When we get to a state of overwhelm, it goes beyond being busy. It’s when you get to the point where you are being controlled by your thoughts and it feels like life is happening TO you. It can be debilitating!
*Links mentioned in the episode are at the bottom of this page.
In this episode we look at some actual steps you can take to prevent or reverse becoming overwhelmed…
1- Start giving yourself permission to say “NO” (Stop saying yes to shit you don’t want to do)!
Remember our training on people-pleasing? When saying, “yes” will take you into a state of overwhelm, you must learn to say no. Consequences are worse than if you say, “it’s easier if I just do it then if I say no”… Leads to resentment, overwhelm, being pissy to people you care about (“taking it out” on family). And when you’ve said yes to more things than you can handle, the quality of what you’re doing declines… a lot of things get accomplished half-assed.
And remember where people-pleasing is rooted… In a lack of self-worth (feel guilty when put yourself first).
2- Eliminate unhelpful, self-imposed rules for yourself.
“Rules” which are different than commitments. Rules are inflexible. They do not take into consideration changes in circumstances. Part of the “all or nothing” mindset. Rules like, I have to attend every one of my daughter’s swim meets. Well that’s an awesome thing to want to do, and you certainly can make the commitment to attend your daughter’s swim meets, but maybe you’re studying for an important exam and you have to choose between studying and giving yourself a shot at an A, or going to your daughter’s 3rd swim meet of the week. Well maybe you ask her dad to be there this time so you can stay out of overwhelm.
3- Prioritize Self-Care
How do you recharge (this looks different for everyone)? Down time, being alone, being around positive people (extrovert), reading, working out, sexy, meditation, going out on dates, bubble bath, etc.) Pick 1 thing you can do this week to take better care of yourself (addition to your morning or nighttime routine) that will make the biggest difference and make the commitment!
4- Prevent unimportant things that feel urgent distract you from what’s actually important.
Often times things are presented in such a way that they feel urgent. And when something feels urgent, we tend to automatically bump it to the top of our priority lists. Boss, friends, family/kids, can bring the drama and that’s when we let their drama override our other commitments (usually the ones we make to ourselves).
How to prevent: Run it through the test – Eliminate, Delegate, Postpone
- Can you eliminate the task all together?
- Can you delegate the task to someone else?
- Can you postpone the task to revisit later (different from procrastinating)?
- Create solid systems to help you stay out of overwhelm through organization. Personally Trello has been the tool that is saving me (before that it way sticky notes and to-do lists that did not give me a system and made it so things often had to get to the place of urgency in order for them to take priority. Set up systems for even the simplest tasks like taking out the garbage, walking the dog, laundry… figure out what you can delegate.
- First thing to schedule into your week is planning time to organize your upcoming week, figure out what might overwhelm you, and creating a plan.
5- Ask for help! Or at least accept people’s offers!
An unwillingness to do this has to do with a lack of self-worth or inflated ego. When you choose to stay in overwhelm, you’re choosing to play the victim (I said this to myself on Sunday!) Accept and be grateful. Think about it as giving others an opportunity to give… and when people give, they get back. And you know you’ll pass the favor along when you’re in a position to do so.
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