5 tips when feeling overwhelmed
“Overwhelm”: is it the case for you or is it simply lurking around the corner? Here are 5 tips that help keep “overwhelm” at bay, and an extra message below…
Keep a journal and simply do a “brain dump” a few times per week. You might think your teenage years are well behind you, but there are actually many advantages to writing your thoughts off:
- What your write down, takes up less space in your mind. By writing things down we bring order in them and process them;
- You regain a sense of control because you translate the “swirling chaos in your mind” to concrete things on paper;
- When journaling consistently, you gain insight into your inner world and the dialogues you (unconsciously) have with yourself
- You are forced to slow down and process your emotions, and the thoughts linked to them
- You gain clarity on potential stress triggers and sources of energy
If you want to make it a more uplifting experience, try adding what you’re proud of/grateful for/happy about that day. This practice allows us to have more appreciation for what is small and taken for granted but meaningful in our life.
Look at your average time spend, take a step back and ask yourself what’s really worth your time. Question the “why” behind the things you undertake and move forward more intentionally. A year from now, what will have really made a difference? “Time is flying, never to return - Virgil”.
3/ Tune into your body
Most stress is a “mental affair” that impacts the body. While it’s tempting to go on in our mind, there are only so many circles we can make there, which is why it’s crucial we also leave it to tune into our body. From intense movement to intentional breathing, it’s all about balancing your energy.
4/ Climb your mountain in several hikes
Sometimes we feel overwhelmed by projects that have become so big in our mind that they feel like a huge mountain. We stand at the foot of that mountain and look up at everything that needs to happen and... When actually hiking, mountain posts are there for a reason: they make the trip more achievable, keep us motivated, allow us to check in and rest if we need to in between. Divide your own mountain into segments and work with in between goals. Then, simply start climbing one step at a time. And, don’t forget to regularly look back at all the distance you have already covered!
5/ In all the hustle, don’t forget to… play!
Play, i.e. every activity that has enjoyment as its only goal, is not only crucial during the early years, it remains so throughout our life. Choosing to make time for your own enjoyment on a regular basis actually frees up space for things that are heavier: play allows us to let go of strong emotions, gives energy, boosts creativity, strengthens relationships… It simply lets us be. What made the hours fly by as a child? You might still find inspiration there.
6/ Surround yourself wisely
The company you keep influences you, including your own. Ask yourself: who energizes me, brings me peace, can I be vulnerable with…? No need to walk alone, having the right people by your side can nourish you with what you need at that moment.
Although the above “tactics” are handy to manage big emotions or states, real change comes from going to the source... Imagine tending to your garden in the spring, planting new flowers and trees. You do see some bad weeds but quickly cut them short without pulling out the roots, nice and efficient. For a while, the garden looks great, flowers bloom and the birds fly by but after a while, those weeds pop up again between your colorful flowers and they even multiplied. The roses and tulips have to put in a lot more energy to get their space and light. You know that, to enjoy a beautiful garden where flowers bloom effortlessly, you’ll have to put in some work and get to the roots. It’s not impossible, it just asks more digging at the start and some maintenance to eventually enable way more flowers to fully bloom naturally throughout the seasons to come.