This topic will be an ongoing subject here. It was sparked this week by one of my brides who is juggling school, planning a wedding, and the wrenches thrown at her all at the same time. I could just hear the tension and stress in her voice when we talked. We got interrupted by an "Urgent! Call back!" text from her fiancé. Whoa, no one likes those. Nothing like your heart jumping out of your chest. It all turned out ok, but with all the interruptions, to-do's, and nonstop consumption of information thrown at us everyday, we can get kind of ... panicky. Overwhelmed. Worried. Anxious. 100 tabs open at all times.
Whether you're an entrepreneur, a mom, a bride-to-be, or a high school senior, overwhelm is universal. Do you use easy tools to overcome it? Here are a few of my favorites:
5 QUICK FIXES TO OVERCOME OVERWHELM WHEN YOU ONLY HAVE A MINUTE
1. TAKE 5 DEEP BREATHS RIGHT NOW.
Did you know this has been scientifically proven to change your body chemistry?
If you have more time, you may want to visit mediation.
2. PUT ON A CLOWN NOSE.
You can find these at Walgreens. I also put mine on when I know I need to change my attitude (ie: dealing with the changing legalities of the new GDPR these past weeks. Entrepreneurs, am I right?). Everyone and everything was irritating me. I needed this one.
3. SPACE OUT
I lived in Maui for three years about a lifetime ago. I'd be driving upcountry with the ocean on both sides of me. Feeling that small, in a big huge world, really puts your problems into perspective. "Look at the bigger picture" (that business title applies to so much!). So, being back in Michigan, we are fortunate to have the woods, the water, etc., but my daily life doesn't allow me to always get to nature easily.
So, one of the well-known tricks for anxiety is what I call "the space out method". Close your eyes. Picture yourself right where you are. Then picture yourself above your house or office, looking down at it. Then broaden that vision out to your street. Then your city. Then your state. Then the United States. Then broader. Envision the oceans, continents... until you are looking at Earth in the black abyss. Open your eyes. Perspective.
4. "WIGGLE YOUR BIG TOE."
I had to throw in that "Kill Bill" reference. But, really- wiggle your toes. This is another helpful and well-known tip for anxiety and a good reminder to come back to the present moment. Should you find yourself projecting fears and worries of the future- things that aren't even happening- wiggle your toes right where you stand. Feel the ground or grass beneath your feet. You are here. Stay here. Don't let your thoughts drift to the future or let your fears run wild. First things first. No projecting. This teaches mindfulness. Calm.
5. CHILDHOOD REMINDERS
Keep something that you loved to do as a child in front of you. My desk is full of these treasures. When I am completely overwhelmed and have so much on my plate that I can't think straight or even prioritize, I will take a break with an adult coloring book, hold a little figurine that I had growing up, play with play-doh or a slinky... This has been known to re-focus and re-charge, giving clarity instead of chaos. In the same way yoga brings the focus back to ourselves and breathing and causes greater focus, this can be done anywhere, indiscreetly, and only takes a few minutes.
It also takes the pressure off of yourself. When you were a kid, you played without caring if it was perfect, or even good. This tool also promotes creativity and problem-solving.
I hope these ideas help!
I wish you serenity. Breathe. You are doing just fine.
Do you know anyone who could use these little tools in overcoming overwhelm? I will have more favorites! Please share this with them and tell them to sign up for my newsletter.