At one time or another, everyone feels overwhelmed. Work, kids, pets, activities, appointments and obligations can occasionally turn us into frozen Fanny! I had just that thing happen yesterday with kid activities, paperwork, a full schedule and a hubby who had to go away for work for a few days.  Add to that an under-the-weather teenager, a broken sewing machine (in the middle of a project!), PMS, overlapping kid activity times, a cranky toddler and a doggo with a sore left hip and you have a recipe for disaster!
Since my plan to run away to a tropical island wasn’t going to help anyone, I figured I’d have to sit down and figure out just what the hell I was doing with my life, and figure out a few tricks to help me when it feels like life is giving you a good swift kick in the gut!
Here are a few ways that I have found to help conquer overwhelm!
1 – This too shall pass – remember that the feeling of overwhelm is temporary and it WILL PASS.  Remember that you are NOT doomed to feel this way forever.  Life is a dance, with an ebb and flow and the overwhelm will go away.
2 – Recharge – Take 5 deep breaths, get up from your desk or couch and do a couple of yoga stretches, drink some cold water or grab a blanket and a hot cup of tea and make yourself a nest in your favourite chair.  Do what works for you to create a way to recharge your proverbial batteries, absent a fully staffed spa in your basement!
3 – Answer the question: What is the most important thing I should be doing right now?  Get out of your own head a bit and review exactly what you NEED to get done first.  Make a list on paper or digitally and get everything out of your head.  Some call this a “brain dump” and trust me, it works! The act of writing down your tasks is a way for you to focus on the now!  Then you can choose from the items on your list to determine which one needs doing first!  For me, it was the act of sitting down with my paper planner and making a to-do list, plus a map on how I was going to ferry everyone around at the correct times!  Putting pen/pencil to paper always help me clear my mind.  You can do the same with your digital calendar, such as Google Calendar or iCal.
4 – Ask for help & get over it – Everyone needs a little help at some point, but asking for it can be extremely difficult.  I’m one of those people who abhors asking for help, but I try to get over myself and admit that I’m not a super being!  I’m a regular old human being and sometimes I need backup! With a hubby with a demanding job, two very active teens who are in sports (football, soccer, basketball & rugby)& the arts (concert band, drumline & theatre) and volunteer activities, and a toddler (our grandson) who is about to start daycare part-time, managing their schedules is sometimes a huge undertaking.  A family meeting to ask for help/input from everyone is good way to see just what you are facing in a given week and to map out places where you can use help in your schedule.  Getting everyone involved will share the work and get yourself some assistance to help keep yourself sane!
5 – Stop Multitasking! Multitasking is likely the one thing that will most contribute to the feeling of overwhelm! Stop that! Taking time to focus on a single activity will allow you to bring yourself to the here and now, and help you get farther down your to do list.  A single focus helps your brain settle down and remove the feeling of “holy crap I have a ton of stuff to do”.  Ultimately that will help you focus on the one thing you’ve chosen as your “most important to get done now” and keeping yourself on an even keel!
I hope these tips can help you step back, take a breath, and look for the good in the midst of your overwhelm.  Have a helpful tips to share? Add to the comments below!