Is it hot in here or is it just me? A "HELP I'M OVERWHELMED and Don't want to curl into a ball" set of tools
Can you feel it too? We went from prioritizing lounging at the beach and taking off on vacation (leaving our to-do list in the dust) to....HOW IS IT SEPTEMBER already picnicked feeling mixed with denial.
Maybe it’s the back to school chaos (though I can't use that excuse because I'm not in school and don't have kids)?
Maybe it’s the fact that September is considered the second new year and that's when 2019 day planners seem to be released?
OR maybe it’s the fact that there are only 3.5 months left in the year? (yes, that's definitely a part of it)
It feels like in the last week the pressure cooker called LIFE that we’re all in got turned all the way up. And I don’t know if you’re feeling the heat, but I sure was/am!!!!
That pressure cooker is really only good for making one thing come to LIFE...and that's the feeling of OVERWHELM!
For me it feels like nail biting, blankly staring at my to-do list, sweat beads forming and some mild to full on anxiety. Usually it takes me a bit to snap out of the blank stare and realize what's actually happening before I reach for my imaginary/real *HELP, I'M OVERWHELMED KIT*.
I picture it looking like the play medical bag for kids by Fischer Price. If ONLY we could something like that at Bed, Bath and Beyond for $19.99. I WISH.
Okay so the actual kit doesn't exist for purchase for $19.99, BUT I'm sharing the things I've been reaching for lately when I'm feeling the overwhelm induced HOT FLASHES set in.....
1. Make A LIST...not a "to-do" list, but a list of all the things you did, experienced, accomplished, created and made kind of list. A victory list of sorts. It can be from this month, the summer or whole year so far. This is the list that reminds us that we're capable, creative beings that can do BIG, LITTLE and IMPORTANT things. And it's a reminder that we can turn the pressure and expectations down and appreciate what we've done so far.
2. ASK FOR HELP. Review your calendar and all the things you've committed to. Is there room to ask someone to work on something with you? Can you find someone to take a part of that project or task on? Sometimes even just reaching out to someone and saying "look I'm feeling really overwhelmed by this..." is a helpful first step.
3. MAKE SPACE...by saying "no", "not right now" or "can I get back to you?". I've found myself repeating these phrases in the last week to things that I REALLY want to do, like going to the Veg Food Fest with a friend this past weekend or a road trip with my mom to get Beechwood Doughnuts. Both of which I said, "no" and "not right now" in response, because I knew I needed to just be home and have some space on my calendar.
4. Let it fall off your plate. Maybe the *most* controversial on this list for type A/over-achievers. Is there anything on your "to-do" list that you can just hit pause with or forget about doing all together?
5. Keep it Simple. I'm all too familiar with this thing called over complicating EVERYTHING. So this last week has meant going over all my priorities and calendar and seeing where I can cross out steps, make it easier and let myself focus. Maybe for you that means focusing on working with clients and not also blogging and posting on social media about your business at the moment. OR maybe it means that instead of writing all new content, you go back to your blog and re-share some things you've written in the past that resonated with your community and yourself.
6. Pick one. When we're feeling overwhelmed it can be tempting to throw every tip, trick and idea at it, hoping that we'll defeat it in sheer numbers alone. But this attempt to TRY everything can leave us feeling stuck in the same overwhelmed place. So try one thing from this list, from your own imaginary/real "HELP, I'M OVERWHELMED KIT" and see how you feel after that.
AND FINALLY...any kit would not be complete without...
7. Take as many breaks, rests and pauses as you need. Sometimes there's no quick fix for overwhelm. Check in with yourself and see what you need. It might be that you just need a longer break or rest and that's okay too.
And one last thing...a quote from Cleo Wade's beautiful book Heart Talk...
FEAR worries, "how will I get there?"
FAITH smiles knowingly, "we will get there."
Deep breaths and trust you'll get there!