I’m personally not a fan of looking at the bigger picture. In fact, I have learned that the best way to deal with overwhelm, is to only look at what’s right in front of you. I have 3 kids, a business, a blog, I write and record music, I am writing a book and I go to the gym most mornings. I wake up at 4am every day for work and finish work at 7pm every night.
It’s very easy for me to feel overwhelmed and out of control, which causes me more stress than I can handle sometimes. Not only do I do all these things, I like to keep my house clean and cook for my family when I can. That gives me joy, but it also takes time I just don’t have most of the time. So I have learned some strategies that help me with the feeling of overwhelm so I don’t burn out, and I’m going to share them with you because I know I’m not the only one.
Recognise the Signs Of Overwhelm and Burnout
The first step to solving a problem is admitting you have a problem. If you are always exhausted, feeling cynical and like everything is just pointless and ‘too much’, or you are avoiding work and getting sick all the time – then you need to acknowledge that you’re feeling overwhelmed and decide to look after yourself and do something about it.
Sort Your Tasks Out
The second thing I do when I am feeling overwhelmed is to write down every single task I have to do in order of importance. Then I slowly work my way down the list. I limit it to 3 tasks a day, unless more absolutely HAS to be done that day (which usually it doesn’t). I break up those tasks into little baby steps that I focus on completely without looking at the amount I have to do as a whole. My mum always says ‘How do you eat an elephant? …One bite at a time’, which is awful when you really think about it. It seems cruel, imagining yourself perched upon the corpse of a majestic beast with a bib tucked into your chest and a knife and fork, sectioning the poor animal into bite sized portions – but you get the point, yeah? It makes sense, just focus on what you have to do RIGHT NOW, not everything you have to do in your entire life. Phew!
Reevaluate Your Priorities
Take a step back and think about what you really want from life. Is it more time with your kids? More money? How important is your job really if it cause you this much stress? Could you cut out a shift or commitment? Reevaluating what you really need to be doing and cutting things out may be necessary for you to reduce stress in your life. Sometimes we are chasing things and we don’t even know why. It could be because our parents told us we should, or an outdated notion that we have to be or live a certain way. Reframe everything, sort out what YOU want and need. Sometimes it’s worth having to budget a little tighter to get more time with the kids or for yourself.
Take A Break From Technology
Sometimes it helps me to just put my bloody phone down and pick up a book. Read in the sunshine, do some yoga or just sit down and watch a movie. I find it really hard to sit down and watch more than 5-10 mins of TV or a movie at any given time. I have to force myself to sit down, even when I’m eating! It’s honestly ridiculous. Remember when you were a kid, and you used to just lay on the lawn in the sun, feel the little bugs and grass flick at your cheeks, listen to the trees and watch the clouds? That kind of serenity is what you need. Watch the sky and think of nothing.
I hope these ideas help you as much as they help me.
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