You Can Love The Feel Of Overwhelm Or You Can Hate It. Either Way, It Has To Be Managed

Covid19 brings its own unique set of challenges. We no longer breathe maskless air when we leave our homes. We’re distanced from the people we love the most. Touching our own faces causes moments of panic.

But there is something else that Covid has brought too. We feel more overwhelmed than ever before. I was talking to a friend about it and he had a theory. Maybe, he declared, Covid makes us see things from the position of scarcity which means we’re constantly thinking there is never enough.

He had a  point. Immediately it caused me to reflect on the narratives that seem stuck in our heads these days. The ones that are on constant replay.

Thought Patterns On Replay 

“There isn’t enough time.”

“I won’t be good enough.”

“I can’t find a solution.”

“They won’t like whatever I do.”

“I have to say yes to this or else…”

“I won’t get enough sleep.”

“I don’t have enough money.”

There is not enough time.”

“I’ve taken on too much.”

“I feel like an imposter.”

 

Ok, this may not be the time to leave an emoji but if you’ve experienced any one of these emotions recently my bet is you’d be dropping one right now if I asked you to.

The fact is the less you feel you have, the more you feel you need to do.

The no b.s. truth is: You’re right. And we can’t just blame it on Covid.

We know these truths as entrepreneurs. There will always be MORE to do and to create. We know this. But I think we have to distinguish between the good and the bad states of overwhelm.

If the overwhelm has you feeling as if life is chaotic and you feel out of control, always angry and fatigued then that’s a sign that anxiety is getting the better of you.

If on the other hand feeling overwhelmed keeps you lean and hungry and allows you to feel relevant within your industry and constantly interested in the present and what’s next then you know it’s a matter of putting things in place to make sure those feelings do not leaf frog into exhaustion because you are constantly switched on.

How To Stop The Anxiety And Overwhelm

Overwhelm is easy to quell. Well, let me rephrase that, it’s an art but more importantly, it is an active practice.

Not knowing how to cut back, delegate or communicate that you need help coupled with a lack of quiet time, and the emphasis our culture places on wearing constant busyness as a badge of honour, means we get nervous and worried, often.

These emotions get passed on to others through nonverbal cues like tone of voice and facial and physical gestures. This, along with less obvious factors like our heart rate, blood pressure, and stress hormone levels, can influence others’ inner states.

Think about it for a moment.  You enter a room full of hyper-anxiety and feeling overwhelmed, guess who catches it as if it was the common cold? The people you face, they will immediately feel the tension. Many become overwhelmed just like you.

The good news is that we have an absolute choice in how we treat overwhelm. Trust me on this because I suffered from this for years as a chronic client pleaser who also worked in constant crisis mode to solve situations companies found themselves in.

Stopping the overwhelm for me meant returning to a state of well-being.  I had to be willing to make conscious choices about my health, physical and mental. Self-awareness was  key. So too was present-moment awareness. I became a superhero, really courageous about nurturing and protecting my inner peace. So, I’ve got a thing to two to tell you how you can protect yours.

The Playbook

Tips for Curbing The Overwhelm

Tip  #1 –   

Breathe. It really works.

Tip  #2 – 

Notice what happens with your body, mind, and emotions when overwhelm becomes something you live with daily.  Observe the triggers so you can do something about it. Lean into them. so the solutions come sooner rather than later.

Tip  #3 –

Assess if your state of overwhelm is associated with a season, meaning will it pass soon once the project/deadline is over, for instance?

Tip 4 # – 

Make a list of the things you can do to cut the overwhelm and begin to work the list.

Tip #5 – 

Shake it out. Actually doing something physical that can help rid the body of stressors. Best to check with your doctor first.

Tip #6 – 

Look at beautiful and reassuring photos. films or listen to soothing music. I binged watched home decor videos on YouTube.

Tip #7 – 

Read peaceful passages or books.

Tip # 8 – 

Head into the most soothing place of all, nature.

Tip #9 – 

Give yourself permission to (temporarily) drop all extras and attend to what is most essential.

Tip  #10 – 

    I left this last tip up to you. Leave a comment below and tell me how you stop the feelings of overwhelm. Also, does scarcity make you feel as if you need to be doing more and saying yes to more people and more things?

    Oh, last point. Next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, remember we have Simplify. a community of like-minded and like-hearted female founders and entrepreneurs who can help you pick up the load.

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