With all the craziness that has been going on this year, it is easy to fall prey to overwhelm. It happens to us all at some point. Last week, I simply felt exhausted. There was so much work to do. I felt like I was drowning in to do lists. I was stressed out, irritable and felt like weeping. So not like me!
Overwhelmed – giving away power
I realised that I was giving all my energy away. Despite not watching the news, I was still caught up in the global uncertainty. Constantly talking about the pandemic with others. Wondering what was coming our way. Debating the response that the government was taking. Falling into the conspiracy theory rabbit holes. It was pulling my focus away from what I needed to do. And it was exhausting!
I decided to simply stop. It occurred to me that I had forgotten my usual mantra. “It is what it is”. What I mean by that is there is no point postulating or worrying about what is going on. By acknowledging that it is what it is, I can set down the stress.
Easier said than done, I know! The collective conscious is full of overwhelm, anxiety, depression and stress just now. As an energy healer and mindset mentor, I can feel it. And so can you. So how can we beat overwhelm and take back our energy?
Here are 13 tips to beat overwhelm
- Take a time out.
When you feel overwhelmed, whether by work, family or life in general, take a time out. For example you could read an engrossing book that has nothing to do with work. Or give yourself permission to watch a feel good movie. The point is to take an hour or two away from your problems – physically somewhere else, if possible. You’ll remember that there’s a vast world out there, and maybe put yourself back in perspective.
Exercise can really help shift you out of a funk. Hit the gym. Go for a walk, run or a swim. Take a spin class. Whatever it is that you do for exercise, maybe shift up your routine. If you normally work out in the morning why not try doing it later? Perhaps add it into the middle of the day, so you can separate a difficult morning from the rest of the day.
Even if you can’t go to the gym during the day, you can always go out for a walk. How often do you eat lunch at your desk? Would it not be better to get outside and walk the stress away?
- Breathe deeply.
This should really have been first on the list. Our breath becomes shallow and rapid when we are overwhelmed. This provokes a further stress response in the body. By consciously focusing on your breath and allowing it to deepen and slow down, you invoke the relaxation response. Deep breathing, even for 1 or 2 minutes, can rapidly shift you from overwhelm to peace.
- Look for something to be grateful for.
Take a moment to reflect and ponder. There is so much to be thankful for. The fact you are alive and reading this post. You have a roof over your head. A means to pay your bills. You have food and water. Step back for a moment. Get some perspective on life. Be mindfully grateful. You can’t be anxious and grateful at the same time.
You know me, I am a massive advocate of meditation. Try and form the habit of spending a few minutes each day in meditation. You can meditate in all sorts of different ways. There are guided meditations, moving meditations, mindful meditations… Find what works for you. Meditation helps keep your mind healthy. Would you eat your breakfast of last night’s dirty dinner plate? No. So why would you go into your day with yesterday’s cluttered mind?
I have four guided meditations available free of charge on the wonderful Insight Timer site. This is also the app I often use to get my daily meditation fix!
- Phone a friend.
Pick up the phone and ring a friend. Not to complain or focus on the overwhelm. Simply to talk and catch up. Rather than text, actually pick up the phone and speak to them. Arrange to go for coffee or a walk. The trick is not to dwell on the stress – that will only bring you both down.
Lift the phone. Say “Hi, I’ve been thinking about you. Let’s do something.” By all means share that you’ve been feeling overwhelmed but rather than stay in that space, shift it. Go walking with a friend. Talk about fun things, memories, have a laugh.
Do you have to do everything yourself? If the answer is no, then don’t. Share the load. And don’t forget, you don’t have to be the boss to delegate. You can often simply ask colleagues and friends for help. They’ll give you the chance to return the favour sometime. Never be afraid to ask for help.
- Talk things over with your significant other.
It is important to be able to share your feelings with your partner. Don’t be afraid to share your daily experiences with each other. Even just to get it off your chest. It is important to talk and communicate. You never know, you may get a snippet of help or profound wisdom. Often when we share the things that overwhelm us, a different perspective can help you escape from the stress. This shift in perspective can offer a light at the end of the tunnel.
- Write stuff down.
Sometimes things become more manageable just by writing them down. When we get overwhelmed we can lose focus. The brain becomes foggy and this leads to more overwhelm. Write it all down. I am a massive fan of writing things down that stress me out. Then I burn them in a fire and watch the flames take it all away. This is a really powerful exercise. Take a few minutes to get it all out of your head on to paper. Write about the things that wind you up. The things that cause you to feel stressed out. The limiting beliefs or the situation that bothers you. Burn the paper somewhere safe and as it burns allow yourself to release all the stress into the flames. I promise you this works wonders.
Writing stuff down can also help you sleep. At night our brain often goes into overdrive. Write down all the thoughts before you lie down to sleep. By doing this you can assure your brain that you won’t forget its instructions and drift into peaceful sleep.
- Drink more water.
Studies have shown increasing your water intake improves your mood. Even though it’s supposed to take longer than just drinking a bottle or two, I find that water has a placebo effect. It makes me feel better because I know I’m doing something small that’s health-positive. Energy flows better through a hydrated system so by increasing your water intake, your energy will also get a boost.
- Say No.
Sometimes you have to turn things down. Don’t accept extra work if you are already overwhelmed. Do not be afraid to say no to someone. You do not need to explain yourself. Having boundaries is important. This is something we all need to work on. You cannot give from an empty vessel. Saying no to protect your energy is vital. It is OK to put your needs first.
- Clean things up.
Having a clear out is a great way to ditch overwhelm. Is there an area in your house or at work that needs de-cluttered? We all have one of those cupboards or drawers where clutter gathers. By having a physical clear out it helps to declutter your mind as well. You can see results and feel accomplished. You have got something done. This helps to lessen the overwhelm and leave you feeling better.
- Go for energy healing.
Self care is vital. An energy healing session can really help to rebalance you. It will lift off any stress and overwhelm, leaving you feeling lighter and more positive. I go at least once a month for acupuncture and clearing work. When was the last time you took the time for a Reiki session?
At this time, in the midst of a global pandemic, the need for clear, positive energy is huge. If each of us focused on being responsible for our own energy. Keeping it clean and clear. Reducing overwhelm and worry. Focusing on the good in life. Being kind to each other. What a wonderful world it would be.
Improving your energy and mindset starts with you. I can help you – why not check out my new Powerfully Soulful Programme. In this 90 day transformational coaching and healing programme you learn to take back your power. Do something positive for yourself. Step away from the overwhelm and enjoy living once more.