To be overwhelmed is to have to many things to deal with all at the same time. Women are said to be good at multitasking, but honestly it makes our brain and body tired. Our brains are like a network of wires all connected to one another and they all affect each other. We can simultaneously think about what to wear, tomorrows dinner, clothes to put in the dryer (OH! just a moment. I’ll be right back.), our kids lunch, the volleyball game, our husband’s clothes at the cleaners and 5 other things.
Here are some strategies to help you cope with Overwhelm… only if you apply them and intentionally put them in your schedule.
1. Live in the moment. Turn your brain off! Focus on just the task you are doing. Take your brain out of overdrive and intentionally live in the slow lane. You can only drive in one lane at a time. I’ve been in taxi caps in New York. When they wanted to get in the other lane, they would just drive in both so no one would swerve around them and cut them off. AND, they got honked at all the time. Driving in two lanes makes people upset around you and takes more energy than if you just stay focused in one. Don’t let your mind run away from you. Take every thought captive, 2 Corinthians 10:5. Live in the moment, not in the moment that will happen in 30 minutes or two hours from the moment. Doesn’t everyone deserve your undivided attention?
Take every thought captive. 2 Corinthians 10:5
2. Look back. Looking forward, as stated in #1, causes an almost panic attack thinking about all the things you have to get done in the next few minutes, hours or days. Right now, I have to get clothes to cleaners, pay bills, buy stamps to mail bills (yes, I still use snail mail), grade homework for my Life Coach students, make an appointment for my daughter, send back my diamond anniversary band because it broke after six days, go to grocery store, make a list for grocery store………WAIT! I’m panicked now! I’m doing the exact opposite of my own advice. Let me try again. Yesterday, I gave two presentations to the high school about the local benevolence center where I work. I finished the end of the month report. I put gas in my jeep. I picked up my son from school on time. I made dinner. I located all the bills and put them on the table. I got an excellent latte after my speeches made with pecan roasted coffee beans. I made cinnamon scones because they were on a Hallmark movie I finally finished. See, this list is making me feel accomplished already. Looking back helps me say, “I can get so many things done! I did it yesterday and I can do it today!” When I look back at my accomplishments instead of panicking about all the things I have to do, I calm my mind and my body follows.
3. Walk in slow motion. Load the dish washer in slow motion. Talk to your kids in slow motion (they will love that). Have you ever tried this? It’s hard, but so soothing. It resets your body rhythm like downshifting a standard. Focus on your soul’s health and slow down or burnout is sure to follow. Seriously try this and please let me know how it makes you feel.
I really can’t fix how many responsibilities I have. I mean, I can’t not fix dinner or not put gas in the car or not do laundry. But, if I focus on my tasks in a different way, I can acquire some coping skills that put a smile on my face and some peace into my life.
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