Does overwhelm show up like this for you?
- You’ve got a presentation coming up and you want to show your best yet feel it’s never going to come together?
- You’ve been alerted to being asked to give an impromptu report to senior executives at a meeting in ONE hour and now you’re feeling dizzy and sick to your stomach?
- The metrics show the group you’re leading isn’t performing adequately and you know any explanations will sound like excuses.
- You’re going home exhausted and anxious, appetite missing and fall asleep the minute your head hits the pillow.
- You’re worrying nonstop and sleeping less and less.
- Your irritability is high and you’ve noticed family members run for cover when they see you.
Are you feeling your strengths and vitality deflate into a pile of wimpy, flat, airless shapes which you usually parade as multi-colored balloons, afloat with inspiration?
How can you beat the debilitating overwhelm and show up invigorated to make the big things happen?
In this article…
I’ll share an awesome list of the best of the best actions for reclaiming the strengths and vitality debilitating overwhelm steals. That’s right… giving spirit and vivacity to you… with a healthy dose of fun joining sooner rather than later.
Let’s compare checklists. Don’t have one? Then, this is your lucky day to create your very own.
First things first…
#1— Breathe and breathe again.
Do it now. Breathing in 2 3 4 5 hold, then breathing out 2 3 4 5. Repeat.
Set your MindBell app to ring periodically during the day to remind you to pause and breathe.
#2— Ben Franklin said it a long time ago: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Any checklist must include healthy foods, exercise, play (often the same thing), love, including friendships and work. We need routines and structure.
Whether you work inside the home or outside the home, paid or voluntary, schedules for getting things done with predictable habits and behaviors are gifts to a healthy you and a preventative for overwhelm.
She knew having the extra investment and accountability would ensure she got to the group and ultimately got the stress worked out!
#3— Hire a coach you can meet with weekly for a while.
Keep the coach’s contact information nearby and reconnect when necessary. Program it in your phone.
Think about it. Anything that runs well has periodic maintenance checks, i.e. your car, bicycle, air conditioner, blood work, financial health, etc..
Why not invest in developing your self-awareness, take action and grow your options for emotional soothing, beating overwhelm and having fun tackling the challenge?
#4— List what is specifically going wrong. Look for the surprise.
Ask what, if anything, can I do today to remedy/resolve this issue? Then do it—right now. If the answer is there is nothing to do, accept that you’ve done enough.
If desired, take your list to a trusted friend or coach and brainstorm any other actions you can take. Then be prepared to say repeatedly if needed, I’ve done what I can. It’s okay to let go.
Find the surprise? Those things that are going right just seem to show up when identifying what needs attention… sweet.
#5— Subscribe to the truth: Some days won’t be great. Period.
Martin Seligman, the positive psychology guru of happiness, calls it the psychology of dealing with it.
People with risky, dangerous jobs like snipers, SWOT, firefighters, military fighter jet pilots train to deal with adverse situations and the feeling of fear that goes with it. They have a job to do. Fear is present, but they soldier on.
What feels overwhelming right now can be tolerated. Hug yourself. Right hand, left shoulder, left hand, right shoulder. Squeeze. Visualize your inner strength like a mature tree with roots far reaching. Stand up. Imagine roots growing from the bottoms of your feet. Be grounded. You’ll get through this.
Then do #6.
#6— Take a day off. Laugh alot. Give or get a hug… and a kiss… and hmm… be kind.
Google things you can do on your day off and find nifty ideas like these…
Finally buy that thing that has been sitting in your amazon queue. You deserve it! Finally read one of those National Geographic magazines. Go on that jog that you have been planning to take for the past seven weeks. Call your dentist (just to talk). Call your mom to talk because it’s been awhile and tell her you talked to your dentist. Learn how to fold an origami paper crane. Learn the art of perfume making and earn some extra cash from it. Learn the art of cookie making. Learn how to play golf or any other game that you have always desired. Learn the process of soap making and make money by selling it. Make a kite and fly it. Go for a picnic with a friend or a loved one. Visit a game reserve or national park or a zoo. Cook a dish that you haven’t tried for a long time. Give yourself a good ice cream treat. (That’s for you Mitzi!) You deserve it; it’s your off day. You can visit a second hand mart (or store…whatever) and see whether you can get some deals at reasonable prices. Call someone you have not called in a long time and chat or if you love letter writing, this is the right time to sit done and communicate in writing to that special person.
#7— Know your inner critic, your gremlins, your negative self-talk and the alternative, rational response.
She worked through her negative, limiting self-talk and used the stones as a reminder.
#8— Stop. Walk away.Take a breather. Do something else…for a few minutes, an hour, more time if needed.
Then, consult your list (#4) and start fresh. Better? You know it!
9— Check out your assumptions.
Do you really have to do it this way? Are you taking on more responsibility than necessary? What can you drop to ease the pressure? Find two things you can delegate or eliminate… in the next 20 minutes.
#10– Remember what Bertrand Russell, British author, mathematician and philosopher says…
One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important.
Do you agree? I think it’s a reasonable perspective to adopt. An inflated ego will push and pressure you beyond healthy boundaries. Please review #2.
Indirectly, the flexibility to work on other projects is nicely supported… you know, the don’t put all your eggs in one basket. You can’t go wrong with developing multiple skills, updating yourself to stay relevant.
#11– Let me break it to you… like a dear mentor said to me years ago… you’re not the first nor will you be the last to feel overwhelmed.
It’s a part of being involved, creative, on the perfectionistic side of things, a highly sensitive person (HSP), a risk taker, underlying FOMO (fear of missing out) which leads to saying yes before truly thinking through the wisdom of the time/energy/cost the yes requires. There’s a portion of self-doubt mixed in with discomfort… it can be exciting at the same time… for most of us… some of the time.
You can’t control everything.
Deal with it.
The takeaway is…
Adopt a mindset of beating debilitating overwhelm by taking action. Add to this checklist, which is now your checklist. You own it.
And while you have a healthy perspective that your work is not the ONLY important thing happening out there in this beautiful world of ours, you are committed to doing and bringing your best.
Love doing the big and important things… without the debilitating overwhelm.
Take care of you.
You’re the most important thing happening.
Think about it… What’s your get-up-and-go-quick-fix to make the big things happen and beat overwhelm?