Overwhelm. It is probably the most widely used word by every single person on the planet at this current time. I mean most people are just barely keeping their heads above water…
I’m guessing your brain is very similar to mine when it comes to your plans for the future.
Meaning: there are very few plans, if any. Your day-to-day is just that. Day. To. Day. You are in survival mode.
Y’all, it’s true. Everywhere we look its doomsday reporting. And guess what, my friend, that kind of thinking is what keeps us submerged and in a very dark place.
Which got me to thinking about a podcast I listened to recently.
The guest was a legendary surfer named Mark Visser who has ridden some of the biggest waves🌊 , 60 foot high waves to be exact, around the world.
Now you might be asking what this has to do with your current state of overwhelm.
Hear me out.
Mark talks about how in order to be held underwater for extended periods of time with no control and the certainty of death staring him in the face, taught him that he had to learn to completely stay in the moment.
Any time he thought even a second ahead, his brain went to panic and the certainty of his own death, which caused his body to seize up and not do what he needed it to in order to survive.
And because he knew certain things about what he has to do with his body when submerged underwater, “the size of 4 football stadiums,” he knows how to get through a process of what exactly he needs to do at each specific moment to come up above that wave.
You see, when you fight to get above water, you lose oxygen, and then you panic, which leads to almost certain death. When you let go and get into the present, it is the only way to survive that crashing wave.
Ok, I know you all are intelligent, so you are already picking up the metaphor here.
60 foot Wave = Overwhelm or what our brains equate to certain death.
So learning to stay within the moment is the only thing to take us out of the place of fear and overwhelm and into a place of calm even when chaos is surrounding us.
But in order to stay within the moment, our brains also need to understand what to do and how to be. Just like Mark had to practice what his body needs to do when being crushed by an Empire State Building sized wave, there are things we can practice to keep our minds from being overtaken by the Overwhelm Wave.
But here’s what many people tell me:
- I already know this
- That sounds impossible
- I don’t have the time to do this on my own
- I wouldn’t know where to start
- When I am angry or upset, I don’t think about “being in the moment,” I’m just mad.
- I already “know” what is going to happen so I am preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.
And a lot of other reasons as to why overwhelm can become a state of being for many.
Chances are that you may have heard some of this before, but there is a difference between consuming information, which just in case you weren’t aware, actually adds to overwhelm, and taking ACTION is the only way to get yourself out of the overwhelm hamster wheel.
Listen, I’m not the kind of person to leave you hangin’. So how do you get out of your head, stay in the moment, and more importantly, do what it takes to get yourself out of overwhelm?
Well, this is exactly why I created the 5 Days to Reducing Overwhelm for Moms Who Never Planned On Being Teacher’s Series. Join the Group HERE.
5 Hot Tag Tips On Reducing Overwhelm And Elevating Your State Of Mind
No. 1: The Good and Bad of Overwhelm: A Self-Assessment
The good news is that overwhelm isn’t always a bad thing. I know, I know, you definitely are asking how that could possibly be. Let me explain.
One of the Pillars that I created in my life is to be a life-long learner. The Discovery Phase is something that I crave in my life. I also love to teach people all of the new things I learn as I go through my own journey of self-discovery and mastery.
But here is the thing about learning as an adult: We learn differently than children. And when we learn something new or learn something that contradicts an old belief system, our brain’s first response is to go into a cycle of overwhelm and discredit.
Our brains have to process through why the old way is wrong or inaccurate. You see, we all have defense mechanisms that will come up because it’s how our brain protects old habits and the perception of keeping us safe.
Learning new concepts that progress us forward is actually quite difficult for our brain. So you see, this type of overwhelm is something we experience in a growth phase and it is actually a good thing!
But right now, most people are experiencing the negative side of overwhelm.
Which is the feeling of a constant wave of bad news, negativity in every social media feed, worry, homeschooling, remote work, job loss, or having to add yet another thing to a never-ending list of to-dos that never seems to get finished.
And keeping your brain out of the depths of darkness when that is all we hear, is one of the most important things that we can do for ourselves and for our families.
Just being aware and assessing where you are on the Overwhelm Framework is the first step.
Join me HERE to learn more about the Overwhelm Framework and join the 5 Days To Reducing Overwhelm FREE Facebook Group. October 5 – October 9, 2020.
No. 2: Simple Brain Hacks To Recognize & Move out of Overwhelm Quickly
Whether you know it or not, overwhelm is an option.
That is a hard one to hear.
And this is where people tend to argue with me and back up all of the reasons that I can’t possibly understand what is going on in their lives that make moving forward impossible.
Now, let’s get real. Are there moments in my life when I feel overwhelmed? Uhh, Y.E.S. If you don’t know my story click HERE to find out more to see what my travel dossier used to look like pre-shutdown.
My brain, just like yours, can easily get off track and into the overwhelm station just as quickly as anyone else’s.
So in order to manage my stress levels and anxiety, I have a journal that I regularly dump out my thoughts. And if you are like me, you have 1000’s of those pesky thoughts floating around in that magnificent brain of yours.
Some of them are quite ridiculous. Like a children’s book playing out in your head. “What if when I got out of my car, I stepped on an alligator that crawled out of the sewer?”
