We all know that feeling - overwhelm. We are human, it happens, but guess what - that's a-okay. Today we will shift from being the victims of overwhelm to being the controllers of overwhelm.
Let's dive into being able to identify it, feel it, and work with it. Over the past few months, I have taken the time to record all of my "wtf" moments. Why do I feel like crying right now, why do I feel like I just want to sleep, why do I feel like I don't want to talk to anyone, oh, and why the in the heck does my checklist make me want to PUKE. Well, to put it simply, I was overwhelmed.
We all have our limits and we deserve to understand them. So let's dive into the most five most common "wtf" moments we as humans experience. Although we experience them at different capacities, I know we all go through them. Let's dive in!
Just a side note - each of the five topics below will have a "take back the power" (TBTP) note to help you literally take your power back from this emotion. "Overwhelm" is smart, it will adapt, but so will you!
One. Running on E - No Energy
Living life with your eyes half open is no way to do it. Period. You might have lack of sleep, too much sleep, or you're just tired all the time. Maybe you feel like you get your checklist mostly done, but you felt sluggish and it wasn't close to what you wanted to get done today.
TBTP - Develop and stick to a nighttime routine, practice deep breathing before bed, look for natural sources of energy (healthy foods, water, etc), exercise in the morning, and try tracking your sleep. Do you get consistent hours of sleep? What can you do to become more consistent? What else in your life is creating an emotional drain? How can you work that drain out of your life.
Two. Anxious, Stressed, and Anxious
This one is the culprit to a lot of “putting it off until tomorrow” moods we go through. Being anxious and being stressed are two different things (we can dive into that another day), but they can be calmed together through a couple different tactics (everyone is different though, so explore these and do some more research to find what's right for you).
TBTP - Plan downtime, take a day for you (and DO NOT feel guilty about it), avoid caffeine and alcohol, be active, try to define a new balance between life and work (maybe it’s time for a shift), break down large tasks and make lists (like actually write them down), and lastly, channel your senses.
Smell – try aromatherapy, Hear – try listening to calming instrumentals, Touch – give yourself a foot massage, try sleeping naked (it’s proven that you get more sleep this way), try out a stress ball (classic, but promising), or just sit and breathe (know the feeling is taking over your body, accept it, and breathe through it…try focusing on the feeling of your breath on your upper lip as it exits your body).
Three. Try Keeping to Yourself
You know that feeling when you just hope to God the person you made plans with cancels before you do? Lol, from a fellow introvert, I hear yah. But, we are human, we thrive off of human interaction…let’s kick this!
TBTP - Stop feeling guilty about this. We've all been there, but the key is to make this “me” time beneficial to your well-being. Try picking up a self-help book, journaling, or something else you feel will push your needle further. Another option is just going out to see people who LOVE you. This one is clearly more difficult, but sometimes it’s just what you need. It reminds you that you are loved and your attention is wanted!
Four. Moody Judy
First things first, if you are experiencing severe mood changes please consult with a professional, take time to improve “you” because you deserve it, and those around you who love you, deserve it too. But, if you have the occasional mood swings that you can't understand, check out our TBTP below:
TBTP - Try to make time every day for a little self-care routine. Maybe a face mask, or bubble bath, or foot massage. Moodiness can be driven A LOT by overwhelm, so take some time to breathe and try meditation. Clearing your brain will help you sort out your feelings and put them in the right compartments again.
It’s time to say goodbye to that jumbled mess and say hello to control. It helped me to even map out my feelings on paper. It gets them out of your brain and onto paper, where you can see everything and hopefully identify what is causing each feeling. No, it is never that easy, but it is a step in the right direction.
Five. Difficulty Focusing
You made it to number five - woohoo! I personally think this is my specialty when it comes to overwhelm. My brain goe twelve different directions every second of every day. Who is with me?
TBTP - Make a checklist and break down large tasks into smaller ones. Try writing out time limits to each task you have on your checklist, and more importantly give yourself a “break” schedule. Loosely, the optimal routine for humans is 50-55 minutes on, 5-17 minutes off – but we all know that’s very hard to follow. So try different rotations and see what is practical and functional for you!
Creating a structure to your day really helps you zone in on what the over-all goal is of the day and how you can get there in small, manageable steps. Knowing what you are working towards all day puts you 100 percent in control of what you get done. I don’t know about you, but I like the feeling of being in control of something in my life.
It's time to take control and avoid burnout!
Disclaimer: Although I have personal experience, I am not a licensed therapist. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professionals.