8 SIMPLE WAYS TO MANAGE OVERWHELM
At times we all feel a little overwhelmed. This expresses itself in many different ways. For some it feels like anxiety or nervousness and for others it can, for example, completely shut them down.
First, it helps if you can identify what is causing the overwhelm in the first place. It is not essential to get rid of it, but if you discover the cause or the root then you can work towards dealing with those circumstances, so you don’t get overwhelmed in the future.
Below are some easy ways to help you deal with the overwhelm.
1. TELL SOMEONE
Sharing how you feel with someone can be very helpful. Just talking about it may diffuse the feeling. Your friend or family might also be able to give you a different perspective on the situation which will help you to relax. You can also speak to a therapist who is trained to help people manage these and other situations.
Are you sleeping enough? When short of sleep we are overwhelmed and challenged much more easily and frequently. So ask yourself if you need more sleep and try to make sure you get some more of it.
3. WRITE IT DOWN
Write down what is challenging you at the moment. Then ask yourself “How do I want to feel instead?” Now write down 5-10 action steps (small and achievable) that you can take that will bring you to how you want to feel.
4. MANAGE YOUR EXPECTATIONS OF SELF AND OTHERS
Often at this time of year we are expecting a lot from ourselves, family and friends. Expectations can cause us to place unneeded stress on ourselves and those around us. Unrealistic expectation can also cause us to start comparing ourselves to others, resulting in judgement of self and others, shaming and blaming. This then makes us focus on what we don’t have, rather than what we do have.
It is very easy to focus on what we don’t have or what we haven’t done. Sit yourself down and take 10 slow deep breaths. Now think of three things to be grateful for and write them down. Spend a few minutes connecting with the feeling around each one. As you do, you will find the feelings of gratitude will retrain your mind, balancing out the overwhelm.
When our mind is agitated our breathing is affected. One easy way to control the mind is to take control of your breath. Sit yourself down. Remove all distractions (yes silence your phone). Close your eyes and make your breathing a little deeper than natural. Watch your breathing, focusing on the inhale and the exhale. See how long you can make each breath. Control your breath. Take 10 long slow breaths as a minimum. Start with 2 minutes and then slowly build it to 20 mins (if you can).
7. GO FOR A WALK
Walking is a very useful activity as it works to integrate the function of the left and right hemispheres of your brain. For this to happen it is best not to talk, listen to podcasts or anyone talking. Focus on your breath, arms swinging and just being with yourself.
8. BE HONEST WITH WHERE YOU ARE AT
Be honest with your feelings and with what is going on in and around you. If you want to go somewhere you need to know your point of origin and destination in order to work out the right map. I'ts OK to feel bad, sad or angry. Just meet yourself where you are at and then work out where you want to be instead. You don’t have to do this by yourself.
Tanya runs all the yoga, meditation and personal development education at MeTreat Women's Retreats.
Tanya has used the last 27 years searching for the meaning of life and the purpose of hers. She is an experienced yoga and meditation teacher and has also been involved in the healing arts and the wellness industry for well over 27 years.
Tanya helps women shine a light on the shadow aspects of themselves through movement, diet, creative visualisation, stress management and, addressing fears and limitations and replacing them with self-enhancing ones. In addition to running MeTreat Women's Retreats, Tanya also runs international Yoga and Personal Development retreats.