Get on Top of Overwhelm Fast
“Start where you are, use what you have, and do what you can.”
I have a lot of my clients; namely women, come into my clinic and break down in tears because they are feeling so overwhelmed by life, and have no idea how to keep going.
As women we try to do it all. We try to be the perfect partner, the perfect mother, friend, employee, business woman, cleaner, organiser and then we wonder why we become so overwhelmed!
Most women who start to feel overwhelmed keep getting busier, until… they just… can’t… do it anymore. These women sometimes don’t stop until they have completely burnt themselves out, and then have no choice but to slow down. Overwhelm, if not listened to can lead to nervous system overload and conditions like adrenal fatigue, chronic fatigue, digestive issues, and nervous breakdowns.
Overwhelm is a combination of not stopping and giving yourself adequate rest periods, pressures from yourself and others, holding onto unresolved past traumas and feelings, confusion, and a deep disconnection from your being. When we are in a state of overwhelm, it feels like we are completely out of control and powerless to our emotions, actions and life. In this state, it can be very hard to calm yourself down and get clarity and balance again.
But the good thing is that you can create balance in your life again. You just need some simple tips you can go to, to help you through.
Stop, breathe, listen, and let go.
Practice the art of breathing
Yes breathing is an art! Why? Because most of us have forgotten how to breathe in times of stress. We tend to take sips of a breath,” says Jane Boston, author of Breath in Action. “We hold it when we’re anxious, both of which can have a ripple effect through the system. One bad habit, like shallow breathing, triggers another. Breathing incorrectly can make you more susceptible to lower back pain.”
So learning how to breathe from the abdomen is very important, because the blood in the lowest part of the lungs is the richest in oxygen.
Practice the 4-6-8 simple relaxing breath technique by Dr Weil.
- Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
- Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
- Hold your breath for a count of seven.
- Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
- This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.
Practice this breathing technique whenever you are feeling overwhelmed, to rejuvenate your body and mind, get clearer and more present.
Let go of doing it all. Perfectly and your way.
We have an idea of ourselves that has been created from our past, which sets up our character and identity. Some of us believe that if we do everything perfectly, and try to control every single outcome then everything will be okay, I will be okay, and my life will be the way I want it to go.
If you adopted this attitude then how do you think you are setting yourself up for overwhelm and burn out? It is being able to rewire these perfectionist, and controlling traits that will truly help you get back into a state of balance. What are you trying to get out of controlling everything in your life? What are you trying to feel or avoid by being the perfect wife, mother, professional woman etc? Is all of this stress really worth this feeling you are so desperately trying to get or avoid?
Let go of having to control and do everything perfect and your body and mind will lovingly thank you for it. Relax into flow and the rhythm of life. Letting go doesn’t mean letting go of the desire or outcome, it means letting go of the struggle. We are all human, and we are always naturally going to make mistakes.
Do the best you can, let go where you can, and create more peace and ease within yourself by simply stepping away, asking for help when you need it and learning to say no.
Organise, reflect, time manage
Organising your life is going to prevent a lot of overwhelm and stress, especially if you are cramming a lot into your already overflowing busy life. Create a schedule and stick it up on your fridge, at work, and in your diary. Block time out for the kids, work, socialising, date night, and nurturing time.
Don’t let work time overflow into nurturing time, and family time. Get your priorities straight, and stop procrastinating on stuff that are time wasters. Get clear on your goals, reflect on what you need to keep you going and schedule it in.
Stop putting you last
Looking after you is number one. If you can look after you, that means you are in a better state to be effective at work, look after your family and those closest to you and create the life you want.
Stop sacrificing your own needs for your work or your family. Give yourself permission to put you first, and make sure you are nourishing your body with the right foods, exercising, and implementing relaxation exercises. If you don’t make you a priority, then you will be the first one to suffer. Make some time for mandatory silly, stupid, fun. Stop being so serious, and reconnect to the part of you that desperately wants a change from the busy life you have created.
If you can implement these strategies in your life then you will be finding yourself getting less and less overwhelmed. Slow down, take life one day at a time, and make some time to really process any pent up emotions you are carrying around with you from day to day. Get organised and be honest with yourself with what you can handle and what you can’t.