Today, it is an honor to have Stephanie Quilao as our guest writer. Stephanie is the voice behind Back In Skinny Jeans, the wildly popular blog all about wellness on many different levels – with an emphasis on emotional wellness as a route toward a healthier body. She is a ray of sunshine and a voice of reason in our world. What she writes is entertaining, lively, and always thought-provoking. Check out one of her most recent articles: You Almighty: What Would Your Life Look Like “Wound-Free?”.
Jump off the treadmill of life for a few minutes, grab a glass of water, and enjoy…
Getting The Helm Back When You’re Overwhelmed
“I’m not afraid of storms, for I’m learning how to sail my ship.” ~ Louisa May Alcott
We all have days where we feel overwhelmed. You may even feel like you’re a captain who’s lost the helm of his/her ship? And with all this economic instability we’re going through, that overwhelmed feeling can easily grow pretty quickly with everything we have to juggle and keep up with.
However, despite this worrisome sensation, an upside is that the overwhelm feeling we’re feeling takes place in our head. That feeling of overwhelm originated in our minds usually because of thoughts of lack. At some level, if we can create this catastrophe-like “story,” that means we can also create a new story where we get the helm back and calm the waters. Okay, good! So how do we do that? Here are five ways to start:
- The moment you are conscious of your lack thoughts, start to reason with your mind and say, “Okay, now that we have made a list of everything we don’t have or could lose, let’s take equal time to make a list of what we do have and could gain”. It’s only fair. Why should the lack thoughts get all the limelight? The abundance thoughts should get equal time as well, yes? Starting off with the lack thoughts will put you in a bad mood, but ending with the “what I have” thoughts will bring you back up so you end feeling on an up note.
- It’s okay to say no. That overwhelm feeling is easier to keep at bay when you set boundaries with others and take on only what you can handle at one time. Now I know some of you have a really hard time saying no because you can’t stand to see people disappointed or you want to feel like you can always be there for your loved ones, but think about this. If you are saying yes to others way more than to yourself, how much can you really be present for anyone (including yourself) if you are spreading yourself too thin?
- So, you want to say no but don’t know how? Here’s a very simple way to say no, use the economic crisis excuse. “Oh sorry, wish I could but ya know with the economic crisis and all I’m just trying to stay afloat. Maybe next time.”. Or “Because times are a bit tough, I have to cut back on things like…”. The economic crisis might as well be useful for something, yes? And besides, how can anyone argue the economic crisis card? Because of the economic crisis, everyone is pinching, cutting back, and saying no, so this gives you an easier segue to say no as well.
- Prioritize and tackle three things at a time. Take a moment to write down everything you need to take care and then number them from 1 to the end # in order of what is most hot or pressing. Then focus on the top 3 until completion, and then move onto the next 3 on the list. One big list can be very scary and daunting but when you break it into small chunks of 3, the list starts to look way smaller and less threatening. Plus, as you plow through the groups of 3, you start feeling more immediate feelings of accomplishment which helps to boost your confidence.
- Slow down! In our instant gratification culture, it’s easy to feel like you have to have everything done right now at this very instant. But really, does it? All that pressure is just causing you stress. Rome wasn’t built in a day. So why are you putting so much pressure on yourself to get everything done at lightning speed. Take care of the things that do need immediate attention, but if there are things that can go slower, take that time. Runners learn the art of pacing themselves because they know if you don’t you can injure themselves or burn out of their energy supplies much sooner than expected. So, pacing yourself is good. The “slow down plan” can make life much more manageable.
There we have five things you can do to help you alleviate when you start to feel overwhelmed. What others things have you tried that worked for you when you started feeling overwhelmed?