Its almost half way through 2018 and I’ve heard people say, “It’s starting out to be the best year yet! But where does time go? ” And, “I just have to get through the next couple of weeks and then I can take a break.” When you ask a person how they are, they answer almost out of breath with “Busy!”
Does this sound familiar?
Along with the busy life we lead with the stress of meeting deadlines, juggling the day to day chores and the expected burden to perform, we cram so much in the day. We put unbelievable pressure on ourselves at times and it builds like a double boiler unable to let out steam.
The thought of how we will manage the next hour and sometimes the next minute brings a feeling of immense overwhelm. We can experience the “deer in the headlight” moment where we just don’t know what to do. We may even begin to hyperventilate with all the things that we have to do, and think of how we are going to get through the hour let alone the day, a week or year. The spin starts… we stop in our tracks.
All the above is certainly not conducive to our growth or happiness and we can’t see the forest for the trees.
What actions can you take to immediately address the overwhelm and alleviate the moment?
- Take a big cleansing breath and hold. By taking a big breath at that given moment and holding it for a count of five, then releasing very gently to a count to seven, we can reduce the stress in our body and insert a moment of pause to be able to regroup.
- Keep the big picture in perspective. Ask yourself: in the scope of life, is this moment really going to make it or break it? On a scale of 1-10, what is the appropriate reaction? Perspective allows you to start to see the forest.
- Drill down. Focus on the immediate task on hand only. Block out the noise and drill down to what has to be done now, and nothing else. You will be moving forward again and the path opens. You can deal with the future challenges when they arise. And who knows, those anticipated challenges might not even occur.
- Move it move it. By getting up and being physically active we release endorphins and toxins in our body that will allow us to refocus and regroup. Our breathing deepens, our thoughts focus on our body movements and we get out of our head. Just walk away. Take a break for 10 minutes. It may seem counter intuitive but by actually leaving the environment, you give yourself a few moments to calm down and come back with a fresh perspective
- Reward yourself. Once you are past that moment of stress, pat yourself on the back and enjoy the reward. Take time to smell the roses.
- Limit the requests you accept. Do you get pulled in a million directions at times, both in our personal and your professional life? If you are in a busy stage in your work or personal life that will have an end in sight but you need to get through it, ask yourself: “is it really urgent to except that invitation right now?” Can the request be put off to another day? This does not mean we cut people or opportunities out of our lives. It simply means we weigh the importance of the request at that given time. “NO” is okay. Triage the most important things and let the other items take a back seat. Decide when you can regroup and most people will understand and that will give you both something positive to look forward to.
- Live with gratitude. Acknowledging the things that we are grateful for on a day-to-day basis will allow us to keep the big picture in perspective. If we can bring these gratitude thoughts to the top of our mind when we stress out then those feelings of overwhelm can be overcome more easily.