You know the feeling? That moment when doing just one more thing feels too much. When overwhelm hits some people take to their bed and hide, while others can be spurred into a flurry of displacement activities.
A mixture of depression and stress. You feel like you want to cry because you have so much that is on your mind.
We all have a different breaking point. It might be when work adds an urgent project to your already overstretched load, your child is sick on the day of your important meeting or there’s no room in the diary for self-care or fun.
The reality is most of us, especially those working and/or parenting fulltime, experience episodes of feeling overwhelmed. The good news – there are many different techniques to overcome it. I have road-tested all of them, and promise that they work!
10 techniques to banish overwhelm
- Start with one small change. It may be consciously taking a lunch break every day, or only checking emails twice daily. Start with what feels the easiest to implement.
- Take a break – from your phone/computer or home. Turn off technology at least half an hour before bedtime. Block out half a day this month for a walk in nature, a weekend away or plan your annual leave.
- Put yourself first. Say no to people pleasing.
- Stop and breathe. When you feel overwhelm creeping in, pause and take a slow breath. Or go the whole hog and try the STOP technique.
- Take a moment to be curious. Seeing the world through curious eyes can take the “I” from the experience.
- Look after your adrenals. Make friends with the glands that regulate your stress hormones.
- Take care of the basics – eat regularly, move your body frequently and get more than seven hours sleep every night.
- Let go of perfection. Adopt Liz Gilbert’s mantra of “done is good enough”.
- Simplify your life. Focus on what really matters to you.
- Get help. If you feel too overwhelmed to put these steps into action, book a wellbeing consultation or work with a qualified psychologist.