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Do you ever have those moments when it just feels like the world is crashing in on you? You have so much going on. The To-Do list is never-ending and there is just not enough time in the day. There doesn’t seem to be a chance for rest anytime soon. Your head pounds and your chest feels like there’s an elephant snoozing on it. What’s a girl to do when she is so overwhelmed that the world feels like it is crashing in?
I have a few tools for your toolbox I’d like to share with you.
Pray & Meditate
I think this one may be obvious. But, I’m not so sure that it really is obvious in the moment of feeling overwhelmed. You see when I am feeling really overwhelmed it takes everything I’ve got to not fall apart and have a complete breakdown. I have to remind myself to pause and reset.
So, here’s your reminder that when feeling overwhelmed take a moment to reset.
Take a deep breath.
Ask Jesus to come sit with you and breathe in His calm and comfort.
Talk about what’s going on that is making your life so hard.
Answers and solutions are not necessary at this point.
Just be.Feel all the feels and let Jesus just hold you. Click To Tweet
When I feel overwhelmed the most important thing that I do is I do exactly what I just wrote. I sit down, take a deep breath, and ask Jesus to come sit with me. Sometimes I ask Him to hold me. I don’t ask for answers. Just knowing He is with me is enough to calm my racing heart and to give me the push to get up and do the next thing.
This does not fix the never-ending To-Do list but it reorients my heart and mind to where I am in the place that I can attack that list with focus instead of panic.
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of exercise when you are overwhelmed.
I know, taking the time to exercise when it feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get it all done seems crazy and impossible.
Exercise is magic. It adds more hours to your day.
Those endorphins make you happy and happy people get more things done.
Or as our favorite lawyer in Legally Blonde says….
Taking the time to exercise doesn’t have to be a huge undertaking. Even a ten minute walk around the block in the sunshine will do wonders for your perspective. And then the world doesn’t feel like it is crashing in quite so much.
When you feel overwhelmed it is so easy to eat whatever is the easiest thing available to you. And those options don’t always serve you well in the moment.
Before I go on, let me say that I totally understand there are times when eating the donut or double cheeseburger is the only option either because of availability or high emotions. I am the first to raise her hand when asked if there are any emotional eaters in the room. It happens. And there is grace. I get it.
It’s just that taking the time to sit down to enjoy a nourishing meal will do wonders for your soul.
Try to not eat while standing over the sink. Try to not shove the food down your throat as you go from thing to thing.
Take the time, even just a few minutes, to sit down with your food and truly enjoy it.
Trust me. This easy practice will bring you back into the now and it will help you cope with the overwhelming feelings.
Create A To-Do List
When there are so many things swirling around in my head that need to get done it is so easy to get overwhelmed because I just don’t know where to start.
Creating a To-Do list gives me an action plan, one task at a time.
I don’t know about you but just the act of crossing an item off my To-Do list is encouraging and with each check mark the overwhelming feelings go away.
In fact, I will even create super easy items on my To-Do list just for the opportunity to check them off.
Seeing a To-Do list full of check marks is enough to make me feel happy and accomplished. There is no room to feel overwhelmed because you can see that things are getting done.
Use a Pomodoro Timer
Using a Pomodoro Timer is new for me but it works wonders for productivity.
What is a Pomodoro Timer?
Well, The Pomodoro Technique was created by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980’s as a time management technique. A timer is used to break up the work day into 25 minute intervals followed by short 5-minute breaks. The work intervals are called pomodoros. Cirillo used a tomato shaped timer when he was in college to time his intervals. The word “pomodoros” is the English plural version of the Italian word, Pomodoro (tomato).
Now that you know a little history here’s how to use this method in a practical way.
Set a timer for 25 minutes. During those 25 minutes, focus completely on what you are doing. Like right now I am writing this article during a 25-minute productive interval. When the timer goes off take a 5-minute break. Get up and walk around if you’ve been sitting at your desk. Sit down and scroll Instagram if you’ve been doing housework. Don’t forget to set the timer for 5 minutes.
After you have done four “pomodoros” (25-minute work intervals) you get a special treat. You get to indulge in a full 20-minute break to do whatever you want to do.
After the 20 minute break, go back to the 25/5 minute split.
Do this method all day and I promise you will knock tons of things off your To-Do list and you will be amazed at how productive you were.
And when you have that sense of accomplishment it is hard to feel overwhelmed by everything you have to get done. Those things may still be there but at least you know you are tackling them.
Y’all, I am a HUGE fan of sleep.
I cannot emphasize the importance of a solid habit of regular sleep.
It is simply impossible to work efficiently when you haven’t had enough sleep. And when you can’t work efficiently you don’t get anything done and then you feel even more overwhelmed.
I believe sleep to be magic just like exercise. Good sleep adds more hours to your work day. It does!
A lack of sleep wears down your body and mind and a worn out body and mind just can’t be asked to do amazing things. It’s not fair.Love your body and love yourself. Take the time to sleep well. Click To Tweet
Being overwhelmed is going to happen. Sometimes life just feels like too much to handle.
But, here’s the absolutely amazing thing. We don’t have to let these overwhelming feelings to take over our existence. We can take steps to help us cope well, totally dominate the day, and walk in freedom.