That’s a tremendous understatement! The days of sitting at home with nothing to do or anywhere to go are long gone. Who would’ve guessed, we’d miss those days so soon? Society is stressed out. There’s not a person I know that isn’t feeling overwhelmed with life right now. We’re all spread too thin, have way too many items on the ever-growing to-do list, and feeling the pressure from all angles. It seems as if we have all gone from 0 to 100 overnight.
As a collective, we are starting to suffer both mentally and physically from the constant feeling of being overwhelmed. It’s a suffocating feeling. Some surrender and hide hoping it will disappear, some continue to press on pretending it’s “not that bad” until it is, and they burst, and others break down daily. However, you process it is irrelevant. When the feelings take hold, you suffer and your friends, family, and careers also suffer. The current pace we are living is not sustainable or healthy. Something’s got to give! We all need a break. We all need to hit the reset button. Take the time to reestablish our baseline, determine our priorities, set boundaries, get organized and develop a path forward.
We need to start prioritizing ourselves again. Stop sacrificing our own wants and needs to satisfy someone else or for the sake of meeting a deadline that in the grand scheme of things means nothing. It will likely take hitting rock bottom mentally or becoming physically ill for the need for change to strike. And it will hit everyone differently, but when it does, you’ll know without a doubt the need for change is here. And based upon how each of us are responding to the world around us, the time is now. As a collective, we have not been this stressed in decades. A recent survey I found detailed, more than 80% of Americans report emotions associated with prolonged stress.
I too am included in this. There has never been a time in my life when I have felt more overwhelmed than I do right now. There is nothing in my world that I can pinpoint for the feelings, but they are here. And I decided it was time for change. I had my moment (honestly, it’s been many moments), but from those moments I decided it was time to make changes. I needed to be proactive combating these feelings. While it will likely take time for the results of these changes to show, just making the changes alone made me feel powerful. It put me back in the driver seat of my life and stopped allowing the overwhelming feelings to control me.
Everyone processes stress differently and what works for one may not work for another. But there are strategies you can implement as a starting place. Start with getting your home in order. With so many people still working from home full-time, having an organized home has never been more important. Think of your home as your command center. You would never board a plane with a cockpit full of clutter or dirt so why would you operate your own life that way? Operating from a clean home sets the tone for order and control in your life. Having a clean and organized place to come home to makes the struggles outside of the home easier to process and deal with.
After your home is in order, make a list of everything you are juggling now, will soon be, or are overdue on. Yes, a list! I know you are likely rolling your eyes, but how can you ever know what to improve if you don’t know all the things requiring your attention.
Now prioritize them. Which from the list are in your control? For those that aren’t, move them to the bottom. Or even delete completely. You don’t have the capacity for those right now (or ever). Next, determine the non-negotiables and keep those at the top. These are the items that will directly impact you (or someone close to you) if they don’t get attention. Establish boundaries for these items. These are the things you will not sacrifice regardless of outside circumstances. You moved them to the top for a reason. Next, think about the items that remain. Must they be done by you or can you delegate? These are the middle ground items. The ones that would be nice if done, but not dire. These are the ones that can wait and still have the same outcome if you do them today, tomorrow, or next year.
It comes down to determining what in life is sucking the energy from you and dealing with it head-on or removing it. If it is something that doesn’t serve you well, then why would you exhaust energy on it or spend time stressed about it. And if you can’t remove it, then learn to manage it. Don’t allow it to manage you.
Another way to beat the feeling of being overwhelmed is to improve your mood. It’s not always easy but try to find the positives. They still do exist, I promise. The media is inundated daily with negativity and if you allow it, it will consume your mood and overall outlook on life, intensifying the feeling of being overwhelmed. It’s proven that one’s feelings are often picked up from the environment in which they surround themselves. Don’t surround yourself with the doom and gloom projection the media is trying to sell us. Find the positives instead.
If the feelings are too strong and making a list makes you feel even more overwhelmed or you have absolutely nothing positive to focus on, find a pillow. Use that pillow to scream into, cry, punch, or kick until you’re no longer overwhelmed. Trust me, this helps too! 😉