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what to do when you feel overwhelmed

Do you ever find yourself thinking that you have so much to do, but just don’t know where to start or how you are possibly going to get it done?  Or do you feel like you are suffocating with everything being too much, or are you simply drowning in obligations.  Kids, work, your relationships, housework, your health – the list goes on!  What about finances, legal issues or an ill family member to deal with?  Whatever it is, you certainly aren’t alone!

Feeling overwhelmed is one of the most common reasons women come to me for life coaching.   When life gets crazy and everything is happening at once, it can be quite difficult to bring calm and productivity back into your day.

Do you remember the last time you actually had a calm, flowing day?  Do you remember how good it feels to snuggle up in bed at night with a peaceful mind, rather than one that is still going a hundred mile an hour trying to process your day while mentally making a list of alllllll the things you need to do tomorrow, and wondering how the hell you are going to do them?

If you want more of those days, or can’t even remember last time you felt like your life was relatively under control, I have some tips for you.

Here are 5 steps you can implement today to take you from overwhelm to calm before you know it!

1.  Start your day right

The best way to prepare for a calm organised day, is to start your day that way!  Firstly, set your intention for the day ahead.  How do you want to feel?  What do you want your day to bring?  Productivity?  Relaxation?  Whatever it is, set your intention before you do anything else.  Then take 5 -10 minutes to meditate – I know, I know, I talk about this all the time!  But that is because it is so beneficial!  Instead of scrolling through social media when you first jump out of bed, give your mind (and soul) the gift of peace for five minutes (minimum – the longer the better) instead.

2.  Get it on paper

Often overwhelm thrives in our minds more than it does on paper!  Take a few minutes to write down what needs to be done, prioritising as you go.  Maybe you will realise you actually don’t have as much to do as you thought?  Or maybe you have more!  Maybe you will find that there is something you can delegate to someone else, or possibly even eliminate all together – do you really need to vacuum every single day?

3.  Take action – 5 second rule

Perhaps the most effective step to take you from overwhelm to calm, is to get stuff done!  That’s right, you can meditate and write lists until the cows come home, but if you aren’t taking action to get the very things done that are overwhelming you, those feelings will continue to linger.  One of the best ways to do this when you find yourself procrastinating or being so overcome with overwhelm that you just don’t want to do things you need to do, is to use the 5 second rule – count backwards from 5 to 1 and move!  Motivational speaker Mel Robbins created the 5 second rule at what she describes as ‘the worst time of her life’.  Her theory is that you have 5 seconds to act on an idea before your brain ‘kills it’.  By physically doing something – hopping up, raising your hand, writing something down, you are putting it in action before your brain can create a story to stop you.

4.  Elevate your emotional state

Often, it’s not so the tasks or obligations at hand that overwhelm us, as much as other factors in our life that effect our emotional state.  Once that has been compromised everything becomes more difficult.  One of the most effective ways to keep your emotional state in check is to get enough sleep!  Although sleep is crucial for our mental wellbeing and emotional state, it is rarely a priority for those living a busy life.  Most adults need between 7 and 9 hours sleep per night, so if you not getting enough, try setting yourself a bed time!  Other ways to elevate your emotional state include stretching, physical connection (aka hugging!) and giving gratitude.  These things don’t take much time at all, but can have wonderful effects on our minds and bodies which in turn help to create calm.

5.  Breathe

And finally, breathe.  Yes, breathe.  If you find yourself becoming overwhelmed just stop, and take a few moments to breathe.  Feel the air fill your tummy as you inhale, and feel the tension in your shoulders and body ease as you exhale.  Remind yourself that everything happens at the perfect time.  If that means that something won’t quite get done today then that is perfect.  If it means that you actually need to get twice as much done today as usual, then that is perfect too.  Take one thing at a time, and just breathe…

The next time you find yourself knee deep in overwhelm, remember that you are not alone and you can work through it to create a calmer, more peaceful life for yourself, by implementing some simple steps.  Life is full for most of us, but it is also a heck of a lot of fun – don’t forget to enjoy the ride!

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Published by

Krystal Gordon

Krystal Gordon, creator of self-care program Love Nourish Be and global ambassador for the Body Image Movement, is extremely passionate about empowering women to be their most amazing, authentic selves using an honest, holistic and heart-centred approach to wellness. After a lifetime of being at war with her body, this busy Mama transformed her life (and health) through self-love, acceptance and vulnerability, and along the way discovered her true purpose of inspiring other women to do the same.

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