I am a great fan of the expression when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. I need to look for the positive and what can be done in the face of adversity or misfortune. Sometimes though life throws you another curveball and you feel completely overwhelmed. Time to go back to the drawing board, clear your mind and find a way to get back on track. I will hopefully do a more in-depth post on my personal experiences very soon.
In the meantime, here are a few things I’ve found to work that you might like to try if you feel overwhelmed:
A simple one, but the first thing that happens when I feel overwhelmed and out of control is I forget simple things. I don’t check, or remember to update the diary. My brain whirls in a state of panic and I struggle to remember the important details. I forget the birthdays and the anniversaries. The more I forget, the more I feel guilty, overwhelmed and out of control. It is important to just sit down with a blank piece of paper and write it all down and download, so you can see what is going on.
So that brain dump now looks pretty overwhelming in itself. I use a pink highlighter for important tasks I need to do. Then yellow for easy tasks I want to do and then leave the ones I don’t have a feeling about, or can’t quite face today. Use whatever system works for you, but I find by going through the yellow, I tick off easy wins and by doing one of the pinks, I feel like I’ve started to hack away at the overwhelm. You revisit the other tasks tomorrow.
If you know me personally, then you know I find it so hard to talk about my feelings and what is going on in my life. Yet not talking about your emotions is a sure-fire way to end up with everything becoming overwhelming. I’ve learnt this the hard way. I think though talking to people is a big trust game when you’re feeling vulnerable. If you know you can trust your nearest and dearest, then they will have your best interests at heart and will do all they can to help you. Just find that little way of opening up.
Clean your space.
If you feel overwhelmed, often cleaning and tidying your space can help. If you have stuff everywhere and can’t find what you’re looking for. Maybe it is time to do a de-clutter. Even if it’s just clearing the table so that you can grab a notepad and plan with clarity.
I often find that initial brainstorm gives me a feeling of relief, but it soon gives way to more thoughts and feelings of anxiety. I like to carry on the benefits of the brainstorm in the form of journaling. I popped into Poundland the other day and picked up a page-a-day academic diary to use as a journal and I can already feel the benefits of a daily download.
Get out and do something.
My natural default when I feel overwhelmed is to hibernate. I find I have to virtually push myself out of the door to avoid getting into that rut. If you can though, get out there. Run, walk or shop. Whatever gets you out of the house, just do it! Feel the sun on your face, the air in your lungs and just breathe.
This morning I woke up in the early hours feelings so overwhelmed. After a few more hours sleep, I packed my bag, my two diaries in hand. One for journaling and the one for getting my sh*t together and headed for a coffee shop. Thank you to the nice man in Pret who gave me a free coffee. He said it was nice to see a smiley face. I’m trying to follow my own advice 🙂
What do you do when you feel overwhelmed?
Lots of love,