At one point this week I felt that panicky feeling in my stomach that felt like my insides were beginning to do somersaults. Have you ever had that feeling?
Similar to many families, Team O’Leary (that’s my nickname for my crew) has had a lot going on this year. Some of it exciting, like one child going off to college. Some things challenging to manage. For example 4 kids in 4 schools and multi team schedules. As the typical family dynamics and obligations unfold there are other items to juggle related to the home front. Our home is still under construction and as a designer I have a very hands-on approach to that project (much to the builders dismay 😉 and we are still navigating the insurance conundrum. Those are the plates that need to be spun on the home front and then there are plates that need to stay spinning for Home in Harmony. Private clients, group program participants and mentees and design projects. The snowball effect of what this means can seem daunting.
It truly is a whirlwind and it would be quiet easy to allow some of those plates to spin out of control and go crashing onto the ground. I can honestly say that I know what it feels like to have feelings of overwhelm creep into my world.
When the overwhelm begins to show itself, this is what I do…
It is critical to manage the overwhelm! In today’s article we will look at some Simple Solutions to help you overcome your overwhelm.
First, it is imperative to mobilize and move into action to move through this experience and get to the other side of the overwhelm. Trust me, there is “the other side”. Knowing this keeps me moving forward.
Taking time to take a few breaths is also critical. At one point recently I was forwarding emails that were supposed to go to my business manager to my husband. His gentle reply of, “Hi Love, Is this something I need? I love you.” Was a fabulous reminder that when you are moving to fast, it can actually create more work because you are not doing things well which in the end creates more overwhelm. I then forwarded my email to my business manger letting her know what had happened and she sweetly and firmly said, “Hmm, I’ve been thinking about you and all you have on your plate. Maybe you should take some time to sit down and have some tea.” These lovely people were there to remind me that it is critical to take moments each day to breath deeply especially when you are feeling the impact of a dizzying amount of stress, commitments or overwhelm. We all go through periods in our lives where we experience this. It is how you approach it that can help you either move through it or stay stuck.
Let me share a few simple solutions to help you to overcome your overwhelm…
1- Look at the big picture and create a goal around it. This will help you envision where you hope to go. It will give you the needed momentum to keep taking each needed step to move you forward. For me, my vision is of our family enjoying our beautiful new home. I can see the smiles, hear the laughter and feel the warm fire from the hearth. This vision carries me and moves me through the feelings that begin to rise up in the pit of my stomach. What is your vision? Find it, feel it, connect to it. It will pull you through.
2- Compartmentalize the different areas that are creating that sense of overwhelm. Is it related to your personal life, professional life, home space, kids’ activities or clutter? Look at each area separately and create a system for each. Do this by creating goals and task list that are manageable. Take one small step each day to cross of these tasks that are related to the goals in each area. Make them small enough that they are manageable but big enough that you feel like you moved the needle.
3- Take time each day to take a deep breath. (The more of these moments the better.) It actually helps to lower cortisol levels in the body, which can help you think clearer. This helps you make better decisions that will be more effective and efficient.
It is a natural part of living to have experiences arise that can create feelings of overwhelm. Implementing strategies and simple solutions that will help you be more effective and efficient will help you move through your day with more ease and grace. Begin by sitting down with a cup of tea, taking a few deep breaths and writing out your vision of your ideal life and noting the things you will focus on today to move you closer to that goal. This will help you overcome the overwhelm.
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