The feeling of being overwhelmed is one that, well, it is overwhelming!!! We wanted to dive into this topic, or at least scratch the surface because as an IDW, overwhelm is probably part of your daily (or at least every other day!) vocabulary.
But the question is, how do you deal with the moments of overwhelm? How can you control it? What are the alternatives?
The first step is to determine…WHEN are you feeling most overwhelmed. Think back to the last time that emotion washed over you like a tidal wave. What were you doing? Where were you? Who was around you? If you find that the answers to these questions have common themes, it becomes easier to dissect the issue and figure out how to solve it. For instance, if you find yourself getting most overwhelmed while at work, how can you change your environment at the office to reduce those feelings of inundation and stress? Or if you find that certain people in your life provoke these anxious-type feelings, do you need to be around those people as often?
Once you have a better understanding of the times that cause you the most overwhelming emotions, the next step is to figure out what to do about it. You essentially have 2 choices: 1) let it take over your day and throw in the towel OR 2) take back control and get in the drivers seat of your life!
Hopefully, your preference is option 2! Assuming that’s true, let’s talk about some ways to get a reality check and continue on with life.
As with all emotional states, you have the power to let them control you or you can be in control. Since the feeling of overwhelm often stems from a place of powerlessness…let’s take back the power and be the BEST IDW you can!
1) Allow yourself 5-10 minutes to sit quietly and breathe. If you prefer formal meditation, that’s always an option. But even just sitting quietly, closing your eyes, slowly breathing in and out will help calm you down so you can make rational decisions about how to move forward.
2) Move your body! Once you have cleared your mind, decide if you can take a break to do something active. Even if it’s a 10 minute walk around the block or the floor of your office building, getting your blood flowing will help you think more clearly.
3) Write down your to-do list. Sometimes it’s “fear of the unknown” that makes us spiral down the rabbit hole. By writing down what actually needs to get done and prioritizing these things, you take away the fear and therefore gain back your power.
4) Put on your favorite music! Taking a music break will not only lighten your mood and make you smile, but it might even make you want to dance and the extra blood flow is always a good thing!
5) Decide if you can delegate any of your tasks. We like to be perfect and in-control and do ALL THE THINGS! But sometimes we need to take our pride down a notch and recognize that we need help. Leverage whatever help you can get…it’s likely to make you feel better!
6) Eat a snack! Drink some water! When you are feeling pressured to get a lot done, it’s likely that you haven’t taken a bio-break in some time. Nourish your body with good-for-you food and hydrate to re-energize. Your body will thank you!
7) Call a friend/loved one. No, this is not “Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?”, but often just hearing a loved ones voice can make you feel better, more grounded, loved and supported. Just preface the call with “I needed to hear your voice for a moment” and you are sure to feel ready to conquer any mountain!
We all have many responsibilities that we are faced with daily. Most of the time we get them all done and crush them at that! But we are not perfect and there are definitely going to be days that are harder to conquer than others. When those happen, remember these 7 tips and move from your feelings of “overwhelm” to feelings of “calm”.