Where the heck did that one come from?
To, “what color am I going to paint the bathroom in my dream house?” P.S.I have no plans to move in the near future. Is it good to be specific about your dreams? Of course, but not when I’m trying to get on a call for virtual school and the internet isn’t working. The color of my bathroom does not matter at that point in time.
So dumping all of these thoughts out into a notebook helps me to clear my head and progress to things that actually matter. I cross out the nonsense and highlight the 3 things that I can accomplish that day.
And then I move on.
You’d be surprised at what this simple little hack does to free your brain and clear your mind.
Are you ready to take action? Join me and an amazing group of women in the 5 Days To Reducing Overwhelm: Take Action Series. October 5 – October 9, 2020.
No. 3: How To Not Pass Overwhelm To Your Kids
One of the biggest things that I currently see is that because we are so overwhelmed with all of the circumstances of the times, most people don’t realize how much of this overwhelm we unknowingly pass on to our kids.
What most people do is they have their own list of to-do items they need to check off so they blow into the room and rattle off a mental list of items their kids need to do and completely throw them off track. Which in turn overwhelms the child and puts them into a heightened sense of anxiety and overwhelm.
Now, are they playing ROBLOX, and that is really making you angry? There is a good chance the answer is yes. Been there. Done that.
But, here’s the thing: their brains are still on something they are interested in. So giving them the proper amount of time to adjust to what needs to happen next is an important step to lessen the anxiety they may have about virtual school, especially if it has been a rocky road to start.
Now, if you have a teen, their brains are even more jam-packed with emotions and thoughts. So I’ve learned to read my teen’s body language before I go to her with my own list of things she needs to do.
I simply ask her if there is anything she is stressing about, what her homework looks like for the day and then say, “hey the grass needs to be cut this week, when are you able to fit that in?” Or if she says she has a lot going on, honestly, the grass can wait. For a teen that is prone to anxiety, I have to respect her needs before I get bent out of shape about the grass.
Now if we do talk about the grass and I feel like it is feasible, is she going to be happy about cutting the grass? Nope! But, I am giving her the space to figure out when to do it and I don’t have any false expectations about her jumping for joy to do a chore she dreads just as much as I do.
Wondering how to implement this in a supportive group setting? Join the FREE 5 Days To Reducing Overwhelm: Take Action Series. October 5 – October 9, 2020.
No. 4: Hacking Your Meditation Routine
I have to be honest here. I’ve fought meditation for years. Not just a few years, like 26 years. A professor of mine in college had noticed my tendency towards anxiety (although we didn’t have a name for it then) and suggested a meditation routine. She even sat with me a few times to show me how to do it. And all I did was fall asleep.
At the time, I was a runner. Not just for exercise, I was a manic runner. So meditation seemed so opposite from the new 1990’s cardio blitz that was happening at the time.
But recently, I had a change of heart.
Let me start here:
We’ve all heard about the benefits of having a meditation routine. Here are just a few:
- Stress Reduction
- Builds Self-Esteem
- Increase Attention Levels
- Increase Productivity
- Improving Quality Of Sleep
- Control Pain
- Improve Memory
I started my own meditation routine about a year ago when I was at the height of my travel season. I was having trouble sleeping🥱 because I was changing time zones every few weeks and it was really messing with my internal clock. It was also affecting my mental state, so a good friend and fellow traveler suggested meditation. And that alone was a life-saving tool for me.
I began practicing with a short 5-minute meditation before bed at night because it was all I could commit to at first. I still was telling myself that meditation “just wasn’t my thing.”
Oddly enough, it began to have a truly profound effect on my life in too many ways to talk about in this post.
Now fast forward to shut-down. My kids were having trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, which also meant that my sleep was being interrupted several times a night.
I was desperate. For me and for them. So I started a meditation routine with my kids.
With my own voice, I lead them through meditations before bed.
And what happened next was astounding. Not only did their sleep improve, but their attitudes about shutdown and their well being improved drastically. We had almost instantaneous results. Within about 3 days I noticed a difference in their ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. I was on to something.
Even now, I still do meditations with my 7-year-old. She asks every night before bed for one. My 16-year-old has now developed her own meditation routine and it has completely helped her reduce her level of anxiety.
So if I haven’t convinced you to take up a regular meditation routine just yet, Join the FREE 5 Day Series on How To Reduce Overwhelm For Moms Who Never Planned On Being Teachers where I will be giving you a meditation to help calm your overwhelm.
No. 5: Emergence From Overwhelm
I’m hoping that you have now gotten to the point where you can see an emergence from the heavy overwhelm wave.
As Mark Visser said, your body is completely capable of doing things that you would never think possible. Will you have to do difficult things? Quite possibly, yes. But that is what the human experience is. It’s 50-50. The Law of Duality.
From here, you just need to take action. Will you? Here is how: Find out more about the 5 Day Video Series on exactly the steps above by taking action right here.
Bonus Tip: Find Your Community Of High-Level Thinkers
Finding a community of women who are continuously evolving is one that many women crave. It’s something that I have longed for as I go through this journey of self-discovery. If you have a community already, cherish it. If you don’t, I’d love to have you join ours. Join HERE.