It’s too much. It’s way too much. You just can’t take one more something to fix, clean up, cart away, repair, or make whole. Whatever realm of your world, the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual – and they are all interconnected anyway– you have been chugging right along, working to keep pace with everything that has come your way.
There have been moments when you have been breathless, yet, you have persevered. You have focused on your priorities. You have managed to handle — with no small amount of finesse, I might add — the personalities and the politics. You have worked your magic. You have juggled, delegated, multi-tasked, created lists, made multitudinous calls, researched options, become one with your computer, stayed up late, set the alarm super early, and just kept going forward one step at a time – doing anything and everything to get over the hurdle and solve your dilemma.
You have accomplished your mission. You got it done. You did what had to be done.
These days, it has not been just one little dilemma; you have been experiencing a series of predicaments in your life. Be it home, family, health, finances, work, and/or school, there has been no hiatus in the constant onslaught that has been knocking at your door and pulling for your attention.
You haven’t even had a chance to take a full breath, when another crisis or emergency knocks at your door, “Hellooooo, anybody home?” You are ready to scream; you have reached the tipping point. You have had enough. Someone else can handle this current mess.
You feel like you are drowning; there is no breath to be had. You are going under; there is no more spunk, no more fight, no more energy. Your personal reserves of strength have long been depleted. You are drowning in overload.
Where can you go when you are madly running away from the tidal waves of overwhelm? Here are some tried and true ways to cope:
1. Get a hug from Mother Nature. This mother will hold you, ground you, and allow you to re-find your perspective, get back into your body, and out of your head. Take big gulps of fresh air, see the sea, climb the mountains, look at the stars, tramp through the woods, or stroll through your local garden center. Find greenery, earth, sky, or bodies of water and allow yourself to be soothed and comforted, cleared and renewed – and all the while find your outlook being expanded. Suddenly, the world may not seem so small or limited.
2. Head to the playground. Have some fun, blow off some steam, and be in the moment. Do whatever constitutes play for you. Be it cooking, yoga class, the movies, or playing with paints. The play will counterbalance the stress. Further, if you need some heady rationalization, regular “play time” is a coefficient in the formula for optimum performance: it makes your brain work better.
3. Connect with your funny bone. It sounds counterintuitive when you are drowning in overwhelm, but humor is the gods’ way of reminding us that a) there is always a bigger picture and b) not to take ourselves too seriously. Plus laugher re-infuses the system with present-time energy and that is vital in treating overwhelm.
4. Crawl into bed. Yes, take a nap, turn in early, or sleep in. If you are going to refind your balance and move out of overwhelm, you need to be operating with all systems. Allow your brain to quiet, your body to rest and rejuvenate. It’s easier to face your world and make those daily decisions and choices if you have a good foundation. And sleep does that, it helps you to find your personal wholeness.
5. Return to center. Sit still; get quiet. Breathe through your heart center for a small period of time and allow your good instincts, intuition, and creativity to come to the fore. Most times, we know what we need to do. Often, we are afraid. Ask your heart center to guide you towards what is the next right step for you. The wisdom of your heart is an excellent life raft in a sea of overwhelm.
Treating overwhelm calls for a re-balancing and strengthening of the mind- body-spirit interconnection. Time — time in nature, time for play and creativity, time for laughter, time for rest, and time for stillness – is necessary, even in the smallest of increments.
And, yes, when in overwhelm, time is at a premium — and the very remedy you need to bring yourself back into a state of equilibrium is our ever-favorite time. Taking the time — to feed yourself, honor yourself, and open yourself — is good medicine. This self-nurturing time can heal overwhelm and build up flexibility and resiliency to mitigate future overwhelm.
Now, are you ready to take some time?