How to Deal With Overwhelm, And Cultivate Inner Resilience Instead
A lot of my clients talk to me about feeling overwhelmed: at work, in their business, with the kids, when trying...
A lot of my clients talk to me about feeling overwhelmed: at work, in their business, with the kids, when trying to marry all their passions, and move forward with what they want for themselves… I know, believe me, I’ve been there. More times than I can remember. In order to achieve the things that really mattered to me, I had to learn how to deal with overwhelm, and find inner resilience instead.
So here’s a short how-to guide for anyone who feels overwhelmed, and wants to find inner peace, wellbeing, and resilience instead.
What you’ll find below are my five main lessons from years of learning how to overcome, and banish overwhelm. Hopefully they’ll help you as much as they’ve helped me.
#1 Slow down
One of my business mentoring clients told me how overwhelmed she felt last week, after having set some powerful business goals for herself. By digging through the overwhelm together, she realized that it wasn’t the goal that was the issue, but the time she had given herself to achieve it. This is true for a lot of us, and many of our goals.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed about something you want to achieve, take a good look at when you’re expecting to reach that goal. Chances are that that’s the problem, and not the goal.
As an experiment mentally push that goal to the end of the year, and give yourself permission to feel great about not achieving it before that time.
The same goes for other things too. Let’s say you promised someone to help out with something this week, but you’re schedule is absolutely full, and you’re overwhelmed. Now imagine pushing that commitment two weeks into the future, when you have a few days off from work, and time to actually do it.
How does it feel? Still overwhelming? If not, it’s time to slow down. Not only will it get rid of overwhelm, it’s a great way to stay motivated, and build resilience by setting healthy boundaries for yourself.
#2 Think like a microscope
Another recurring culprit that keeps us overwhelmed is focusing on the big picture too much. You set a goal for yourself, let’s say to reach the finish line of a marathon this year, but from day one you focus on the enormity of the distance you’ll have to run to achieve it. While – of course – being totally out of shape. It’s pretty safe to assume that this would overwhelm even the strongest among us, don’t you think so?
The alternative, and a powerful way to not let yourself get overwhelmed, is to think like a microscope. Focus on the absolute smallest task or thing that you can do right now to move forward, without looking at the bigger picture. This has worked successfully for me in many situations, and with all sorts of goals (big or small), and I guarantee it will work for you as well. When we take the hugeness out of something, we often take the overwhelm out of it too.
#3 Don’t take anything seriously
This might sound obvious to you, but I had to do a lot of work to get it. As a recovering perfectionist, and people-pleaser I spent the bigger part of my years trying to live up to unattainable expectations. A sure-fire for overwhelm. But even if you’re not a perfectionist, taking things too seriously might keep you stuck.
The truth is, almost nothing is serious to the extent that you should feel overwhelmed because of it. Instead, be playful. Enjoy what you’re doing (that’s the whole point anyway!). Progress today is better than perfection tomorrow. So what if it’s not entirely like you envisioned it? It never is anyway…
Cultivating this mindset will alleviate more than overwhelm. It will help you get rid of guilt, and stress too along the way!
#4 Let go, and ask for help
So far we know that overwhelm is triggered when something is too much too soon, when it’s too big for us to handle in one go, and when we think our lives depend on it.
But there’s more.
Overwhelm often shows up when we want to control everything. Why? Because it’s impossible to do so! And very often those that want to stay in control also have a hard time asking for help. They believe that it is their duty to do it all. To build resilience while avoiding overwhelm you do the exact opposite. You let go, and ask for help.
#5 Keep moving
Finally, however overwhelmed you feel, whatever your circumstances are my advice is to stay in action, and move forward. Nobody ever got anything done by thinking about it. The same goes for overwhelm. It’s not going to go away on it’s own, it requires of you to do something about it.
Like implementing the tips above, or doing anything else that works for you.
Now do tell me, what helps you to move past overwhelm? How do you build resilience? Let me know below.
Hi, I’m Murielle. I created the online course Soulful Productivity™, a 6-week program to redefine productivity and help you get from overwhelm to flow, and I have a private coaching practice where I help ambitious, multi-passionate creatives and entrepreneurs start, grow & scale businesses, and create their freedom lifestyle. PS: I love Instagram. Let’s connect!