As I sat down to write this blog post, I realized that I was in the perfect place to discuss getting out of overwhelm because I myself have been feeling this way of late. Between managing a business, speaking gigs, facilitating workshops, writing, and now attending business school to boot, I am the busiest I think I have ever been.
Juggling many responsibilities, wearing different hats, multi-tasking and running out of time and energy for the good times life has to offer, is commonplace for many, but doing this consistently is exhausting, and the feeling of overwhelm quickly infiltrates every cell in our bodies. So how do we overcome this heavy burden of overwhelm without sacrificing what needs to get done?
1. Make time to plan: Spend 10-15 minutes at the start of your day planning out what must get done as opposed to what you would “like” to get done. Make your to-do list realistic. None of us can do it all, all of the time, so be gentle with yourself.
2. Schedule it: Once you know what must get done on any given day or week, you need to schedule it. Whether you use an electronic calendar, an app or a notebook and pen, get it on your calendar with a specific start time. Then you need to make a promise to yourself to stick to that plan in order to make it happen. It’s easy not to be accountable to ourselves, but if you really want positive change, you need to commit to yourself.
3. Breathe: When feeling overwhelmed our breathing tends to become shallow, potentially robbing our bodies of fresh oxygen to feel energized. Slow, deep breathing is healing and when you feel overwhelmed, simply stop what you are doing, quiet your mind and take 5-10 slow, deep breaths. Inhale slowly through your nose for 3 seconds, hold it for a moment and slowly exhale through your mouth for 3 seconds. The release will feel amazing and re-energize you.
4. Make time for fun: The best way to decompress and get out of overwhelm is to do what you love. Carve out time every single week, to spend time doing at least one thing that makes you smile and puts a spring in your step. Ideas could include weekly yoga classes, walking your dog, learning something new, a standing coffee date with your BFF, getting a mani/pedi, taking a road trip, shopping, skyping with loved ones overseas, volunteering with a non-profit, writing, the options are endless. Get creative!
5. Delegate: Whenever possible delegate tasks that others can do, to free yourself up to focus on the tasks that only you can do. Recruit the kids to do some of the chores around the home. Paying them a small amount of money is a fun way to incentivize them, as well as developing a sense of responsibility while taking tasks off your plate. For other jobs, employing the services of oDesk, Elance or Fiverr for professional services is a great way to collaborate with experts on a one-time, or ongoing basis at very reasonable rates.