Do you find yourself getting overwhelmed… and often?
Overwhelm is not really ideal, to say the least.
When you’ve got just too much happening in your mind, there’s sometimes this invisible mental wall that goes up and a sort of panic switch is turned on that scrambles everything into a big mess, even the easy things.
Because I am no stranger to daily overwhelm and I feel it descend on me like a giant wave. Because I am so prone to overloading myself – plus there’s the daily stuff of life that pops up- that I’ve learned to mine the greatness in these overloaded situations.
Here are some ideas that can help you find the opportunity in your own states of overwhelm.
Being overwhelmed has shown me where I need to organize. It’s taught me where I need to streamline. It’s helped me to prioritize. It’s given me insight into where I need help. And it’s helped me slash a whole lot of life clutter! Essentially, from my greatest overwhelm I have found the most awesome ways to improve everyday life, and I’m hoping that by passing them along it may save you some time wading through the too-muchness of the day.
When you’re overloaded, you’re being shown some amazing places to make changes!
If you spend a lot of time looking for things in a panic of too much to do, I am betting you are disorganized. Yes, you might have life perfectly organized into beautiful cubbies, files and drawers, but if you can’t find it easily that means that yes, indeed, you are disorganized for you. It was SO liberating to realize that despite my labeling and precision and stashing and even de-cluttering that I WAS DISORGANIZED and that disorder was adding immense amounts of stress to my life.
Organization is personal, it’s not an advertisement from the Container Store. What makes you organized is what helps you to function well through the day. This may look different from other people’s organization. For me, it used to mean dog leashes hanging on walls, a pile of art supplies that were unending, a fruit bowl on my desk and three pair of shoes lined up in the trunk of my car and much more that made my life work well.
What works for you in terms of your personal organization will help set you free, so be willing to let it be as odd or unique or special as you need it to be!!!
If you’re seeing things on a to-do list pile up, you may need help. You may need help getting your work done, like an assistant. I know I needed one and had to get one before I could afford one (the great catch 22) but it enabled me to do so much more that matters and less hours typing my notes and searching online for data. There are many virtual assistant services that are super-high-quality and inexpensive, and while I don’t use one I have friends who do and they are so happy they do!
If things are piling up that you are used to being able to get done, you may need to start saying NO. Not no to what’s important, but no to the unimportant stuff that you feel obliged to say yes to, or the stuff you are doing because you think you should. You may want to run through your list of overwhelm with a friend who is objective and let go of whatever is not vital.
If you’re overwhelmed because you aren’t feeling well or settled, you might want to scale back & double down on self-love. I used to say, “Who has time for that?” and now I immediately run a hot bath full of salt, make a smoothie or take a nap.
Stop pushing through. Remind yourself you can shape space and time effectively when you feel great, and in overwhelm, everything is more difficult. Once you know the routines, go-to relaxers (a tea break, a meditation, a walk, pretty much anything you long for!) you can navigate the times where pressure rises with no pressure.
Learn your rhythms of doing things well. For example, I am terrible at inspired thinking in the afternoon, but early morning and late night, I am brilliant. Honor your best times to do things. You might love doing yoga at night, or paying bills in the afternoon, or dealing with details in the early morning. I have found that decision fatigue (we run out of great decision making skills during the day) is real for me, so I try to make my decisions early to leave room in the day to make things that flow.
Essentially, being chronically overwhelmed taught me a lot about how I experience life and what’s best for me, and I help my clients see this as well, and I see it in my Camps when the light bulbs start turning on with Ah Ha moments.
I am pretty sure that if you can breathe through the overwhelm and see it from a fresh perspective you can learn how to gather up your personal magic in your own best ways, and design your lifestyle in a way that works best to keep you in flow!
Here’s to flipping overwhelm into the best expansion of life you’ve ever had!
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