You know the feeling–everything needs to be done at the same time; there aren’t enough hours in the day; the avalanche of demands is so enormous that you get paralyzed and can’t take action.
When that awful feeling of overwhelm hits, try one or more of these quick remedies. They won’t solve all the problems that assail you, but they may get you unstuck and moving forward with some ease.
- Take a walk. Get outdoors, move your body, and enjoy a different perspective that comes with spending time in the natural world.
- Sit in silence for five or ten minutes with no expectation that you need to accomplish anything. Just let your mind wander, count your breaths, or dive into meditation. Give your worries a break for a few minutes.
- Write down all the stuff that occupies your mind and causes anxiety. Make a list or write in a journal. Get it out of your head and onto paper, where you can take a fresh look at it.
- Ask yourself this question: What is the one thing that I must get done today in order to sleep well tonight?
- Take action on something that you feel overwhelmed about, even if it doesn’t seem like the highest priority thing to do right now. Just taking action can move you out of the paralysis that often accompanies overwhelm.
Each of these techniques helps you to regain a sense of empowerment and forward motion. Rather than getting stuck in the quicksand of overwhelm, you can step away from it and then take action based on a revised perspective.
What do you do to overcome overwhelm? Please share your experience in a comment.
To your ease!
Pat Daniel, Ph.D.