school or work, with the many tasks you have to get done or you’re just overwhelmed with emotions. Whatever it is, write it all out.
Start with writing about what it is that’s causing you to feel overwhelmed. Get super descriptive about how you’re feeling and what exactly it is you’re feeling. Getting deep into it and really picking apart your thoughts and feelings will allow you to sort things out and turn a situation where you’re feeling emotional and chaotic into a logical situation that you can then work through.
By writing everything out you’re also documenting this experience which will allow you to go back and pick through it all so you can identify how you go into this situation, how you got wrapped up in the emotions of it all and what you can do to prevent it next time or what course of action you can take next time so you’re spending less time in a frantic state and more time getting yourself to the other side.
Next you’re going to write out everything it is you need to do to feel good and at peace again. If you’re overwhelmed with school or work take this time to write out all of the tasks you need to get done. Write down every little step it might take you, any and all deadlines, the amount of time you think each task will take, all of it! This will allow you to create a solid plan for working through your overwhelm.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with emotions, take this time to write down anything you can do right now to move through it. Whether it’s a couple self care practices, maybe talking with a loved one or doing something that will get your mind off things.
The point of this is to bring your logical mind into the experience. It’s extremely difficult, if not impossible for you to be both emotional and logical at the same time so by bringing the logical mind into your overwhelm, it allows you to not get wrapped up in your emotions and to work through the overwhelm.
Look at the bigger picture!
When we let the emotional hurricane take over and find ourselves in a sea of overwhelm, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture.
Zoom out for a quick second and really take a look at what’s going on and how it affects your life.
Without diminishing your experience, think about this moment and how you’ll see and feel it in a year.
Will it be there at all?
Will stressing out right now bring you closer to your goal or to the completed goal? Probably not.
An exercise I really love doing in this instance, that really helps me ground myself is the almighty gratitude exercise.
Take a step back from the overwhelms and start listing off things you’re grateful for.
Start off big with things like your home or your family and then get super specific like a hot cup of tea on a chilly morning or for the ability to feel.
When I find myself in a fit of overwhelm at work, when the tasks are piling up and my deadlines are getting closer I start to list off things that I’m able to have or experience because of my job like my apartment, my cozy bed, food, being able to travel back home to see my family.
Not only do the things you focus on expand meaning your gratitude with keep expanding the more you think about things you’re grateful for but this allows your heart to open and as your heart opens it alleviates that awful feeling of tension in your chest when you feel stressed and overwhelmed.
With an open heart, it’s hard to feel anything but love.
Dealing with overwhelm can be tough but having the tools and ability to take it on from a logical point of view helps alleviate the emotional aspect and allows you to kick it’s ass.
Share this with an overwhelmed babe in your life!