15 Things You Can Do to Lead a Less Overwhelmed Life

{est. 5-min read}

 

Recently, as I sat and talked with my partner on a wooden back porch, I started to feel overwhelmed and I just kinda shut down. He, having been in class all day discussing social justice and politics, was excited to merge those topics into our talks.

As the convo unfolded, I got tired, I had to pee, I wanted to lay down or do something else entirely. Commence loads of overwhelm and mental check-out.

He was wearing a blue linen shirt, all wide-eyed and connected, he really wanted to hear my thoughts but I didn't have a thing to say or even a listening ear. 

Can I be honest here? Sometimes I don't want to talk about the world. Sometimes, the world we live in seems so ruined and the many forces so confusing - and it's like what can little ol' me do anyway?

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Does this sound familiar to you? Are you ever overwhelmed by the overwhelm?

I realized later that I'd been wanting to avoid certain topics that made my already sensitive self feel even more hopeless. For a long time I've believed that what I can do is realize who I am, and who I am in relation to this world in service. 

I've also grown to learn to keep listening when it's overwhelming and ask myself, what is up with this?

And to not become overwhelmed by the overwhelm.

Stop.

Breathe.

And know that you have choices.

Because I understand the intensity of overwhelm in our lives, relationships and world views - I'm passionate about sharing tips and tricks that have worked for me and my students.

Here are 15 choices that once made, may be just what you needed and you just didn't know how much! 

Give them a quick read through and just see what sticks with you! 

Any one of these things might be the tool you've been needing to feel less overwhelmed in your world. 

 

1. Have a daily routine.

The things that influence us are changing throughout the day - and our lifespan. Though I go with the flow, my body-mind and more really love having a baseline

 

2. Eat regular meals with quiet surroundings. 

Do you ever feel overwhelm as there's just not enough time - not even enough time to eat properly. When I'm overwhelmed, I start to convince myself that eating on-the-go is necessary, and when I do cook and sit down for a meal, I catch myself trying to do some quick emails or catch up on some reading. It makes sense, it's time efficient, right? But attention is a limited resources, and if we spread it around while eating, we don't get the most from the meal, digestively, nutritionally and fulfillment-wise. 

 

3. Take baths and naps. 

 

4. Daily warm oil self-massage.

I know it can feel like there's a certain threshold that we can handle, and one thing gone messy is tolerable, and then pile a bunch of other new messes and it all gets lumped together into a bundle of overwhelm. This luxurious self-treatment helps big time. 

 

5. Listen to calming music.

 

6. Sit lesss.

I'm not just preaching about blood flow. Do you ever feel overwhelm like, too much is happening to you? Like there's so many elements outside of your control that you don't feel much ability to handle it or do anything about it? I can relate to that, and I know it makes us doubt our power to be ourselves and to show up in the world confident that we have a point, a purpose, a place. Sitting on our butts all the time is like telling our system that we're good with just being passive and letting it all happen to us. Of course, we're not passive...we're firey beings with opinions that matter and there's something that we're about and we are powerful enough to get up put that out in to the world!

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7. Keep a journal.

Simply jot down what happened that day and what you're thinking or write lengthier entries about your experiences and what you really want. This shows us the changes that are happening in our lives and it will help you stay motivated. 

 

8. Follow creative and artistic passions.

Do you feel like there's not enough time, or you don't have the bandwidth for what's being asked of you? Then rightfully, it probably doesn't seem like you want to add more stuff on, right? 

But you know those things you say you want to make more time for - do them! It'll light you up, and I want to see that.

 

7. Spend time with engaged and real people.

Do you ever feel overwhelm as a comparison kind of thing? Like, you don't know if you have what it takes? You look around and see these other people doing things that you want to do but somehow feel that you can't - it's too late or they got to it first. That's normal.

We find ourselves in a frontier of invisible competition to survive and flourish.

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There's not enough abundance to go around and somehow you have to hold on to what you have and hold onto who you thought you were. Or sometimes, like me, you have a hard time expressing who you are in the world and so overwhelm can mean shutting down and saying, "I don't want to go there." Maybe we don't have the energy, or maybe it's scary, or it's too big, too overwhelming. Here's the thing - even though it's hard getting triggered and being in the trigger, later on it's always mad respect for realness in relation to people, and to have the chance to see that the overwhelm is there - to have that be reflected and to do something about it.

And we realize they get overwhelmed too. 

 

8. Reduce exposure to scary stuff.

Overload with the news, reading rants on Facebook and staying in that harmful relationship - while your mind might be engaged and aware of the difference between real and fiction, your body, evidence shows, does not. If something's toxic - it's toxic.

 

9. Awareness of breath.

This will help intensify your goal. 

 

10. Meditate.

It calms the mind, develops the ability to direct thoughts and emotions in a purposeful way, clears the subconscious, lightens the spirit, relieves effects of stress by relaxing muscle tension, develops ability to work with deep emotional undercurrents. Aura is a free app I recommend. 

 

11. Look at your desire for stuff.

From accumulating worldly possessions to complete yourself, to not doing anything to get what you want and standing on the bridge of potential.

See what you can be.

 

12. Look at what you're pushing away. 

Maybe you make it a mission to avoid everything that's bad, or {like I'm guilty of} you go halfway in to the feeling of overwhelm before trying to avoid it.

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It's like this...

You're at the beach...

...you're walking up to the ocean and into the water - it's up to your legs and hips. Then there's that point where you're standing in the crashing of the waves, you know, getting pummeled - it's hard to balance and you're getting sand in your butt. The choice is going past the breaker in that moment or keep getting thrashed. Yeah, there's some risks out there - getting swept away by the undertow - I mean keep your wits about you! But once you're past the breaker there's a deeper calmness.

Approach overwhelm the same way.

 

13. Watch your drowsiness.

Overwhelm can cause us to either be in a state of an alert stupor, or a numbed out zone where we don't feel much.

Ideally, we're present and we don't need to prove anything, we can just be. 

 

14. Look at your discouragement.

Is it a sadness coming from a sense of conflict or yearning for something more? Is it an overwhelming sorrow due to a sense of feeling disconnected?

Ideally, we synchronize meaning into our everyday lives. 

 

15. CHECK OUT Fear.

Are you hearing a call to action, but afraid of moving and shaking? Or are you frozen like a deer in headlights?

Ideally, we can be in the fear but not of it. 

 

Overwhelm includes feelings that can call us into our inner strength. By relating our strengths to relationships in the world, those very feelings are the obstacles we're overcoming as we enter into our sense of self and who we are in the world.

In truth, we're confident, cool and collected when we can be sure that there's congruency between who we are and who we show up as in the world. We find out about what empowerment means, and spiritually, our potential for expression is made manifest - we step out into the world with action.

 

With Love,

Lauren