These are classic symptoms of being overwhelmed. You know the saying “you can’t see the wood for the trees” – if this is how you feel, here are 6 tips for you:
1. Press pause
Physically remove yourself from the situation and get a different perspective on what’s happening. This can be as simple as taking a walk, reading a magazine or watching TV. Something where your mind is completely taken off the task you’re doing.
You’ll quickly notice a shift towards feeling calmer as you engage with something else. As you are doing something different, your unconscious mind will be operating powerfully in the background, helping you come up with solutions for any challenges.
2. Get clarity
Grab a pen and paper and write your thoughts down. Don’t worry about censoring them, just let them flow. This exercise helps you to get all of the chatter out of your head, freeing your mind for calmness.
It will also help you recognise how you are speaking to yourself and determine whether it’s useful or not. From experience, most of it isn’t! The good thing is by becoming aware of what is going on, you can start to address it.
3. Write lists
I love a list and find them a brilliant way to get my thoughts organised.
Using whichever format suits you (paper, whiteboard, phone app etc.), create lists or mind maps to collate and organise the information you wrote down in tip 2.
Create yourself a plan of action for the practical things and use the Lightning Process or your favoured approach to address any health and well-being issues.
4. Say no
Take a time to reflect on your lists and decide which items you can say no to. Which are the ones you’re doing because you feel you should, rather than the ones you want to do? Which ones that have been on your list forever and have never been completed? Realistically, will these ever get done?
Go through and give your lists a good culling. It will reduce the things going around your head and allow you to focus on what’s important.
5. The first step
Once you feel calm, ask yourself “what is the first thing I want to do?”. This question helps you to focus on being present and taking the first step.
Every marathon starts with a step. With this exercise, you are chunking your tasks down into manageable, bite-sized chunks.
6. Make space
Your physical space is also worth reviewing if you’re feeling overwhelmed. If you’re living and working amongst chaos, it’s going to be harder work to keep calm. What simple steps can you take to create an area of calm for you to work or relax in?
It’s time to start freeing yourself from being overwhelmed. You will soon notice how much calmer and more productive you are you feel, so why not start now?
“You can’t calm the storm… so stop trying. What you can do is calm yourself. The storm will pass.” Timber Hawkeye
If you’re struggling with overwhelm, contact us and find out how we can help you.