The Ultimate Guide to Reducing Overwhelm, Part 3

well-being business well-being Project 3 min read

In this final blog post in the series on overwhelm, we will discuss the final 6 strategies for helping you reduce overwhelm. In case you missed them, here is Part 1 and Part 2

6. Sleep and Slowing Down

Pausing to rest seems to be highly contrary to what you think you ideally need to do sometimes. We think that by pushing through the exhaustion or working faster that we will accomplish more. However the reality is totally different as we often become more prone to mistakes and cloudy thinking. There are multiple studies each demonstrating the importance of sleep on both our bodies and our brains. Without enough rest and sleep our cognitive performance decreases significantly. When you are well-rested you are generally more effective and efficient. Adults ideally need around 8-9 hours per night of quality sleep to function optimally.

Rest as a way of reducing feelings of overwhelm
Photographer: Kate Stone Matheson | Source: Unsplash

7. Acknowledge your Worth

Many high achievers fall into a trap of seeing themselves as worthless if they do not achieve what is on their to do list. This story is ultimately incredibly unhelpful and also very unhealthy to maintain. Whether you achieve every item on your to do list or not does not define your worth as a human being. You are worthy as you are - with or without all the ticks on your list!

8. Engage your Senses

A strategy which is often used to help people when they are in highly anxious states is to have them connect in with their senses. Right now, take a moment to think of :

  • 5 things you can see
  • 4 thing you can hear
  • 3 things you can touch
  • 2 things you can taste
  • 1 thing that makes you happy

9. Cultivate Gratitude

Taking a moment to acknowledge and appreciate the big and small things in your life is a quick way of moving from a state of overwhelm to a state of self-compassion. Sometimes, we may need to reframe our perspective. For example you could complain of having a full and busy life. This can be adjusted to being grateful for your family and friends enhancing the richness of your life. A couple of minutes once a day to notice and write down 3-5 things you are grateful for can be a positive addition to your well-being and self-care daily practices.

10. Meditation

There is so very much written and discussed in terms of meditation that we will only note that meditation can be a highly beneficial practice to add into your day. Simply doing a 5 minute meditation before picking the children up from school or a short meditation once they are in bed at night can be enough to calm the chatter and stories we tell ourselves.

11. Journalling (and/or Brain Dump)

Journalling is a highly effective tool to use for helping you move from overwhelm to compassion. By putting pen to paper, we can transform the thoughts and feelings running through our bodies into words and a cohesive narrative. This process in itself is powerful in moving through big uncomfortable feelings. Writing down all the stuff that is going on in your head, all the things you need to do or should do - simply getting that out on paper can have a tremendously positive impact on your well-being.

Writing to reduce overwhelm
Photographer: Thought Catalog | Source: Unsplash

The unrelenting push to achieve is unsustainable in the long term. Our bodies need periods of rest interspersed with periods of work and play. Through regular use of one or many of these strategies, over time, you will feel different. By noticing what is going on in our bodies, our minds, our thoughts and feelings we can then accept and make better choices. Through these better choices, we can actively chose activities and ways of being that are ultimately kinder and more compassionate to us both personally and professionally.

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