Have you ever had a day when no matter how hard you tried, you just couldn't get anything done? You start one thing and can't seem to focus to get it done, so you put it away and try to move on to do something else. You feel like you have a million things on your mental "to do" list, and your brain just won't cooperate by allowing you to focus.
Welcome to overwhelm!
Overwhelm can sneak up on you when you least expect it.....you know...when you have an unexpected day off from your usual routine, and you think "great, I have so much I can achieve today", but then for some reason, you get towards the end of the day and realise that nothing has been accomplished except a whole lot of bits and pieces that really amount to not much at all!
Overwhelm can also hit when you have a deadline to meet and you just know you haven't moved as far ahead with your goals as you needed to. So, you start to panic and all you can focus on is what you haven't got done, instead of seeing how much you really do have done.
Overwhelm steals your motivation, obscures your clarity and paralyses your actions. If overwhelm was a visitor at your front door, you'd never let it in because of the havoc it can wreak on a perfectly good day.
So, how do you deal with overwhelm?
The first thing to do is recognise the symptoms...you can't focus to get anything done, you're fiddling around doing unimportant things, procrastinating, you feel like you might as well give up on your ideas and goals...and whatever other symptoms are unique to you when you are in overwhelm.
Once you have recognised what is going on, you can do one of two things. First of all, you can simply steel yourself and push yourself into getting something done....this isn't easy, or you can remove yourself temporarily from your overwhelming situation in order to gain some perspective. This might mean going for a walk around the block, sitting beside a lake, going for a bite to eat at a cafe, or watching the water at the beach....whatever works for you.
By removing yourself from the overwhelming situation, you allow your stress hormones to settle down, you're able to gain more clarity, and often, you will find new ideas on how to manage the overwhelm so that when you return, you have new strategies to work with and you don't feel stuck anymore.
If overwhelm isn't dealt with and continues on unabated, it can lead to feelings of stress and anxiety, depression, anger, frustration and insomnia, and all of these will end up impacting your health in a negative way.
If you're feeling overwhelmed by something today, I encourage you to take some time out and gain a new perspective. When all is said and done, overwhelm is just a feeling, and feelings come and go. If you can't get through it by yourself, ask for help...from a friend, a family member or a professional....but ask someone for help.
Enjoy your journey to health and wellness,