I predict that being able to minimize feeling overwhelmed, with the masses of information available to us, will become one of the biggest skills to learn in the future. Heck, even today.
Most of the population is overwhelmed today with everything being thrown at us.
We are literally overwhelmed in epidemic proportions. And it’s having a stressful effect on our lives.
Being a creative multi-passionate mom with a day job and creative side job, my head is sometimes spinning out of control. And I love shiny objects. I rely heavily on my calendars. Without them, I wouldn’t remember anything.
Signs of overwhelm
- It’s an “I-need-to-do-it-all” thinking
- I have no time
- I’m drowning
- Mental drama is out of control.
- FOMO (fear of missing out)
- You have a tiredness inside and you “close down”.
- No sense of direction in your life and unable to think ahead but live from moment to moment.
- High sensory stimulation or sensory processing sensitivity (SPS – a personality trait characterized by a high level of sensitivity to external stimuli.)
Again, feeling these things are completely normal. It’s become the norm.
I am someone who gets easily overwhelmed.
All of the examples above I am familiar with.
Just a few years ago I didn’t know there was a thing as being overwhelmed. Or being an introvert.
All through my childhood, in school, during my teenage years, my 20’s and into my 30’s I thought I was just a little different. Also, I didn’t know any other introverts, at least not someone who knew they were introvert so that just added to the “I’m different” feeling.
I know the signs now, and I try and look after myself when I feel them.
Of course, now I have also heard loads of stories like mine. Thankfully, there are whole movements about introversion. Susan Cain’s “Quietrev” is one of them.
Here are 10 things you can do to minimize feeling overwhelmed
Recognizing the feeling of overwhelm is most important. This should stop you beating yourself up and instead, taking care of yourself
- Meditate regularly.
- De-clutter and keep de-cluttering. Simplify your space, and your life. Keep getting rid of stuff. Clothes, papers etc.
- Take a nap.
I love my naps. When I’m drained coming home from work, an hours kip is heaven.
- Write down aaaalll the things, thoughts, ideas, plans in your head.
As often as you can. Keep notebooks
- Break the things down into really small, enjoyable steps.
A small step is small enough when you feel no pressure in doing it.
- Lower your expectations.
Perfectionism is actually a major cause of feeling overwhelmed. Try and go for “good enough” and “small and crappy”. Two expressions to remember.
- Take a break from your phone and social media.
Maybe install an app that shows you how much time you actually spend on your phone. Talk about sensory overload!
- Use calendars to write all your little jobs and things you have to remember in.
- Taking your work and your life too seriously is a major part of feeling overwhelmed. Lighten up 🙂
A good kaizen question to ask yourself when feeling like it all is a bit much:
“What is one small thing I can do to feel less overwhelmed today?”
About the power of small questions:
“Any small question, especially if you ask repeatedly, prompts your brain to start its own Google search” – Robert Maurer, phd
Swop overwhelm for joy
I don’t know if it is possible to live a completely overwhelm-free life. Life is up and down, it has seasons. Sometimes there is more going on than other times.
For instance, we are coming into our birthday-season at our house. Fall is always a really busy time for us with many birthdays and school meetings, so I try and make plans now and organize as much as I can so I am prepared.
But if you can use some of these 10 suggestions to help you minimize feeling overwhelmed, you will be feeling better, and maybe even swop overwhelm for joy.
I hope it does that for you 🙂