Overcoming Overwhelm in 5 Easy Steps11th December 2017
Whether in business or life almost everyone will experience overwhelm at times. It could be feeling that there is just too much to do, or that you have too many responsibilities. Alternately it might be more of an emotional overwhelm if life has been challenging with maybe illness or break ups, financial or other worries. Feeling overwhelmed makes everything seem worse and in fact often we can be almost ‘paralysed’, feeling that we don’t know where to start or how to tackle the tasks or feelings, or there can be a tendency to be stressed and rush about like the proverbial headless chicken. Being busy but often achieving nothing. But however you respond to overwhelm these simple steps will help you to manage and get your life and emotions back on track.
Create some space
The first step is to allow yourself a little bit of space – this could be stepping away from your desk, going for a walk or taking half a day for yourself. It’s easy to think you haven’t the time but you need to do this to get yourself back on track. If you feel apathetic and that you can’t face anything you still need to clear a bit of space but need a determination to face the situation rather than try to bury your head in the sand, or under the duvet!
Be honest with yourself – it’s all too much. It is important to acknowledge the existence of your overwhelm otherwise you’ll end up just literally taking a break then going back to exactly how things were, which will have the same result. Something needs to change. If the overwhelm is the result of a specific situation, a big event for example then it may all pass when the event passes, but usually overwhelm creeps up gradually because you are too busy for too long. If it is an emotional overwhelm it’s usually because you have been hiding feelings to keep going until they all sort of spill out. In this case you also need to acknowledge how you feel, you may be strong but emotions can take their toll so you need to develop some strategies to take care of yourself.
Once you have created some space for yourself then assess your priorities. Sometimes it helps to write everything down – all the things that are making you feel overwhelmed. Then look at the list and identify what the really important things are, not the urgent things but the important things. Different things will be important at different times. Ask yourself what your priorities are right now. There are usually things that are important but can take a back seat for a while. There are often other things that actually might add to your overwhelm every day, like a mountain of emails you haven’t opened that somehow worry you. Identifying certain priorities can have an almost immediate positive impact.
Delegate or Get Help
Lots of people, but perhaps particularly business owners can find it tough to delegate – often they are afraid others won’t do things the way they themselves would but as a business owner or entrepreneur you will often limit business growth by not delegating. If you regularly feel overwhelmed maybe it is time to outsource some of the work. Others may feel overwhelmed because of family and domestic responsibilities and sometimes adjustments need to be made. It is okay to ask people to help, we can all find it hard at times but it really is a better option than letting ourselves become overwhelmed.
Determine to be Different
We all know the saying that if we keep doing what we’ve always done we’ll get exactly the same results. If you don’t want to find yourself in this position again then decide to do things differently. Make a plan set aside some time to relax, perhaps try to improve your organisation, planning or prioritisation. If it is emotions that overwhelm you then take steps to manage that, maybe try some mindfulness exercises you can find some by following the link. http://attunededucation.com/2017/03/14/4-mindful-exercises-to-try-today/
Or ensure you have regular meet ups with people who are supportive. We might not be good at it but we all need to schedule in some time for us. So if you don’t want to find yourself in this position again you will need to do something different. There are some useful ways you can take care of yourself in the article here https://successstory.com/inspiration/ways-to-take-care-of-yourself