Let’s face it. Overwhelm can strike at anytime.
I experienced a bit of overwhelm recently when I found out that after a week long trip to the West Coast for a speaking engagement, I had two days at home before I had to get back on a plane for my father-in-law’s memorial service. The luscious weekend of catching up on my business and time zones I had dreamed of was gone in an instant. I could feel the overwhelm sneaking up. Too much to do, too little sleep, and not enough time to do it all.
As I write this, I anticipate that the overwhelm will be gone by the time I step onto the plane. Situational overwhelm tends to pass quickly because its pretty easy to overcome a few days of overwhelm, lack of sleep and stress.
The problem is the constant, never ending, chronic overwhelm. It’s the overwhelm that has you asking the wake up call question “how much longer can I do this” that we have to worry about and fend off.
When overwhelm strikes all the time, it’s like lighting the fuse on a bundle of dynamite. Your body and your life suffer.
I know it can seem impossible to avoid the overwhelm when life feels like it is spinning out of control. But no worries.
Here are 10 life simplifying antidotes to calm you down and keep you grounded.
Get dirty. Whether you put your hands in potting soil or around a lump of clay on a potter’s wheel, touching earth and getting dirty has a grounding effect on your psyche. As you get dirty, you wash away your worries. Gardening is even used as therapy to help people suffering from mental illness, so powerful is dirt.
Play. Seek out a play ground and fly down the slide. Or swing high and watch your spirit soar. Overwhelm is often a result of taking life too seriously. Lighten up on the merry-go-round.
Take a nap. With overwhelm often comes bone tired exhaustion. Listen to your body and take a nap. Whatever is on your to do list can wait. Besides, you’ll be much better at what you need to do if you get some rest.
Unplug. Overwhelm only increases with each ping of your smartphone or computer telling you that you have a message. If you can, step away from technology for an hour. If you can’t, silence all your gadgets so you can focus on the task at hand.
Throw it out. That would be the junk and clutter that is closing in on you. Clearing space for your thoughts and body will create space to get things done so you can reduce your overwhelm.
Hug. It worked when you scraped your knee, so why not now. Hugging has been shown to reduce stress and lower blood pressure. Just be sure you have permission to hug the person. And if you can’t find somebody to hug, hug a tree.
Write your obituary. Maybe this is unorthodox, but overwhelm can spin out of control because of lack of perspective. By writing your obituary, you interrupt the overwhelm thought pattern and get some perspective on what is important in life. When you think about what others will say about your life, you reset your focus on what kind of life you want to live.
Get humane. When things get tough, play with puppies (or kittens if you are so inclined). Head to your local Humane Society or animal shelter. See if you can help out. Baby mammals are always good for a smile.
Doodle. Another way to break the train of thought associated with overwhelm is to put paper to pen, or even paint to canvas and just play. Doodle. Channel your inner Jackson Pollock. Don’t worry about coloring outside the lines. In fact, that is encouraged.
The Big O. There is never a more surefire way to reduce stress and overwhelm and get back into your body than having an orgasm. From endorphins to the fact that it just feels good, an orgasm is just what the health coach ordered to reduce your overwhelm.
The next time you catch yourself complaining about how stressed, busy, tired or overwhelmed you are, do a few of these easy tips. None of them will cost you a dime. So what are you waiting for?
If you have any other tips you like for combating overwhelm, share them in the comments below.
With love, light and calm,