Monday, August 6, 2018

Overwhelm

Overwhelm. This is a huge problem for people-pleasers (like me) and empaths (like me), but it can be a huge problem for anyone. We say yes to a lot of things and then set goals we could probably reach if we worked nonstop. We take our best days and turn them into the standard, but that pace isn't sustainable - yet we don't seem to care. Then we fall behind, and the more behind we get, the more we fall into despair. And then, at the bottom, we sink into that mode where nothing at all gets done, we don't see the sunlight for three days straight, and just getting out of bed is a win because we've made ourselves physically sick.

Ugh.

Maybe it's not that extreme for you, but maybe you read that paragraph and knew exactly what I was talking about from experience. Maybe you've been right in those shoes. Or maybe you're there right now and wondering what the heck to do about it. Maybe you're a perfectionist through and through and can't get out of the rut that is feeling like a failure all the time because you didn't do things just right.

So how do you deal with overwhelm?



It isn't easy. It becomes this trap you keep falling into if you don't change your behavior. It turns into a mess you can't seem to find a way out of. Every day, you fall more and more behind on the things you wanted to accomplish, yet you keep saying yes to things because they sound like good opportunities on the surface. Maybe you're freelance and you need clients to stay in business, so you accept every project thrown your way. Been there, done that - it's not pretty.

If you're like me, you set these crazy unattainable goals. You think you can achieve them because, on your best days, you can produce like a maniac. Which means you set your targets so high that missing ONE day is devastating to your progress. Then you recalculate and realize you need to add MORE to your BEST in order to hit that goal. But that's nearly impossible to do without crashing. So what do you do?

The answer: focus on your needs.

Yes, you need clients. Yes, you need to create content. But those aren't needs in the basic sense. You need rest. You need food. You need exercise. You need to recharge. You need human connection. You need to grow and learn and evolve, and there's no time for any of those things if you're stuck in production mode. You have to break the cycle. Then you need to change your behavior.

Because things around you will not change unless you do. 


You have to go back to the fundamentals and make sure your true needs are being met. Then go from there. Let go of worry and say yes to the things you truly want to say yes to. Say no when things don't feel right to do. If the money from the project won't be worth what it's going to take to earn it, NO is a perfectly good word to pull from your vocabulary. But, if you're feeling jazzed at the thought of working on something, go for it! The money (since I'm sure that's part of the boiled-down reason of why you overwhelm yourself in the first place) will follow in some way. Trust in the universe.

I've found more abundance in my life by simply not worrying about it all. The more we focus on what we want to happen in a positive way, the more it'll come to you. But if you focus on the lack, you'll find more of the lack. Stay positive, y'all. It can seem frivolous and too rose-colored-glasses sometimes, but I swear it works.

So where do you start?

My suggestion is to start with your breath. Take a deep one, put your hand over your heart, and remember why you're here. This life is meant to be filled with experience. So this overwhelm is part of your experience. You are meant to experience this and learn from it. Grow from it. Evolve your systems and methods of production because of it. So FEEL it. Don't be afraid of it. Lean in toward it and get everything you can out of it.

Is it showing you that your pace is unsustainable? Have you set goals you can't reach while taking proper care of your health? Are you saying yes to things you don't even want to do, things that are negatively affecting your mind and body? Learn from this overwhelm and switch things up. Show up for yourself and accept flexibility. Maybe even develop routines and habits (discipline) to get out of the rut. Figure out what's reasonable for you so you can work with joy and peace and still take care of yourself.

Then set proper boundaries. Write it all out if you have to so you don't forget, too. Make sure you're clear with yourself when it comes to what you'll accept and what you won't. Dig deep to find what feels right for yourself. Feel free to get feedback, but in the end, you're the one who has to live with the decisions you make. So you should be the final say in what you'll put up with, accept, and work on. Reinforcing your self-worth can be huge for this.

In summary: take a breath, get reasonable, and set boundaries.


It may not be easy. At all. And it may not cure the overwhelm completely. You may backslide and end up in an overwhelmed state later. For now though, it'll make you feel better, which will help you take better care of yourself. Drop the worry and let things flow to you. Forcing them to happen only results in friction and frustration. So take a deep breath, figure out what's reasonable, and set the boundaries you don't want to cross any longer. Put one foot in front of the other as you pay close attention to your health and build yourself back up to a person who can do more as you grow.

You won't be stuck at this beginning forever, just like you won't be stuck in overwhelm forever. But you have to start somewhere, and it might as well be from the bottom. By doing that, you'll have a much bigger and better appreciation for the top once you reach it.

Vibe high, friends.











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