Sunday, June 24, 2018
'Overwhelm' is a noun these days. It's the state of being paralyzed by having too much to do, too many choices, and no good way to figure out which direction to go first.
I notice that one signal that someone is in overwhelm is when they start to say: 'I'm so behind!'
Let me assure you that you are not behind. You are exactly where you should be - and even better, we can get you exactly where you want to be, right from here. So take a few deep breaths and know that it's all just fine, right this minute. And it's going to feel better soon.
Here are two simple things you can do right now that will help you start cutting through the overwhelm.
Strategy #1: Finish what you start. A lot of overwhelm comes from knowing that unfinished things are hanging over you. You worry about them and the things you haven't started yet and wonder how on earth you're going to get it all done. So what you're going to do is finish something you've already started and then as you start something new, you're going to see it through to the end. Do all of the dishes, not just a sink full. Repair that one thing on the top of the pile that you've been putting off. Make your bed - it takes all of 25 seconds, I've timed it. You'll be amazed at how good finishing feels.
Don't feel like you have to finish everything today. Just finish what you start today [if at all possible] and try to finish one thing that you started earlier.
Strategy #2: Be on time for things. Something else that contributes to overwhelm is chronic tardiness. You're scrambling to do XYZ and just can't get out the door, so you show up late, then spend the rest of the time worrying about what you've missed and playing catch up. On top of that, you can really damage relationships by disrespecting other people's time. Don't do that to yourself. Show up on time. Stay on task and finish that task. You'll be eliminating a long list of things that contribute to your overwhelm by doing that one little thing.
There are other great strategies for dealing with overwhelm and I'd love to hear your favorites. Please let us know in the comments!
I'd like to invite you to join our Best Self facebook group where we can talk freely about becoming our best selves - and all the messy work that entails. In addition, I have another group, The Well Balanced Artist, for creatives of all kinds and in all stages of their creative lives, who are trying to balance their art, business and personal lives.