“I can’t do it anymore!” - my 6 best tips to avoid that moment of complete overwhelm
This morning I woke up from the sound of loud music. I wondered where that came from, as we were still in our bed and it was only 8 am. My kids were not home, so it was not them. I started focusing on the sound and found out that it was the rain, the snoring of my boyfriend and the sound of a neighbour using a saw. It was a combination of things.
It's often a combination of things that makes us feel overwhelmed
In life it’s often like that as well. When we're tired, or overwhelmed, we often say that it’s because of this or because of that. I did too much when…. Or I went to a party and that was too much… But it’s never only that one thing! It’s a combination of things that makes us feel tired or overwhelmed. We might feel it only after that certain situation, but it started way before that. It started before we noticed it.
Now the challenge is to notice it, before it happens. Before it’s too late and we are tired and/or overwhelmed. But how do we do that?
First of all it’s very important we start taking good care of ourselves. Self care is extremely important and we need it to keep our sanity sometimes. In between all the things we have to do, we need some moments of calm, some me-time. We can’t keep running around without stopping and expecting not to feel tired.
Do you think this is just the way it is?
So, maybe you say “This is just the way it is, I HAVE to keep running or things will get messy, in my house and in my life” or you think you have to do it because your kids need you ALL THE TIME. Or maybe something completely different. But it never works like that. Because in the end you always pay the price! And I think you know that, right?
Before the summer holidays I was doing it too. And I told myself that it was OK for a short period. It was just busier as usual and yes, I added a couple of things to that, so it was even busier. I just had to keep on going until this period ended. And so I did. But you know what? I think it wasn’t the right thing to do. It didn’t feel good and even when it was finished I had to cancel a couple of things because it was all still too much. I had been running without stopping for way too long. And I needed lots and lots of time to recover from that.
What can we do to keep the balance?
It made me think. What can I change to avoid this next time? What can I do to keep the balance? I’m now paying close attention to what works for me, to what makes me feel really relaxed. And I intend to do those things often from now on. I was already doing a lot of things to relax, but some things aren’t always relaxing. So I thought I was relaxing when reading a book about self-love. But my head was already so full from all the things that I was doing and that I needed to do. And I was just adding more to that.
Don’t get me wrong: I loooove reading and yes, it is always relaxing to sit down and read. Relaxing for my body. But not always for my mind. And my mind needed a break! So when I went on holiday I didn’t bring my inspirational books but only a few magazines and a novel with a lovely story I could lose myself in. And that was great! For me this worked! I’ve finished the book and started a new one. Because it’s a habit I’m going to keep. I’m looking for balance between my family, my job, my business and myself and this has proven to be a great tool for me.
One other thing that works wonders for me and I’m pretty sure it will for you too is to say "no" to a few things. I’m always doing plenty of things, because I’m interested in a lot of things and I always want to learn more. For example I’m doing a course to learn more about the moon, its phases and how it effects me. Really interesting! But with the books I was reading, the courses I was doing, the things I was creating for my business, well… it was too much. So I’m taking it slower now. I don’t have to do all those things. I can do them when I have time, when it feels good. I’m taking some pressure off.
My 6 top tips to avoid overwhelm
To feel more balanced and make it easier to notice when you’re going towards that “It’s all too much now” moment, you can do the following things:
1. Take good care of yourself - Make sure you fill that cup! (Yes, also your coffee cup or tea cup, but that’s not what I’m talking about here ;-) )
2. Try different things to see what works for you, what makes you really relax and recharge - Some suggestions are: going for a walk, talking with a friend, listening to a guided meditation, playing a game with your kids, reading, journaling, watching youtube videos…
3. Say “no” - also to things you like doing! Because we just can’t do everything at the same time! Skip some things when it’s becoming too much. You don’t have to do everything and you don’t have to be everywhere. Really!
4. Pay attention to how you’re feeling - Pay close attention to your feelings. When you notice you’re getting close to overwhelm take a moment to see what you can do. Take a look at the things you have to do and see what you can skip or delegate (yes, your kids can help too!). I know it’s not always easy to notice that overwhelm is close, but the more you pay attention to how you feel, the better you'll get. And if you find that you’re complaining more or more often angry with your kids, you know that’s a sign too! Find your signs and try to notice them earlier. I know you can do it!
5. Take enough rest - When you’re starting to think things like “I just have to continue like this for now and then I can relax”, choose to take a moment to relax. That is the moment you need it the most! When you’re starting to feel tired, go to bed earlier. Even if you have lots of things to do. It will go easier after you’ve rested. And if you think you really have to do all those things first, just check if that’s really true. If you really have to do ALL those things. And maybe you can also ask for help if you DO need to do all those things (but that’s the next point on this list :-) )
6. Ask for help - I know, not always easy, but sometimes you just need to ask for help. And no, not when you’re so tired that you can’t do everything anymore. Yes, you can ask for help when you can’t do anything anymore, but it’s even better to ask it before that. Ask family or friends for help. Tell them you have so many things and it’s getting too much. There’s absolutely no shame in that. And you’ll feel so much better when you don’t have to do it all alone! Sometimes doing something together can be fun. I used to fold the laundry together with a friend when drinking tea and chatting.
I hope these tips will help you to avoid that tricky “I can’t do it anymore” moment and will help you feel better and more relaxed! To help you take a moment for yourself to relax and recharge I’ve created AIR a free package for you. AIR includes 2 meditations for you and 1 for your child(ren), fun & self-care inspiration cards and a coloring page. Click here to take that short relaxing break that you're longing for!