Hello Reader. Here we are midweek and I’m just wondering…are you feeling overwhelmed at all?
If so, that makes sense with the amount that is on your shoulders, I’m just imagining you have several roles to play in your world. In that case, could you use some great ideas that make life easier or more efficient?
This post might just be for you then and might just be supremely practical and immediately applicable.
Here are 4 Life Hacks When You Feel Overwhelmed:
Take a Stand
- Plant your feet shoulder width apart and either stretch your arms wide out to make a T, or place your hands on your hips with shoulders back
- Plant your feet side by side and push your shoulders back and head up with arms by your side or one or both on your hips
Why is this helpful? It helps to remove a little of the tension but it deeply brings a feeling of confidence to your own brain. You also communicate through body language that you are a person who is strong and confident…or at least look that way while you move through the overwhelmingness.
Breathe In…& Out
- Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, stop to intentionally breathe
- Take 2-3 deep breaths and intentionally let them out slowly
Why is this helpful? It is impossible to remain completely tense after 3 deep breaths that are intentionally and slowly released. If you are deeply tense or anxious, you may need a few more breaths along with some H2O or another hydration liquid (some people like coconut water or pickle juice if you are truly dehydrated). You will see the breathing lowers anxiety, releases tension, and clears your mind.
Write It Down
When feeling overwhelmed, it is easy to allow the list of tasks to also overwhelm us or to feel unsure where to start. Sometimes it’s also challenging to remain focused on one task when multiple tasks are screaming.
- Write it out to make it clear
- Don’t just write a list of tasks but write out your first next step
Why is this helpful? When you write down your first next step you help your brain to focus on the immediate task. You also tell your brain something along the lines of, “I hear you telling me to work on this and see, I’ve got it so you can stop yelling.”.
Sketch Your Crew
- In the middle of the page or board, write your name.
- Using boxes or shapes, sketch out who is in your world and put the individuals name in the shape. For example, use squares or circles or triangles to represent a person or a group or an organization. A Square might have the name “Jack” in the middle, and nearby that is another square with the name “Maggie”.
- Then draw lines from these shapes to yourself if they are ones you can call on for support, help or for a break
- A solid line is a strong relationship—one you can text a “Hey, I need a hand” and get a response pretty quickly
- A dotted line is a typical work relationship—one you can email or call and might not be immediate
- A shaky or squirly line is a typical work or service relationship—one that requires you to honor a management, supervisory or leadership relationship and might need a scheduled appointment
Why is this helpful? When we get overwhelmed we can easily forget who we can call. If we sketch the names we can visually see the context of relationship as well as the relationships available. This is also helpful because just looking at our Contacts or making a list of who can help doesn’t provide the same visceral reaction for our brains as seeing the lines and shapes with the names of those available.
The next time you feel overwhelmed, try applying these 4 life hacks.
- Take a Stand
- Breathe In…& Out
- Write It Down
- Sketch It Out
Connect with me and let me know how it goes!
Liz Lawrence, MA, LPC-S is counselor, coach and creative who is passionate about people. She directs a counseling center in Austin, Texas and co-leads the non-profit Renue.Me whose mission is to invest in the dreams of leaders in underprivileged communities around the world. Connect with her at www.lizlawrencelpc.com or www.renue.me
Photo curated by Pexels.com free stock images; Graphic by Author on Canva, free graphic tools.