15 Ways to Fight the Overwhelm

cartoon of a woman juggling balls labled with all her responsibilities

15 Ways to Fight the Overwhelm

This is a post I’ve been wanting to write for months but, lol, I was way to busy and feeling far too overwhelmed! I drew the cartoon of me juggling all the balls in my life on the 8th March this year when my hands were too full and felt too small for all the balls I toss up into the air but I am not very good at juggling, and I keep dropping a couple of the balls.

When that happens I feel myself starting to get in a flap, I yell at the kids, get grumpy with Athol and end up feeling sorry for myself. I begin to imagine that I am doing everything ALL by myself ALL of the time until I finally I erupt like some sort of a fountain crossed with a volcano (a foulcano perhaps?)

Do you also tell yourself that things will get quieter or less hectic one day when the kids have grown up, when the job is less stressful, when this illness goes away, when money is not so tight, your friends or family are nicer to you or any other topic you could fill in yourself?

The thing is, there are no guarantees that these things will happen, that life will slow down and become a little easier, in fact there could be heavier burdens around the corner.  Like a serious, life changing illness, or even a bereavement.

Whenever I struggle with feeling overwhelmed I tend to be quite harsh on myself. When I do drop a ball from the multitudes I’m busy juggling I berate myself for not being able/strong/organised enough.

If this was one of my friends I was talking to, I’d be much kinder and filled with helpful suggestions. I’m quicker to tell her not to be so hard on herself while at the same time criticising myself for not being able to cope. The probem with that is it assumes a position of superiority in myself, it is a form of pride and as you know, pride usually comes before a fall!

It’s also not very wise. If I’m not planning my time properly so that I end up being a worn out shell of a witch I’m no good for anyone or anything – except for once a year at halloween.

Now I realise that my life will only be organised if I take steps make it that way so here I am setting out a list of practical solutions for myself, and maybe they will help you too, that I can turn to the next time everything is getting on top of me.

Points for beating the overwhelm:

  1. Step away and stop – move out from the chaos for a while to just be still
  2. Calm down and slow down – don’t be in such a hurry to do everything, take your time, enjoy the moment and stop panicking (this point sounds similar to the first one but is more about how you handle the process)
  3. Morning moment of reflection – start each morning with some quiet (prayer/meditation/plan for the day)
  4. Prioritise the tasks as to what is most important – learn the difference between urgent tasks and important tasks
  5. Start saying no to some of the demands – setting boundaries
  6. Assign chores to the kids/other adults – the art of (appropriate) delegation
  7. Build your social connections – relationships
  8. Change your working mindset – it’s not what you do but how you do it
  9. Get outside – into nature!
  10. Factor in exercise
  11. Check your diet
  12. Check your health – physical, mental, hormonal
  13. Help someone else – serving someone in need helps to appreciate the good things you have
  14. On your rest days don’t just sleep – ‘actively rest’ ie, take up a hobby or activity that revitalises you
  15. Evening moment of reflection and writing a gratitude list (prayer/meditation/review of the day)

I hope you will join me on this journey as we work towards finding calm in the choas of our busy lives, I am looking forward to embarking on it with you, but in the meantime I’d like to introduce you to a legendary woman who travelled far and wide throughout her life, and leave you in her capable hands.

Digging Deeper

Elisabeth Elliot is one of my heroines. She was a writer, a speaker, a missionary, mum and grandmother. She is well known for being married to Jim Elliot who was speared to death while trying to make contact with Auca Indians in Ecuador. She later lived with the tribe along with her young daughter. She was brave and wise, inspirational and eloquent. She travelled the world speaking and working and passed away in 2015 at the age of 88.

Through the 1990’s, Elisabeth spoke on a daily radio program, Gateway to Joy in Nebraska. With these words she would open the program: “‘You are loved with an everlasting love,’ – that’s what the Bible says – and underneath are the everlasting arms.”

It is good to know that in our weak and vulnerable moments, there is Someone who is able to carry us with a strength that is never ending and even provides us with this strength too.

Sometimes when I feel I need to refresh my soul (like maybe while I am doing the ironing, lol!), I will look for one of Elisabeth’s talks on YouTube to listen to, and I return to my day to day life as one who was thirsty but has drunk deeply from a well.

On one of those days when I had so much on my plate I didn’t know whether I was coming and going, I stoppped and sat to listen to one of her talks and this phrase jumped right out at me: “When you don’t know what to do next, just do the thing in front of you.”

I don’t know about you but when I’m in a flap my brain doesn’t work. This simple statement is easy to remember and practical in application.

I encourage you next time you take a break, to stop a while and listen to her talk. It may be the refeshment and guidance you need right in that moment.

Read further: Abide with me

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41 thoughts on “15 Ways to Fight the Overwhelm”

  1. The idea of ‘when you don’t know what to do next, just do the thing in front of you’ is an excellent tip and one I will try to implement! I frequently – far too frequently- feel horrendously overwhelmed by life and the crap it can throw at me, so having a wee tip like that will help. Great post.

  2. It’s great to know that we are loved. As a perfectionist, I often get overwhelmed by the stuff I “need” to do and when it all gets too much, my husband makes me sit down and list which things are urgent and which are important, just like you say. It really does make a difference and help you to prioritise what order to do things #blogcrush

  3. This is a brilliant post. I personally struggle frequently with the feeling of overwhelming so I shall take on board the points you have made and use them in my life. Thanks for sharing X #mixitup

  4. I can so relate to this and your tips are great. I may not be able to do much physically but I often get mentally overwhelmed, that’s when I get my crochet out.

  5. Kate 🍷 (@TheMumConundrum)

    Gosh this post really does resonate with me. I think it’s easy to be overly harsh and put unnecessary pressure on ourselves to do better and more. Great tips here too. Thanks Liberty (from one foulcano to another!) #thesatsesh

  6. It’s amazing how much harder we on ourselves isn’t it? I often think that if I talked to my friends the way I talk to myself (in my head) I wouldn’t have any friends at all. #BlogCrush

  7. I have definitely gotten way better recently with keeping the feelings of being overwhelmed in check! One thing I started doing was ridding my life of the unnecessary stress and drama..particularly when it is caused by others. Now, I will be a good friend and help when I can…but not at the expense of my own mental and physical health. And when I start to feel drained by someone else’s demands, it is a good time to reevaluate and reprioritize. Thanks for sharing your wonderful tips! #BlogCrush

    1. It’s difficult to care for others at times, it certainly can be costly. We’re no good to anybody if we are destroyed by trying to meet all the demands and yet we can’t shield ourselves from loving our nearest and dearest even when it’s hard. Like you say, it’s important to revaluate every now and then.

  8. I love this post and your fab tips! I often find myself rushing about way too much so I like the idea of deliberately making a point to slow down, taking a minute and just breathing. I’ll have to give it a try over the weekend. #blogcrush xx

  9. So right Liberty, there are things we can do to tackle the “overwhelm” Stepping back is perhaps the best one of all — I know this because I find it so hard to step away, but when I do, the results have never been anything but positive. Note to self: must try harder! #BlogCrush

    1. You see now Enda, ‘must try harder’ could end up getting us in the trouble we are in the first place. 😀 I agree 100%, stepping away is very difficult and yet it’s surprising how it makes such a difference. Our instinct when we feel we are losing the race is just to peddle faster where the opposite is true!

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