No matter how resilient and robust we believe we are, life will take it’s toll sometimes, and what was a piece of cake yesterday, will seem like a mountain today. I’m no stranger to the effects of overwhelm and I know that I’m not alone; about 15% of the world population suffers from chronic overwhelm.
It’s not so shocking, considering the pressures of modern day life: We’re too afraid to say “no” to our bosses, in case it hinders our careers, so we take on more projects. We want to please our families, so we say “yes” to more than we can really manage. We want a social life, so we agree to attend events that don’t always fill us with ecstasy. We want our children to have a good start in life, so let’s add extracurricular activities to the list. We want to support our friends and family, so we make more commitments. Oh, and we mustn’t forget about social media…so, snap snap snap…selfies, cute pics of the kids, coffee and cake, a cocktail, a sunset on a beach, a romantic dinner, an exotic location, and whatever else that’ll add glamour to an otherwise stressful, anxiety fuelled endless list of things to do.
When I suffer a bout of overwhelm I flee for the hills. That’s how I conquer my monster; I face it alone, in a place where I won’t be disturbed, and dissect it into tiny, little pieces that I can deal with one at a time.
Dissect The Monster
At the onset of overwhelm, take time out and remove yourself from all sensory stimuli. Ironically, by paying attention to your thoughts will help quieten your mind.
List the facts! Start with the headlines, sub-headings, bullet points. As delicious as a piece of steak looks, no one can eat in one piece. We cut it up and enjoy each morsel separately.
Finally, choose 3 things that you can do straight away to alleviate the overwhelm.
In light and love.