Things to Do When You Feel Overwhelmed
Do you often feel overwhelmed? You may be nodding along or bristling at the thought of being overwhelmed often. Either one is totally understandable. I imagine most of us feel overwhelmed much of the time!
Modern life run at break-neck-speed. Women and/or mothers know that better than anyone, don’t we? And as much as we might like to simplify and create a calm laid-back lifestyle, it doesn’t happen too often.
When life and overwhelm hit, you may be “wine” person, a “chocolate” person, a “mashed potatoes” person, a “mac and cheese” person, a “curl up under the blankets and binge” person, a “wear your comfy clothes and eat ice cream” person, or a million others. While these are all very real and helpful in the short-term (said from experience), there are more effective ways of dealing with overwhelm. Over the next two blogs, I will share my five favorite go-to’s:
1: DO A BRAIN DUMP
There’s nothing more overwhelming than having a thousand thoughts bouncing around in your brain!
There are a million things to do, added on top that the certainty that you have forgotten some of them, it can turn ugly quickly. It takes up a ton of your mental space but even more importantly, it takes a ton of energy. So what do you do about it?
You do a brain dump!
To-do lists are great, but a brain dump goes beyond that. After all, you may have things weighing on you that aren’t going to be fixed with one action step. Whatever is on your mind, write it down. Just get it all out!
Sure, you can type your brain dump on your favorite notes app, but putting a pen to paper makes the process more powerful. For many of us, there’s just something about actually writing. But you may be different, so experiment with what works best for you. Either way, you’re going to feel a bit lighter just from getting those thoughts out of your head and freeing up the mental energy of trying to remember it all!
So, you’ve got a page full of ideas, worries, to-do’s, and a whole bunch of other thoughts (that always come with a brain dump), now what? Some of you will immediately know what to do next, others of you will just be happy it is out of your head and can leave it alone for another day (week, month, or year).
Before you join the “leave it alone” group, it is important to know that you are just kicking the can down the road because the overwhelm will return quickly.
Instead, let’s start with asking yourself these questions to figure out your best next step…
- What is my top priority right now and what action can I take today to move me forward on it?
- What can I do today that will feel really good to get done?
- What have I been procrastinating on doing that I could cross off my list today (or this week)?
- What just isn’t that pressing that I can give myself permission to put aside for 30 days? (Put it in your planner or set a reminder, so you know it will be handled. That way you won’t go back to spending your brain power on it right now.)
When we are overwhelmed especially, it feels really good to be able to cross things off our to-do list. It releases doses of dopamine, the feel-good receptor in our brain. To switch your feelings from overwhelm to accomplishment, give yourself some doable action steps for today. Just remember to keep it doable. It is also about balance, so for all my type-A friends, no burning the midnight oil just to cross things off your list.
Make sure you join my email list to get Part Two Delivered to your inbox. See You Soon.