How to deal with Overwhelm


Yesterday morning I woke up with a heavy weight on my chest and my throat closed down.....for apparently no reason. It's been a few days that every morning I wake up in a completely wired state. I feel like I'm plugged to a PC with too many data and they all hit me as soon as I open my eyes.

Things to do, worries for the future, projects, shoulds and musts, all come at the same time leaving me feeling utterly OVERWHELMED .

It's a feeling I know well because it's been there many moments of my life.

It happens when too much it's going on and I feel I cannot handle. And it doesn't necessarily mean that I practically have more to do than usual, but it's the importance of the decisions to make and not their number that affects me. It's the emotional charge attach to it that creates that feeling.

Right now I have to decide what's next in my life. Lots of chapters have ended and a new completely new chapter is opening up for me. Which is incredibly exciting and it involves lots of possibilities, and here it's the key of overwhelm for me, it's connected to the fact of having many opportunities and not being able to choose one direction for fear of missing out from the other ones. 

OVERWHELM definition on Thesaurus : to cause someone to feel sudden strong emotion

If you're experiencing this feeling into your life right now, don't worry, this too shall pass. I found this process very useful for me, maybe it will help you as well  :

  • Start by looking at the physical symptoms showing up in your body : How is your body communicating to you? ...Shallow breathe,Headache, anxiety, tiredness, weight on the chest, feeling like a car running without fuel......
  • Stay with the sensation, don't escape from it. Usually when we spend some time with the sensation , it gradually vanishes. Take 10 very deep breaths into the nose and out of your mouth to melt the feeling of heaviness and tension in your body body
  • What is causing you overwhelm right now ? . Identify where it is coming from. Maybe you're overworking, you're sleepless, too many responsibilities at work and in your personal life......
  • Write it ALL down. Again I may sound redundant with my love for journalling, but I really believe that getting all that stuff out of your head is incredibly beneficial and will allow you to see what's on your plate, look at the things that you can tackle now and the ones that you have no control at the moment.
  • Meditate for 5- 10 minutes after, especially if like me you wake up feeling immediately wired. This will help clear out your mind and find some peace.
  • Schedule a break in the next few days : in my case what I've been craving in the last few weeks has been nature. The soothing power of green and walking into nature. So I've planned a day in a park outside of Paris with a friend . If you don't have a whole day free or time for a holiday, then just introduce some gentle time for you in your schedule. This can look like a walk around the block in the morning, or a couple of extra minutes enjoying your breakfast .
  • Sleep : I notice that the times that this creepy feeling comes up it's when I'm tired. For me sleep is uber important, and It's not only about the quantity of sleep, but the quality of it . Yesterday I feel asleep at probably 2am, and this explains a lot of the overwhelm. I love sleep and I honestly need 8 good hours to feel good. And going to bed early by 22h30 and getting up early it's one of my guilty pleasures to feel Amazing the day after !
In general it is very useful for me to remember the mantra " One step at the time"

Overwhelm makes us often feel like we need to fix everything at once, and that feels ( and it is ) a lot to deal with. But the truth it's that we don't have to.

I find it useful to break down a task in many little tasks, and then take the first baby step will look so much easier and achievable. And you will feel immediately the weight getting off your shoulders.

Something else : For me overwhelm is often connected to a feeling of guilt of being overwhelmed, and I know I'm not the only one there. That's just your inner critic saying " Why don't you have it all figured out !!" , so don't believe it as truth!

I want to leave you with one last thought about this ........

Acknowledge your challenges, and don't diminish them thinking that they're so irrelevant compared to someone else's struggles. They're not, you deserve to feel that way. You can just sit with them, feel them and then find a way out of them.

Never beat yourself up for the way you're feeling !

Now it's your turn. Have you ever felt overwhelmed ? How did you handle it? Share it in the comments below , your idea can be so useful for someone else, so don't hesitate sharing!

With love and light,