How to break up with constant overload
We’ve all been there.. the dishes piling up in the sink, laundry overflowing, the counter becomes a catch-all, maybe you’re behind in work, longing for stability and routine and for things to just feel like they can calm the heck down. Overwhelm is one of the worst feelings that can overtake our nervous systems, we become easily irritable, less productive, a bit irrational, and it just feels really crappy. So how can we avoid it? Or more importantly, how can we climb out of it?
Most importantly, you cannot pour from an empty cup, cheesy but true! This is exactly why when we feel overwhelmed and our cup is down to just droplets, we become less productive, we can literally feel how empty our cup is. We overcome overwhelm by figuring out what fills our cup and keeps it full.
One simple way to spark a little bit of joy is to create a routine and add things to it that make you feel good. Maybe you don’t love waking up early, but you love making your coffee or look forward to eating your favorite breakfast. Maybe you leave ten minutes early to stop for a smoothie or take your favorite route. If you thrive on routine, don’t forget to also schedule time to rest, time to sit outside or to watch TV. If you don’t thrive on routine, create a loose one to hold yourself accountable but keep it flexible so you don’t get burnt out. Finding your best routine and keeping it fun will really help you feel checked in, on target, and at ease all at once - bye overwhelm!
Similar to routine, task lists can be helpful! Sometimes just getting all of the brain clutter onto paper is therapeutic in itself. This allows you to prioritize and have the satisfaction of seeing completed tasks be checked off. If you feel overwhelmed seeing your task list, try a “to-done” list! Write down everything you’ve done for the day, big or small, you got out of bed, you showered, you ate and drank water, did a bit of work - recognize your wins and show yourself some love! These lists are great to do everyday alongside gratitude journaling.
This may be the most important tip to beating overwhelm - be present. It is so easy to get lost in our head when we feel like there is so much to do, not enough hands on deck or time in the day, many times the only cure to that feeling is to take a deep breath and be there, in the moment that’s right in front of you. No matter how many things you have to do, no matter what is plaguing your mind, the moment right in front of you still exists and you are either in it or missing out on it. Put your phone or work down, play with your littles, step outside and observe nature, sit in silence, splash some water on your face or take a shower, spend time with yourself or those around you, have genuine conversations, just take those moments to reset and you’ll come back more productive.
Last but certainly not least, work everyday to create healthy habits. We recommend some books to help with this in our “5 Books to Get Your Life Together” post, reading in itself is a wonderful habit to incorporate whether it be physical or audio books, it’s a way to take in inspiring information everyday. Some other healthy habits to work on incorporating could be, cleaning up right away to keep messes from accumulating, asking for help when you need it, surrounding yourself with inspiration through the people you spend time with or what you scroll on social media, putting more focus on routine, daily self care however that may look for you, spending time outside everyday no matter the weather, learning more about nutrition and wellness to love on your physical body, gratitude journaling.. you get it, pick a few to start with!
All of these things can feel.. overwhelming, right? And “easier said than done” situation? Just remember, the small changes add up to be big results, you just have to start somewhere. While you’re drowning in overwhelm, adding another task seems counterintuitive but these tasks will help to reduce that drowning feeling and the more you master these tasks the less that feeling will come along. You have all the strength you need, you can overcome overwhelm! Be proud of yourself for taking any step at all, even reading this article, now let’s do this!