Here’s a quick look at this episode:
In episode 8, we’re talking about how to deal with overwhelm.
- What do I mean by “overwhelm”
- Identifying how you respond in times of stress
- 3 tips for easing that sense of feeling overwhelmed so you can live a happier and more productive life
Hi there! This is episode #8 of the Redefining Bold Podcast. I’m your host Gwen Whitfield from theboldabode.com, where I guide warm-hearted women in their quest for a more organized, cleaner home and a more productive and vibrant life.
Before we begin, I want to thank you so much for listening! If you are enjoying the Redefining Bold podcast, I'd really appreciate it if you would go to iTunes and leave us a review. We're just getting started here and we would appreciate your feedback!
So today on the redefining bold podcast we are going to talk about overcoming overwhelm.
The other day Morgan and I were chatting and he stopped me and he said, do you know Gwen, do you use that word all the time. I stopped for a second, and realize that he was talking about the word ' Overwhelm’.
And what's funny I wasn't actually saying that I felt overwhelmed, I just used that word in a sentence. And that made me think about feeling overwhelmed. And it's true, I have for most of my life gone through periods of time that I would describe as feeling overwhelmed.
But over the last few years, I have found some things that have worked for me to help relieve this feeling in a productive way.
But first, what do I mean by feeling overwhelmed? For me, it's feeling like there's too much to be done or I don't have the skill set to do the things I want, or there are too many expectations placed on me, (which in truth, I've actually placed upon myself).
I think overwhelm is a way to say I'm feeling too much. And when I mean by that is feeling like you don't have the capacity to hold all of these expectations, and desires, and tasks, and needs together. Honestly, it's a way of saying, this is enough. I have had enough, and I need a break.
So, my personality, is one where when I'm feeling overwhelmed, I tend to retreat. I shut down. Instead of calmly looking at my life, and making some decisions about what is causing this overwhelm, I naturally prefer to put my head in the sand. Or rather crawl up in the bed pull the covers up and medicate with Netflix.
And that is absolutely not a healthy way to deal with stress.
So the first question I would say is how do you react to stress? Stop for second and think of a time when you had a lot going on, and try to identify how you dealt with it. Did you, like me, retreat? Or did you self medicate? And you can self medicate with a lot of different things. Things like food, sleep, alcohol, medications, herbal remedies, and so many other things.
Things that can be healthy in moderation, but also can be used to alleviate anxiety and stress in an unhealthy way.
Now that I truly understand how I respond to that overwhelmed feeling, I have a sense of perspective and can catch myself before I find myself binge watching 10 seasons of Criminal Minds.
Knowing how you respond to stress, is a game changer.
So once you have identified how you respond to stress, what are some things that you can do to hold back the floodwaters. To take away that sense of the world being on your shoulders? Here are a few things that help me to not just keep my head above water, but give me some semblance of control or a plan of attack or just a way to handle these feelings.
The first thing that I do is I use reminders on my phone. Sometimes I put things in my calendar, but by using the Reminders app, I can immediately put it in and forget about it and it gets out of my brain. If I try to hold everything in my head, then I get overloaded. So when I write it down, that takes away my need to keep it all organized in my brain.
The next thing that I do to help myself when I'm feeling stressed is simply to breathe. To take a moment, get out of the moment, be by myself and get some oxygen flowing. Sometimes I'll even get down in the floor and do some basic yoga stretches. I use this mainly when I start to feel that stress in my body. Everyone holds stress differently. For me I can feel it in my chest and in my stomach area. So I know when I'm starting to feel a little bit tight in those two places in my body, it's time to do some relaxation.
The third thing that I do is when I notice that overwhelming feeling, I try to see what I'm telling myself in my head. So if I'm saying things like,
"oh my gosh, I have so much to do today. I'll never get it done", I'll immediately tell myself to stop, sit down, and plan out my day.
That way I can really look at what's going on, and decide if I truly have too much to do. Then I can decide to put something off, or tell someone nope, or just make a better plan.
And if it's just mental, which is generally is for me, then I'll start to say some affirmations to myself. I'll say things like,
"I have plenty of time to do what needs to be done."
"I am capable, and know how to get everything done that needs to be done."
"I am strong, and brave, and this feeling will pass.”
And if I have to go somewhere and be in a group of people which for me can be hive inducing times, I will tailor affirmations to say something like this,
"You will feel better, if you go."
"Everyone will be so glad that you came”
“iIt will be nice to see friends, and they will be glad to see you”
Saying these things to myself, really help to affirm my value and calm my anxiety. I really believe that feeling overwhelmed is at in its deepest sense, at its very root is anxiety.
That feeling of having too much to do: it's very real. The feeling of fear that you're not going to live up to people’s expectations, is very real. But we do have the power to shift our reality. And that realization in my life has changed my life… to know that I have the power to change the way I see things.
My reality, is what I believe it to be. And often my reality can use some perspective. By using these techniques to shift my perspective, I can change what I perceive as my reality. And so my reality becomes, “I have plenty of time to get things done” rather than “O my gosh, I have so much to do.”
The truth is I still have all of these things to get done, but my Reality has shifted to a different understanding: that I have the time and the energy and the ability to do them. Rather than fixating on the number of things on my to do list, I literally change the energy in my body and my mind which will allow me to go through my day in much calmer state. And the understanding and acceptance I can give myself allows me to be ok if I don’t get it all done.
Peace and calm allow for a much more centered approach to life. Frenetic energy, this intense adrenaline rush, got to do everything all at once, ENERGY can be counterproductive. Most of the time in life, things have a way of working out. Once in a while, they don't work out the way we like them to: we experience loss, tragic accidents, illness, and other very serious circumstances for sure.
But in our day-to-day living of life, we can create a sense of wholeness, of self-confidence, of unflappability which will lend it self towards banishing that feeling, that sense of being overwhelmed.
The last thing I want to say about this is sometimes you really do just need a break. And it's OK if and when you do to stop take some time off. Only you truly know what's going on inside.
And I would recommend that if you are on the more serious side of this issue, if you were truly feeling this enduring sense of overwhelm, that you reach out to your doctor, and find a good therapist that you can talk to.
Life can feel deeply overwhelming at times and sometimes we need some professional help.
And I'm here to tell you that you are not weak, you are not deficient, if you feel like you need help. In fact, I think it's one of the strongest, bravest things that a person can do.
Thank you so much for listening to the redefining Bold podcast! You can find a transcript of this episode over at theboldabode.com/008.
Sign up to receive email updates
Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast.
Rate, Review, & Subscribe on Apple Podcasts
“I love Gwen and the Redefining Bold Podcast!” <– If that sounds like you, please consider rating and reviewing my show! This helps me support more people — just like you — move toward the home and life that they desire. Click here, scroll to the bottom, tap to rate with five stars, and select “Write a Review.” Then be sure to let me know what you loved most about the episode!
Also, if you haven’t done so already, subscribe to the podcast. I’m adding new episodes to the feed all the time, and, if you’re not subscribed, there’s a good chance you’ll miss out. Subscribe now!