A Surprising Path Out of Overwhelm

by | April 6th, 2019

We have all had a week where we were totally overwhelmed by the demands of work and our personal life. What can you do to preserve your well-being in those circumstances?

These cascades of demanding responsibilities seem, uncannily, to happen at the same time, almost as if they are attracted to each other. We have a sinking feeling that we are just too busy-we are beyond our comfort zone with too much coming at us at once.

If we are honest with ourselves, we admit that overwhelm harms our well-being.

Of course, my first suggestion is to muscle through it. Reality is calling. Do what needs to be done, and remind yourself that you are doing your best at any given moment.

If something has to give, just make sure it’s not your health. In my case, I let go of engaging with  social media. Instead, I stepped up my salad intake (via Door Dash) and one of the nights, I was in bed at 8:30 pm, no kidding.

Third, when it blows over, as it always does, take a peaceful moment and take stock. Milk that storm for all that it was worth by creating meaning. For instance, note each challenge that transpired as I did above, either by journaling or making a mental list, and try to create an overarching umbrella statement that is positive in nature. You have a choice how your view your life– make that storm of overwhelm work for you, benefit you in some way.

For instance, I could say, “Last week was about reaching new heights. I did a masterful job at work and on my book. The girls grew musically and poetically. I stepped up and did more than I thought I was capable of doing.”

The reason this “framing” exercise is so important is that it neutralizes the harmful, depleting energy of being overwhelmed. You have created meaning by gathering the memories of a tough week, like sweeping the floor, getting the dust into a neat pile, and giving yourself credit in a positive way.

Then, importantly, you can continue neutralizing that overwhelm by doing something totally relaxing, whether flopping on the couch, watching the birds or whatever gives your body, mind and spirit a complete and total break.

Quote I love: “Your greatest teacher was your last mistake. So, was it really a mistake?”- James Arthur Ray

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

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