In the past week or so, I’ve had a few of my clients tell me how completely overwhelmed they are feeling.
Work is manic.
The business is taking off.
I’m trying to juggle multiple jobs as well as a family.
It’s even started affecting my sleep!
Coincidentally, I’ve been reminded recently of a number of methods I use to help reduce feelings of anxiety and overwhelm when everything feels like it’s getting on top of me.
Top 5 tips to stop feeling so overwhelmed:
In no particular order, here are my top five suggestions to immediately reduce feelings of anxiety, worry and stress.
1. Write a ‘Not-Going’To’Do’ List
This is unbelievably effective. Whether you write a ‘Not-Going-To-Do’ list for that particular day, the week, the month, or even the year, just writing things down on that list will take them off your mental radar. You can rest easy knowing there is no expectation to achieve that task until after the set period of time is up and you can revisit it’s priority.
2. Do a quick guided meditation
One of my favourites! I’m not so good at stopping my monkey mind from running wild so I find guided meditations really helpful. Even a 2min meditation can be helpful to break that hamster wheel feeling of go-go-go. Of course if you can sit down for 15-20mins or longer, the benefits are going to be greater, but start small if this new for you.
If meditation is really not your thing, then simply take a deep breath in (right down into your tummy) for 4 counts (1… 2… 3… 4…), pause, then breathe out for 4 counts (1… 2… 3… 4…). And repeat 3 times. Simply focusing on the breath will slow your body down and allow it time to rest and repair.
My favourite guided meditations online are:
www.calm.com (free guided or unguided meditations and amazing graphics)
www.yogaglo.com (15 free trail – great 5min meditations)
Magical Coloured Shower (youtube video, great for realigning yourself to more positive thinking)
3. Get outside and go for a walk
There is something about fresh air and sunshine! Get to the beach (and get your toes in the sand), or a park, somewhere where nature really is at it’s best. Then start to really open your eyes, ears and nose to experience all that nature has to offer from the tiny glistening spider web, to the pitches of birdsong, to the damp cool smell of the undergrowth or salty rugged driftwood.
4. Do something for your soul
If you can shut off while reading a good book. Pick up your book and just read. Set the timer if you really have to, you’ll be surprised how good just 10mins can be to switch your mental train of thought. I’m a tea drinker so I love making a cup of tea (when I remember I need to snap out of a downward spiral) and just watching the steam float up from the cup, teasing my nose as I wait for it to cool down.
5. Try ‘free-writing’
Another particularly helpful technique I use often is ‘free-writing’ or a brain dump. I just get a piece of paper and pen (I find this more therapeutic than typing what’s in my head, but each to their own) and I just start writing. No sentences, no structure, just thoughts, feelings, emotions. If I’m really diligent I do this at least once per week and like regular yoga practise it is a way to keep my mind limber and free from thoughts and feelings that are cause a build up in anxiety or stress.
Give at least one thing a try
I know it can be particularly difficult to snap out of feeling overwhelmed and maxed out, but I promise you, if you just take 5mins here and there before launching into the next task, you’re mind (and body) will thank you for it.