I really thought I would have seen it coming! I mean, I've been down this path before, too many times but it seems to sneak up, like a tiger stalking its prey. What am I talking about?
that horrible stealthy peace-stealer.
One day you wake up feeling ok and a couple of hours later you hear yourself sighing for the umpteenth time and you feel your gut starting to do mickey flips, and a few deep breaths later, you realise what's going on. You're starting to move into anxiety because you feel overwhelmed.
Welcome to my day...today!
So why is someone who regularly helps people with this stuff feeling like this? How did I allow myself to be in this place...again?
To be honest, it's because my self-care has been pretty much non-existent. The circumstances of life have crowded in and robbed me of peace. Life has become busier than I'd like and instead of letting things go to compensate for temporary busyness, I've continued on as normal and tried to keep up. But that doesn't work.
There's a prinicple in life that seems to be at work here. That principle is this. In order to keep things flowing smoothly, you have to have an open channel. If the outlet is closed, everything backs up and eventually it will burst. Same thing with us humans. If we continue to take on more and more (work, emotional stress), eventually we'll burst, or at the very least, go into overwhelm. If your hands are already full of tennis balls, you can't take another one without letting one go...it's a principle. We need to learn from these little life lessons, then we wouldn't end up in trouble!
How do you move through the valley of overwhelm where you're surrounded by the mountains called Responsibility, Work, Relationships, Stress, Anxiety, and To Do Lists?
I'll tell you how...one step at a time. You sit down for a few minutes with your favourite cuppa, in a place where you can have some peace and quiet and you allow your inner wisdom to show you what that first step out of the valley is. This really is the only way. If you continue to sit and stare at the unfinished work or the never ending "To Do" list, you'll only stay in overwhelm. You must make a forward step to give yourself some momentum.
When I realised what was going on, I did exactly those steps...made a cuppa, sat in a quiet place and allowed the answer to come. For me, nature is the best antidote to stress and overwhelm. Heading outside into the backyard to write this blog is my first step forward...and it feels good. The warmth of the winter sun and the grounding of the earth beneath my feet, help to restore a calmness to my overworked mind. These things allow me to come back to the present, to be in the now, and to stop thinking about all the "shoulds", "musts", and "if onlys" that line the path of anxiety.
Your reasons for overwhelm may be completely different to mine but the way out is the same. You must find what your first step is that you can take...no matter how seemingly small or insignificant you might think it is. Remembe that a bucket can be filled one drop at a time and likewise, your small step forward will create momentum as long as you take it and keep moving.
Now, my next step...to sit here and work out what I can let go of in order to get things flowing again...