Overwhelmed? I have three powerful tools I use to get through it.
1. Focus on my breath.
2. Make a list.
3. Schedule it on my calendar.
The first thing I do is slow down my breathing. When we are feeling overwhelmed or anxious, our natural response is rapid, shallow breathing. By consciously focusing on the breath flowing in and out, we naturally lengthen and deepen each breath, bringing more oxygen into the lungs and slowing the heart rate.
Second, I write out everything that’s rattling around in my mind onto a blank sheet of paper. I put down everything that feels overwhelming, big or small. The act of getting these things out and onto paper creates some emotional distance and reduces our stress level.
After writing down as many as possible, I sort and prioritize them. This is also a good time to take big projects and break them down into smaller chunks, which can be done over time. I also find several tasks or projects can be delegated or dumped when I review them with a calmer, focused mind. I feel I have control as they begin to feel manageable and doable.
Third, I schedule many of the tasks on my calendar. They now have a place in my life and my future. My calendar is essential for me to keep my life organized and on track, and dramatically reduces my level of stress. I check my calendar daily and do the tasks as they come up, and adding other related activities.
Stressful times and feeling overwhelmed are simply a part of life. My breath, my lists, and my calendar are excellent stress reducers and help get me through those occasional periods.
Would love to hear your tips and techniques you’ve found helpful to get through stressful times successfully.