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How to Move Through Overwhelm

There are peaks and valleys in life, no matter what you do. Whether you work for an organization, for yourself, SAHM, life brings both intense and slow times. Sometimes, those peaks or intense times can bring on feelings of OVERWHELM.

Here are my 5 suggestions to deal with overwhelm:

1. Breathe, breathe, and breathe more. Allow yourself to consciously take in some deep breathes and then exhale them intentionally. Allow yourself to become present to the moment and your body. There is immense wisdom in the body. When we slow down enough to notice our bodies, we are able to access that information. Breathing helps us slow down and relax our nervous system. Breathing allows us to step back to move forward. Go ahead, take 3 deep breaths right now.

2. Set a powerful tone for your day when you wake up. Let the morning be a time to slowly start your day rather than jumping out of bed and going. Give yourself a few moments to set the intention for your day. Maybe you say, “I invite ease and grace into my busy day.” Allow yourself to move slowly, especially if you know you will be moving fast for the majority of day. Slowly pull your body out of bed, noticing each sensation and movement. Sit quietly for a few moments before you leave your bedroom and start doing.

3. Avoid filling up the moments of white space. We all have moments in our day that are idle; maybe you are on the train or bus, at a stop light, you have 15 minutes between meetings or calls, or a meeting gets cancelled. Let yourself have those moments. Do not fill them up with checking your social media or something that distracts you from being present to the moment and your body. Use that time to pay attention and scan your body and mind. What do you notice? Name it without judgement. Maybe your back aches; notice and name, my back aches. Maybe you have a headache, notice and name your head hurts. For a few moments do not do anything, just notice with mindfulness. Maybe you feel anxious; just notice it for a moment, without trying to solve it. Just name what you are experiencing, staying present to each moment.

4. Do one thing at at time. There is a lot of buzz around the virtues of multi-tasking, but studies show that multi-tasking leaves us more stressed and less productive. Focus on one thing, one task at a time. Avoid multi-tasking. Allow yourself to be immersed in the task at hand. Let that task have a beginning, middle, and end. Once complete, then switch to the next task and do it with ease, knowing there is a beginning, middle and end to that. Set up strong boundaries with co-workers, family, and friends to help you complete one thing at time.

5. If you have more to do than hours in a day, prioritize. If you find yourself with a to do list greater than the waking hours of your day, set your  priorities and let go of the rest until the next day. Look at your to do list, and only focus on what must be done today.. Let everything else go for the day. Create your day in slow motion.