You can do anything but you can’t do everything!

Feelings of overwhelm can just creep up on you and all too often especially now we are going through another lockdown and wondering if we will be locked down for more than 4 weeks as originally stated and receiving contradicting information on social media on a daily basis.  So we need to prepare ourselves mentally for this new stage, as it will mean a lot of changes for many of us.  2020 has definitely been a year of loss, worry, realisation, transformation, transition, learning and healing.

So here are some tips on how to manage when overwhelming feelings take over.

Stop Living in the Future

Your to-do list seems to be growing by the day and you feel you have so much to do but yet so little time to deal with it.  This is what happens when your mindset is in the future.  You start thinking and stress about the things that need to be done and have fears you can’t complete it which plays on your mind.  Worrying and stressing over something never got anyone anywhere as it directs your focus and energy from what is happening in the present moment stopping you from getting things done.  To stop this from happening just notice that your mind has gone into overdrive mode and just bring it back to the present moment.

The Here and Now

The present moment is only what is in front of you right here, right now, and no future distress.  There’s no lack of time.  By brining your awareness back to the present moment, you realise that you are doing your best you can under current circumstances.  You only can do one thing at a time and eventually everything will get done.  You should pat yourself on the back and celebrate your wins. Acknowledge each effort.

Drop the Judgements

Stop judging yourself so negatively for not being a superhero.  You’re human and you are doing the best you can and that is definitely good enough.  Don’t judge others for how they act or what they say as they are dealing with their own shizzle that hasn’t got anything to do with you.  Everything is what it is.  You can choose how to respond.

Make good choices and set your boundaries

If someone makes a request and you know you can’t help them, just be honest and let them know.  It’s ok to say no.  If you can help them at a later date, when things calm down, tell them.  It’s not your problem if it doesn’t work for them as it’s not your job to make them happy.  If you work for someone and your boss gives you more responsibility than you can handle, just tell them you need help there is no shame in asking for help.

No one is perfect

We are all the best we can.  Floating through life without any stress is totally impossible.  Even if you are managing just fine, sometimes things will slide and you’ll find yourself stressing about it.  Remember, no judgements, crap happens.

Here are some steps to help you get back into your happy place.

Next time you feel overwhelmed

  • Stop what you are doing
  • Close your eyes and take 3 deep breaths
  • Focus on the air going through your nose and out through your nose or mouth
  • Relax your jaw, face, neck and shoulders and arms
  • Slowly say to yourself you are strong, you are capable, you got this!
  • Make a list of everything and either prioritise, delegate or just say no.
  • Write down all the things that need doing in much detail as you can
  • Review each item and decide if you really need to do it or can it wait or can someone else do it or does it need doing at all?

Prioritise all the things you have to do.  Are you working towards deadlines that you made up for yourself? If so, just give yourself some slack and don’t put so much pressure on yourself.  If it’s for someone else ask if you can extend the time.

When you finish, you should have a list with everything you need to do and when it needs to get done.

If you are working for yourself, I find that just doing 3 tasks a day from your list will make you feel accomplished and a lot less stressful.

Take a break

Go for a walk, get a drink and do nothing whilst sipping it, go outside, stretch your legs, stretch your body, do some exercise, play in the park, do anything that removes you from the place that is causing you stress.  Move your body, clear your mind and have fun!

Do the next task with little distraction as possible.  If working from home, tell your family that you need private time and go to a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed and work on one thing till it’s completed.  Take a break and move on to the next task.

Say no to other requests until you can include them on your prioritised list.  The world won’t end if you say no.

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