IF YOU’RE OFTEN FINDING YOURSELF FEELING OVERWHELMED AND FEELING LIKE YOU’RE STUCK IN A CERTAIN SITUATION, THEN THIS BLOG IS FOR YOU.
After reading, you’ll learn 3 easy steps you can implement to help you get organized when you feel overwhelmed.
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My name is Jimena Ramirez. I am a behavior change coach and I am the director of coaching and program strategy at Body Brain Alliance.
Why do we get overwhelmed and what does it mean?
I work with a lot of clients in coaching that are experiencing this quite often, and they are finding themselves procrastinating or avoiding doing things or feeling very stressed…
They’re wondering why this is happening when they have the “tools,” but they’re still finding themselves in these situations.
Now, I want to first let you know that this is a very normal situation, and it’s just a way that our brain has of dealing with the distress that it’s feeling. Our brain is mainly seeking relief from those things.
So you’re not alone in finding yourself overwhelmed or avoiding things or feeling like you are distracting yourself from purpose to avoid all these emotions that are coming with the overwhelm.
In this blog, I’m going to give you some tips so you can manage that overwhelm and you can do so in a way that really allows you to take action and lead with acceptance.
Overwhelm is basically the perception that we have more demands than we have resources.
This could be correct or not, but regardless, we can still validate how this is making us feel. It tends to create this very intense turmoil and it also creates a lot of guilt.
Another thing is that we tend to assign some meanings to feeling overwhelmed…
And being overwhelmed has nothing to do with your ability to get organized or to achieve things. You can have everything organized and feel like everything is on point and yet still see that overwhelm coming.
One thing to notice is that overwhelm will not go away.
You can learn to manage your brain, but we can’t avoid being overwhelmed.
So what we want to learn is HOW we are going to be responding to overwhelm instead of reacting to it, instead of having that normal reflex that we would have.
When we are feeling overwhelmed, like everything is too much, or feeling paralyzed… We want to learn how to navigate that in a more mindful way.
We all experience overwhelm.
It is a part of our experience as humans. It is a way that our brain has with dealing with this type of situation and dealing with a world that is constantly overstimulating us and presenting numerous commitments.
However, we can learn to manage our mind and we can learn to navigate that more authentically and intentionally.
I can tell you that even having all the tools myself as a coach, I recently had an experience where I had to pack for a month long trip, and I was finding myself feeling very overwhelmed. I felt like it was hard to validate that because I was telling myself…
– I have a packing checklist.
– Everything is done.
– I have already created all my systems when I leave my house and for the things I need to do when I come back…
Everything seems to be in order so WHY am I feeling overwhelmed if clearly my demands are not outweighing my resources?
However, only because I felt that way, it didn’t mean that the overwhelm was not going to be present, right? I could really validate that and actually deny myself of that possibility of feeling that way…
Knowing that it was normal, knowing that it was part of being human would only make things worse.
So instead, I chose to use the exact tools that I’m going to teach you here and that we teach our clients.
What can we do about that?
How do we take action when we are feeling very overwhelmed?
Step 1: Grab A Piece of Paper & Write Down Everything You Feel That Is Looming Over You
Write down all of those demands that feel really big right now. Try to think about every single thing that your brain is telling you when you have thoughts like…
“You’re not on top of that…”
“You should be taking care of this…”
“You should be trying to have a plan for X…”
Write everything down.
Step 2: Focus On The Resources That You Have
After writing out all the things going through your mind, you are going to focus on the resources that you have.
- What are some things that are leading you to feel or think as if you don’t have enough resources?
- What is telling you that you don’t have enough time or energy or anything else to satisfy those demands that you wrote down before?
- And also, is this even correct?
What are some priorities that you can extract from the to-do list/demands list that you created?
Prioritizing is going to help you make a choice between all those conflicting demands.
Prioritizing can also entail some mind drama because it will teach your brain to accept that it can’t do everything and that it needs to make some choices.
However, this is where I want to encourage you to lead with acceptance on how this has nothing to do with your ability or your capabilities to work on those things.
Prioritizing is not a way of dropping the ball.
Prioritizing is actually a way of being more intentional about making decisions regarding what needs your attention the most and using your resources more strategically.
So give yourself permission to choose what you need to do:
Or also what you can delegate/outsource… Then try to make some choices around that after you complete these steps.
Pro Coaching Tip:
Think about taking things one thing at a time. You don’t need to resolve everything right now. You don’t need to have an answer to everything at this moment. You don’t need to have everything figured out before starting. You can trust your own ability to figure things out as you go. So taking things one thing at a time means that you’re going to focus on the thing that’s right in front of you, the first thing on your list, and move from there one at a time.The only thing that matters is that thing that you’re going to focus on at this time.
When I was working on packing, what I did is I actually had everything laid out already and I focused on just grabbing one piece of clothing, one thing that I needed to put in my suitcase, one at a time. That was the only thing that I needed to focus on.
I didn’t need to focus on the 30 things that I needed to put in there or about whether I was forgetting something or not. I was going to take it one thing at a time. I was going to grab one piece of clothing or whatever it was, put that into my luggage, move on to the next one, and then when I was done, I was going to move on to thinking… Am I missing or forgetting anything?
Focus on that first task at hand. Give that your full attention. Then only move on to the next one when you are there.
It’s important to build your self-trust, and the belief that you are resourceful. You can figure things out as you go!
Step 3: Create Self-Trust
This last step is going to help your future self, reduce that overwhelm, and help you feel more in control of your own reactions or responses to overwhelm.
And this is about using this experience to create self-trust…
You can turn this into a practice for you, and I want to encourage you to think about how as you are doing those things, one thing at a time with your focus on that task, take a moment as you’re completing each task and give yourself some credit for what is happening.
Allow yourself to feel better. To feel like you are creating more space,and the conditions to feel less overwhelmed.
Give yourself some credit for allowing yourself to take back some control out of that situation and to really step back and see how those little actions that you’re taking are really making a dent in that bigger project…
That only a couple of minutes ago felt monumental.
This is something that you are creating by taking small action.
It may not be perfect, but also it doesn’t need to be. Overwhelm is very much about that lack of control that we feel in a certain situation.
Reclaiming that is a great way to show up more intentionally in how you want to respond in the future.
Join The Discussion:
Drop a comment in the comment section below and share about your own experience with overwhelm. What helps you at that moment? We’d love to hear if you have tried this strategy at one point, or if you are going to try it.
Thank you for reading, see you in the next one!