It’s easy to feel totally overwhelmed by it all isn’t it? It can happen too often and far too easily if we let it. Life can demand a lot from us, work takes over, life feels out of control and you’re left with your head spinning and no idea how to get the balance back! Life is for living. Life is for enjoying – not every minute, sure, but most of the time definitely. Otherwise what’s the point?
So, when it all feels like it’s getting too much, and your stress levels are reaching breaking point, what can you do?
Firstly, take a moment and… breathe. Take a steady breath in, and control your breath as you let it out. Make sure you are in a comfortable position – sitting, lying down – and close your eyes if that will help. Let the blood flow around your body, and feel your heart rate calming. Relax into it, and enjoy the act of simply breathing.
Next, write it down. Whatever has been whirling round your head, write it down. Get it out into the real world. It might be a list of things you ‘need’ to do. It might be a mess of words or pictures or diagrams. Now you can start to make sense of it, now that you can see it.
So, what are the priorities? What has to be tackled first? What needs to be done today? What can be left until tomorrow, next week, next month? What actually isn’t a priority at all?
Starting to feel better? Hopefully you are. But if not, then share your thoughts with someone who can help. A friend, loved one, trusted colleague, coach. Talk it through and see it from a different perspective.
This should provide the clarity you need to know what to do next. Now you can take the necessary action.
But! This should help things in the short term but don’t forget the long term view. What led you to be in this stressed out state in the first place? Do you need to establish boundaries somehow? Do you need to say no more? How do you manage your emotions? How do you deal with stress and workload pressures? Do you need to ask for help? Create some time and space to reflect on what just happened. Can you identify the signs/triggers? Would you recognize them again if they started to rear their ugly heads? What action would you take this time?
Also, take this opportunity to celebrate your successes. What’s going well for you at the moment? How did you make that happen? Don’t let the negative stuff detract from all the great stuff that you have going on in your life. Write a list of the brilliant things you have achieved, and the things that bring you happiness. I find this gives a much better sense of perspective on how your life is actually going, and reminds that you are doing great. Keep an eye on the small stuff but always remember to see the bigger picture too.
Disclaimer: Coaching is not intended as counselling or a form of therapy, but as a way of helping an individual achieve their goal. If you find that the feelings of overwhelm and anxiety are taking over and you can’t find a way out, please do talk to your GP or counsellor.
About the Author:
Sophie Suggests offers business and life coaching for individuals and small business owners, and is based in the East Midlands. With a wealth of experience in the creative and public sectors, she provides support and guidance through coaching, and works with clients to achieve a positive mindset. If you are interested in finding out how coaching could benefit you, Sophie can be contacted via the following:
Jenny Ryan is the Award Winning photographer behind Women Rocking Business and Indigo + Violet Photography.