Are You Overwhelmed?
It’s more than just feeling like life is too much – it can often result in an absolute shutdown. Overwhelm means ceasing to function – essentially freezing – for many women. When you don’t know what to do or how to get it all done, you simply stop doing.
Overwhelm is a common issue in a society that values productivity and busyness over quality of life and being present. Since our lives changed drastically with COVID and we're now re-emerging into some new kind of normal, the feeling of overwhelm seems to come a little quicker and feeling overwhelmed can seriously sidetrack your health goals, as if COVID hasn't already done that!
Check out today’s article with tips on how to combat overwhelm by reconnecting to yourself. And if you need some support "coming home," I'm here for you.
Better eat out. Bills, housework? Forget it. Tasks that used to take only 10 or 15 minutes now seem utterly impossible. There seems to be no time for anything. So we do nothing.
Worse, we have no faith that this, too, shall pass. We seem hopelessly mired in the quicksand of “too much.” We keep trying to will our way out of the quicksand with a will that just wants to lie down.
“We live in a very overwhelming time—much more so than in decades past,” says Jan Boddie, Ph.D., a California therapist who trains individuals and consults with businesses on the topic. Now on top of everything we have to keep ourselves distanced from those we love, wear a mask, (or remember to bring your mask!! How many of you have gotten halfway to a store and realized you have to go home because you forgot your mask?), there's tension around the vaccine, safety protocols and more. Maybe you've been working from the comfort of your home and suddenly you have to go back to the office; deal with commuting, longer days, childcare.
Things are speeding up. Technology’s well-touted time saving seems to have yielded less leisure time, not more. Companies are demanding longer work hours. Many adults are sandwiched between the needs of older and younger generations.
“We have really lost connection, not just with nature, but with our own true human nature,” Boddie says. “We’re sidetracked. Our lives are in such fast forward that we don’t even recognize we might need help until we’re drowning.”
Part of the problem is the cultural belief system in place, one that overrates doing and achievement and underrates quality of experience and connection with values. Many believe the lockdown helped us reconnect to some of those values. With life going back "to normal" how do we keep that connection?
In that cultural mindset, it’s not uncommon for a friend or a magazine article, with all good intention, to suggest the “Nike solution”: Just do it. Make priorities. Choose three things and accomplish them quickly. Go through the mail as soon as it arrives. Do a “brain dump” and create a huge to-do list with everything that you can think of on it. Now get started!
Not bad suggestions necessarily, but overcoming overwhelm isn’t really about measuring accomplishment. It’s about connecting with what has meaning for us, with what feeds and enlivens us.
“Putting on a whole new sense of doing-ness is overwhelming,” Boddie says. “It creates a future-based state of mind that never ends because there will always be more to do. Being in relationship with what has meaning is fulfilling in the here and now. Feeling connected then connects us to the natural fuel for getting things done.”
Thus, when we come into alignment with our values and needs, we find the inner resources and spaciousness needed to get on with life.
First, however, we need to identify our individual symptoms and triggers for overwhelm. Our symptoms can be physical (e.g., nail biting, clumsiness, neck ache); psychological (forgetful, rude, defensive); social (poor hygiene, inadequate boundaries); or spiritual (loss of sense of purpose, unsure of what’s important).
Triggers are just as individual: a deadline, a certain tone of voice, change.
Noticing these symptoms and triggers is like setting off the two-minute warning buzzer: time for intervention techniques. And after we’ve come back to ourselves, it’s time for prevention techniques, such as adequate rest, nutrition, exercise and, as always, connection to purpose.
“The focus that matters is in your heart,” Boddie says. “Connect with yourself and then that self can do the tasks.”
Are You Ready For a Change-Finally?
If you’re tired of quick fixes and yo-yo results that never seem to get you the health and shape that you want – then it’s time to take action! Book a FREE 45-minute one-on-one consultation with me to find out what’s holding you back and how you can overcome those blocks with easy, step-by-step improvements in your diet, fitness and mindset. Know someone in your life who would love this? Share this newsletter with them or better yet, gift them with some coaching.
Book a free 45-minute one-on-one consultation with Deirdre TODAY!