It's 8:53 am. So far today you’ve attended a CrossFit Class, eaten breakfast, responded to client emails, had multiple work related conversations with your amazing co-workers, prepared your food for the day, meditated, traveled to work, and now you’re sitting in front of the computer in the office, preparing to tackle another 9 hour work day!
This is the morning routine for most of us these days – a million things on the go. We thrive on busyness, variety, and an intense need to burn energy in any way we see possible. For many of us, if we can find ways to jam something else into our day we will. We’re constantly thinking (more often than not over thinking) about a million different things at once.
Switching off can be difficult, and it's pretty safe to say that our innate tendency to flood our brain and headspace doesn't always do us justice. At times we may even find ourselves shallow breathing, with our body so tight, not even the sharpest of knives would pass through. And when we really manage to get our knickers in a knot, we might forget to breathe period. Sound familiar?
How many times have you caught yourself in what seems to be a major whirlwind of events or mini catastrophe (In your head anyway) only to stop, take a few big deep breaths, and realize that things really aren't that bad. More often than not, they're actually amazing – you just haven't given yourself any time to stop, relax, get clear and embrace the goodness that surrounds you. Our glass can either be half empty or half full; it's all just a matter of perspective.
We can relate the feeling of overwhelm to many situations in our life. Heavy workloads, life changing decisions, tight time frames, screaming children, even knowing if we should be weighing chicken raw or cooked – you name it! Our own expectations, need for control, and self pressure is generally what leads us down the path to crazy town. That being said, overwhelm can also just as easily occur when we’re presented with positive scenarios such as family events, new relationships, job opportunities and personal growth, just to name a few. But when the cheese feels as though it's about to slide off our cracker, and we experience a sense of paralysis, that's a sign we need to take a big giant step out of our own kitchen, to save ourselves some very unnecessary clean up.
So how do we elevate the stresses in our life which cause the feeling of overwhelm to rear its ugly head up? Finding stillness and calm is undoubtedly the best solution. Now you may ask, how do I find that? Below are some suggestions which may be helpful assisting you to navigate your way through the chaos, even the beautiful kind.
- Find Silence: Meditate, spend some time in nature, read a book, take a bath. Do whatever you need to find calm.
- Get Clear: Work out what’s most important to you, right now. Make a list and number your priorities, then commit to doing one thing off the list every day.
- Create Personal Boundaries: Whether it be with your email, bringing work into the home, friendships, your cell phone etc. create boundaries for yourself that allow you the time and space you require to switch off and recharge.
- Journal: Spend time working on identifying your life purpose, expressing gratitude, and exploring your thoughts and feelings. Journaling provides an excellent avenue to express ourselves without the fear of judgment. Questions such as “What do I need right now” and “What do I want” are a great start if you’re new to journaling.
- Get Adequate Sleep: Never underestimate the power of sleep. It is vital for our health, happiness and overall well being. Make sleep a non negotiable. If you don’t already have one, create a bedtime routine which allows for adequate time to unwind without electronics.
- Ask for Help: Two brains are always more powerful than one. It’s feels good to help someone in need, so never be afraid to delegate or ask for help.
- Be Kind to yourself: You’re doing the best you can and that’s all you can ever ask and expect of yourself. Let’s strive for excellence over perfection.
What strategies do you use to navigate your way through chaos?