I have had an incredibly difficult time focusing on tasks lately. I could be suffering from a case of undiagnosed ADD, but more likely, I just have too much stuff going on in my head. This condition is commonly referred to as “Overwhelm”. Millions of people suffer with overwhelm every day. I for one have had enough.
Overwhelm exists because we allow it to exist. We create this unrealistic laundry list of crap we need to get done and then we allow it to take over our lives; consuming every waking moment of our being. Why? Why do we continue to sacrifice the present moment and trade it in for worry and regret that only make us feel worse both mentally and physically? Yeah, I don’t know either. But one thing I DO know is how to refocus my thoughts and get back on track. THAT is what I am going to share with you today, so listen up…take notes, put your phone on silent, kennel the dog…whatever you need to do. Here we go.
Teresa’s Top 5 Ways to Beat Overwhelm, Refocus and Get Things Done
#1: Start the night before.
One thing I have learned after 18+ years of raising kids is this: Organize your day the night before. This means sitting down in the evening and write out everything you have going on the next day including meetings, doctor’s appointments, pick-up and drop-off times for the kids, goals you want to meet, chores you need to get done, errands you need to run…whatever you have going on the next day. Write it all down so you have a rough idea of what to expect when you start your day. There is nothing more stressful than realizing you forgot to pick up a kid somewhere (I may or may not have done this a time or two) or trying to remember things as you go along in your day. Trust me, something (or someone) is going to get missed and that causes more overwhelm. This also includes laying out clothes and packing backpacks or lunches. Basically, you want to get everything that you can possibly get done the night before done so when you get up your morning runs smoothly and you are no longer trying to function in stress mode. Take 10 minutes and plan things out the night before. You’ll be glad you did.
#2: Set aside quiet time in the morning.
Before you get going with your day, set aside 10-15 minutes to just sit and relax. Breathe deeply, don’t worry about your day just be in the present moment and be grateful for another day to be in this world. If you’re a praying person, this is a great time for a bit of Bible study. You can write an entry in a gratitude journal or listen to some relaxing music while resting in your favorite Yoga pose. Whatever it is for you that brings you peace and allows you just a bit of time to escape from the world and just be; that’s the gift you want to give yourself before you start your day. Center your breathing and your thoughts; then take on the world.
#3: Get some exercise.
You don’t have to be a champion Cross-Fit athlete, you just have to try. Research shows that people who work out every day have better memories and attention spans. Don’t believe me? Click HERE. Now do you believe me? 😉 Expending some energy is not only good for your body it’s good for your mind. Exercise releases “feel good” hormones called endorphins that help better your mood. Even walking for 30 minutes can increase your blood flow, get your muscles and joints working, and help you tone up and feel better about yourself. Exercise helps release the pent up energy that can make us feel anxious and restless. Give it a try.
#4: Get rid of distractions.
Ok, this one may seem like common sense but sometimes we need someone to state common sense things to us in order for us to have those “Ah-ha!” moments, right? If you know you have things to do and you also know that you allow yourself to get sucked into social media way too often then get rid of it. Remove the apps from your phone, don’t open the browser window and leave it there so you can see (and subsequently react to) every ping and bling that comes down the pipeline. Don’t answer your text messages when you are in the middle of working on a project. Don’t check your emails either. Set aside specific times for these things and only allow yourself to engage in those activities during those times. Set a timer if you have to. This way you know you have time set aside for those things and you don’t have to constantly interrupt what you are doing.
#5: Don’t sweat the small stuff.
At the end of the day, the reality of it all is that what will be will be. All you can do is give life your very best shot and you absolutely have got to be good with that. So what if the laundry didn’t get done. I can assure you, it will be there tomorrow. Learn to be kind to yourself; don’t beat yourself up over things that five years from now won’t matter. Do what you can and leave the rest. Spend time with your family. Read the comics. Dance in the kitchen to some crazy music. In short…don’t forget to LIVE.
Life is way too short to be held hostage by overwhelm. The choice is up to you. I’d love to hear ways that you have found to conquer overwhelm and refocus your life. Feel free to leave me a message in the comments section!
- The Best Advice I Have Ever Given to My Teenage Daughter
- I’m Quitting: Time for Change