I have been feeling a bit overwhelmed of late. Some of you might know that I returned to work 3 days a week about four months ago. In addition to this, Im still mumma to 3 kids under 12, building my women’s intuitive coaching biz and supporting our family business at the same time. Throw in some extracurricular activities and family commitments, and hey presto – hello overwhelm.
I don’t really enjoy hanging out in overwhelm, it feels pretty bleh. I am a pretty action-oriented person, so overwhelm for me feels a bit like I’m dragging myself through the mud. Doing things, but knowing I’m distracted or not fully present. Hanging out with my littlest person on my days away from the office, whilst also trying to get stuff done on my laptop, or running errands, getting kids to and from school and just barely keeping up with appointments.
I decided to share this because it’s such a common language in our society and it’s become almost commonplace that people are overwhelmed by their responsibilities. I want to call it out. Even though it might be everywhere, it is not, in actual fact, normal or even close to healthy. Our nervous systems are under more duress than ever and we are producing stress hormones at scarily high levels. Extended periods of overwhelm manifest into dis-ease – think autoimmune conditions, anxiety & depression, skin and body issues, colds, and headaches (just to name a few).
So what it is with our current way of life, that means so many of us are hanging out here? Why do we feel the need to push our minds and our bodies beyond what is reasonable and fair. And why do we struggle so hard to hit the pause button?
From my own experience, I also know the first thing to go when life gets too busy, is my own self-care. The very thing I know that will help me to feel more balanced and calm, drops off the plate first. It can happen so easily when there are time constraints and conflicting priorities. Yet, it is one of the most important things to help restore our nervous system and alleviate some of the stress (NB just this week I have signed up for some yoga classes and a women’s circle).
For those of you that feel like self-care is an overused and unrealistic term for the busy modern human, I invite you to consider the following simple strategies that can help to move you out of overwhelm, whilst also being classified as self-care:
- Breathing – simple exercises such as box breathing or counting breaths – where your out-breath is longer than your in-breath can quickly move you back into your present state. Even 3 consecutive breaths with this pattern will make a shift for you.
- Grounding – stand barefoot on the ground (doesn’t have to be outside but bonus points if it is) and allow yourself to sink into the earth with your eyes closed. Notice your feet are connected to the earth and shift your weight so you have as much surface area of your feet in contact with the earth as possible. Stay here for 15-30 seconds.
- Dark chocolate – did you say you needed an excuse to enjoy some chocolate? The trick here is, dark and less processed is best. Chocolate, has beautiful grounding qualities – eat a couple of pieces whilst mindfully noticing it in your mouth, how it feels and tastes as you chew it, and be aware as it goes down your throat and into your tummy.
- Energy release – shake, jiggle, dance, jump up and down – anything to literally shake off the excess energy and bring you back into your body. Even better coupled with a song you really love.
- Salt bath – chuck in some epsom salts, add your fave scent and enjoy a nice soak in the tub. Cue candles, dim light and some relaxing music – hello home day spa (without the hefty price tag).
So if you’re like me, and you’ve noticed you’re hanging out in overwhelm, why not try some of these ideas to take some small steps (practice each day) to help you to move back into a healthier state?
Which one are you going to try first?
Live, Love & Laugh,