Overwhelm got you down? Here are some ideas to get you moving.
Society tells us that summer is a time for fun and relaxation. You’re supposed to be taking it easy and having some form of a modified schedule so you can cast your worries away for a while, right?
Just like the holidays, I’d bet the concept of summer relaxation was created by marketers to entice you to buy summer products and spend money on vacations.
Because for many people, “summer relaxation” is not what’s going on right now. Which probably makes it worse, since we have this idea that the rest of society is hanging out on a pool float…
Overwhelm isn’t seasonal. Life doesn’t exist in a controlled environment like school. It doesn’t stop and you probably don’t get prescribed breaks.
Having a project or a to-do list that never seems to end, accompanied by growing demands, surprises, and/or other time-sucking tasks can take its toll if you’re not careful. Even if you’re not able to laze around this summer, you don’t have to feel like you want to crawl under a rock, either.
If you’re experiencing overwhelm, here are some ideas to help you get moving again:
1. Establish boundaries
If you’re doing too much, chances are you said yes to too many things (even if the person you said yes to is you). Boundary issues can show up in other ways, too, such as letting others run your schedule or letting others’ priorities or drama become yours. If you’re feeling guilty because you’re not doing everything for everybody, you’ve got boundary issues.
Start by identifying at least one place where you can say no in your work and in your personal life. Your time is your most valuable asset, and you should be the one who decides how you manage it.
2. Let go of fear
I know, easier said than done, but that’s why we were gifted with courage. Courage allows you to experience fear and to make decisions that fly in the face of fear when necessary. Procrastination, playing small, not participating, fear of missing out…all of these can contribute to overwhelm.
You can try responding to fear-based thoughts and actions by asking yourself what would or could happen if you weren’t afraid. What could happen if I didn’t procrastinate? What could happen if I go big instead of playing small? What could happen if I put myself out there?
When you take the fear away and imagine what something would be like without it, or what you could accomplish in its absence, you may discover some very exciting possibilities. You may also discover that some things you were worried about aren’t that big of a deal.
3. Let go of the need to control everything
Seriously…this can really stand in your way. And it’s probably even worse if you’re good at most things you do. The need to control everything can lead to unnecessary micromanaging, focusing on perfection rather than process and completion, and it can also cause excessive worry, none of which are going to help you get ahead.
A need to control often comes from not trusting others or from a fear of loss of control. But as long as you insist that everything has to be done under your thumb, to your standard, and in your way, you’re going to continue to contribute significantly to your own stress level, and eventually that can become overwhelm.
The whole point of being in control of everything is so you feel better, right? How’s that working out for you? 😉 I poke at this because this was definitely something I struggled with when I was younger. Ironically, it never helped my life improve…
See if you can start by delegating one thing you’re doing to someone else. No, it’s probably not going to be done your way, but hey, at least you don’t have to do it! Empower others to take control and give them a chance try their way. Or show someone how to do something (without insisting that it be exactly how you would do it). Tell them you’re there if they need help, and then let it go unless you’re asked for help. (No helicopter delegating…!)
By taking measures to decrease overwhelm, you are valuing your own worth. We’ve all heard the phrase less is more, and it can apply here too – doing more doesn’t usually equal getting more. Unless we’re talking about stress – you’ll usually get more stress…
Remind yourself that quality is almost always better than quantity. And when it comes to how you’re living your life, you don’t get time back, so take the steps you can to make the most of it!
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