Have you found yourself waking up with your head spinning? I know I have been lately.
There is so much to do.
So many things that need my attention.
And it has just been overwhelming.
I’ve found myself wishing for that magic pause button where I can just take a moment to catch my breath, take stock and sleep for a trillion hours before having to deal with everything. But there isn’t a pause button. Despite how I have been feeling the only way to deal with all of this is to keep on going. And that has honestly made it all the harder.
Can you relate? Is life overwhelming for you right now?
Well if it is I promise you, you are not alone.
Life loves to test us all. Either nothing is happening or everything is happening at once, 2020 is the perfect example of that. It’s been a roller coster, heck it still is a roller coaster. And the longer we ride more and more of us are feeling overwhelmed.
Bottom line it sucks to be an adult right now. Because no matter what, we have to keep on going. We have to hold it together. We have to get stuff done. And the lock down pressure, Covid uncertainty and all the worries that comes with it, is making it harder for us all to cope.
Yet cope we must. Because there is a life after Covid.
The question is how to cope with feeling overwhelmed and carry on with out breaking ourselves?
The most obvious answer is looking after your physical health. But I am not going to go into that today. We know that already.
If life is overwhelming you now, or has the tendency to do so at various intervals, here are the 3 things that I have been doing to safeguard my sanity. That work. I hope that they will help you safeguard yours.
dealing with time pressure
Now to be fair time pressure is something we have all felt before. The current situation has just intensified this issue. Alot of us simply have more to do now. So how to cope?
Drop your expectations. You are not a super hero. You do not have the ability to make yourself an extra 4 hours a day. You have 24/ 7 just like everyone else. Stop giving yourself unneccissary pressure.
Ultimately what you need to cope with the time pressure is to cut down.
What I have done is made some priorities lists to get clear on what really matters and focus on 3 most important:
The first has been about what is important to me and my life. The top 3 is what I am making important at the moment. For me it is Mr T, our mental health and working on my business growth. So that is what I am focusing on. These 3 are the things that I am making the most important each and every day.
The second has been friends and family. Again the top 3 people are the ones I am focusing on. It might feel a bit mean. But I have limited capacity at the moment so I have cut down who I am putting my energy into.
The last is my 3 a day list. Each day I make a list of the 3 most important things to do that day. Even if my todo list is longer. Those are my priorities.
Accepting the time and energy you have to do what you need and want to do has always been a key to cracking time management. And when you feel overwhelmed you have to accept you can do what you can do. No more, no less. Cut down to the rule of three and take it step by step.
A little self care goes a long way
Now I know with the kids at home many of us have even less time than before for ourselves. When you are feeling overwhelmed you HAVE to make self care important.
5 minutes self care everyday will help you cope. It’s not ideal. But really a little goes a long way.
Although when you are feeling overwhelmed it can be hard to think of what you need. So do some pre thinking. Take a moment just now to think of a list of five or more things that are quick to do that give you an energy boost. (If you need some ideas check out this article)
Energy boosters are great self care because they change your mental state which gives you a boost to carry on.
Put your list somewhere you can see it and each day make it important to do one of these things. Even if it is giving your self 2 mins standing on the balcony uninterupted it will give you a small peacefull moment that your future self will thank you for.
Take 3 breaths
Now I love meditation. However, I’ll be honest, when I am feeling overwhelmed meditation is hard to focus on. And heck I don’t have the time. I found this little beauty of a quick meditation exercise during lockdown and I’ve used it everyday since. Instead of meditating for 20 mins you simply take take 3 concious breaths.
Breath 1 : Focus on your breathing. The air coming in. The air going out
Breath 2 : Physically relax your shoulders. Just take them down a notch
Breath 3 : Ask yourself ‘what is the most important thing I need to do now?’
Even if you think of a million things, what ever the first thing you thought of do that. Straight away.
This exercise is great for those moments where you have been working and a scream from the small ones drags you out to go grab a juice box, deal with an injury or help them through some home schooling that even you are struggeling to understand. And then you have to return to work. At that moment, when you sit at your desk do the three breaths and it will help you to refocus.
Quick. Easy. And Effective, what’s not to love!
That’s it. These are the 3 simple things I have put into place that have helped me cope and feel less overwhelmed. They are easy to manage and easy to do. And right now I don’t know about you but easy is what I need.
Of course there are many other ways to deal with feeling overwhelmed and getting out of that feeling. Right now, we don’t have the time. When the world enters a new normal and we can begin to rely on our community support again, that’s when you can start to put in sustainable solutions. These tips are to help right now.
The biggest thing to realise about feeling overwhelmed right now is to not beat yourself up about it.
This last 12 months has put us all on survival mode. And when we are in survival mode it is harder to cope with everything because our body is bascally going bonkers with all the stress hormones.
Go easy on yourself. You are not weak. You are in a challenging situation. You are stupid. You are doing the best you can.
And we, all of us, can’t do better than our best.
Take Care of yourself
P.s If you have found coping strategies to help with feeling overwhelmed, please share them in the comments below so we can all try them out.