9 Tips to beat the overwhelm.
Sep 28, 2020
In today’s busy world - with 24/7 connectivity and the constant bombardment of information - it’s no wonder we can all suffer from overwhelm at certain times. Add in all the additional tasks and practicalities of going through a breakup - and overwhelm and stress can be at an all-time high.
When I was going through my divorce - as well as trying to deal with the heartbreak - I remember being so stressed and overwhelmed with everything that needed doing and suddenly having no one to share it with. I was lucky, in that, I didn’t have to find a new place to live – but the house I did live in was basically a shell. It was an old house that we’d stripped back to bare brick, taken all the ceilings down and ripped up all the floors. All the plumbing and electrics needed redoing and every room needed re-plastering.
It was nowhere near finished when my ex left. There was so much that still needed doing - I literally didn’t know where to start. There wasn’t one room in the house that was finished. Workmen would regularly ask me when I was moving in – even though I was already living there!
The thought of completing the Form E required for a divorce was so daunting that I buried my head in the sand and put it off for months and months. The amount of information required was so overwhelming I couldn’t face pulling it all together.
For others it can be the stress and overwhelm of finding somewhere new to live or working out how they’ll manage financially going forward. A demanding job or agreeing custody arrangements for the kids can easily tip you into overwhelm in what’s already a highly emotional time.
What is overwhelm?
The feeling of overwhelm is actually just that – a FEELING – a state of mind. This means you actually have control over your mind, so you have the power to change it. What causes us to feel overwhelmed is our own perceptions, understandings, habits and labels that we create in our own mind. We get overwhelmed not because it IS overwhelming but because we FEEL overwhelmed.
When we’re feeling overwhelmed, we can feel stuck – not knowing how to move forward, frustrated at our lack of progress and unable to enjoy life. It can all feel too much.
Here are 9 Tips that you can take to help you beat the overwhelm:
- Take a break – When you’re overwhelmed, take a break and step away so you can change your perspective. Go for a walk or a run, do some yoga, meditate, play some music or catch up with a friend – whatever works for you. Doing this will help you to get a fresh perspective and to be more objective.
- Do a brain dump – It really helps to get everything out of your head and onto paper (or on your laptop if you prefer) so that it’s not taking up any more of your mental space or energy. List everything out whether it’s work or personal and don’t worry about editing it or putting it in any order – just write. Once you’ve done that, step away and take a break for 15 minutes before coming back to it.
- Delegate, Delete or Delay -. Go through your list and prioritise everything. Focus on the urgent and important tasks first. Schedule time in your diary to get them done and make sure you’re realistic about how long they will take. Question whether everything on the list actually needs to be done or are there some ‘nice to haves’ on there? Is there anything you can delegate to someone else or outsource it if you can afford to? Even better, are there some things that just don’t need to be done that you can delete off the list? Which tasks can be delayed for a few weeks?
- Setting boundaries – This is often a major cause of overwhelm. We can be our own worst enemy when it comes to saying No to people and taking on more than we can handle. Time is infinite and we never get it back - so you need to learn to put boundaries in place to protect your time. Before saying yes to someone, ask yourself whether you have the time to do it without putting yourself under too much pressure. If you need to buy yourself some time to think about it then tell them that you’ll come back to them. Don’t feel like you have to justify why you can’t do something.
- Set realistic goals – Setting your expectations too high can result in disappointment when you have to carry things over to the next day. There are only 24 hours in a day so be realistic about the time you have available and how long something will take. Otherwise you’ll keep falling short and then feeling like a failure when you don’t achieve your goals.
- Don’t Multitask – Studies have shown that multitasking is a myth. It’s exhausting and inefficient. Your brain is continually switching from one thing to another. Try making just one thing your priority and working on that until it’s done. You’ll be much more efficient and have a much greater sense of achievement when you’ve finished.
- Gratitude – Remind yourself that if you don’t get everything done it’s not the end of the world. Making a list of everything you’re grateful for can really help to change your perspective. Ideally practicing this every day will have even more of an impact on your mood. It’s been scientifically proven that listing 3 things you’re grateful for each day for 3 weeks will have a positive effect on your mood.
- Be kind to yourself – Going through a breakup is tough so don’t add to all the emotions you’re already feeling by beating yourself up for not getting everything done. Be kind to yourself. Make sure you plan time in for you to relax and just ‘be’. Plan in some activities that you love doing and spend time with people that make you laugh and give you energy.
- Ask for help – one of the things I’ve talked about previously is getting your support team in place when you’re going through a breakup. Make sure you have friends or family in it that you can rely on and feel able to ask for help. It’s not a sign of weakness and there’s no shame in asking for help, especially when you’re going through a breakup.
In today’s busy world we’re continually over stimulated. We have about 100,000 thoughts a day! Everything we see, hear and feel is a stimulation that registers in our mind. Eventually there is too much information in our mind, and it becomes impossible to process it.
Trying to minimise unnecessary stress and overwhelm is essential when you’re going through a breakup. A divorce coach can help you work through it all and prioritise the most important and urgent tasks so you can then focus on what needs to be done.
If you’d like to find out more about how I can support you please email me here: [email protected]