There’s so much to do and pressure to get it all done. Along with the laundry list of weekly chores, there’s decorating the house, attending your son’s holiday concert, buying and wrapping gifts, baking Christmas cookies and… Your calendar is exploding with parties and events that you feel obligated to attend, and the traffic at the mall is making it impossible to find a parking space let alone get all your shopping done.
However, you can stop the insanity, take back the holidays and keep yourself and your family happy. Here are Six Simple Steps to help you transform overwhelm so you can feel balanced and joyful.
1. Understand overwhelm
It’s not all you have to do that’s overwhelming. Feeling overwhelmed is a reaction to your bottomless to-do list. It’s a thought that appears when you contemplate how busy and stressed you are.
Overwhelm is triggered when you focus on too many things simultaneously and feel you have to be and do everything for everyone. When you take a moment to recognize how you feel and realize that overwhelm is a just a thought you can then figure out how to tame the frenzy and …
2. Quiet your mind
Energetically when you quiet your mind you can see clearly and connect with your true self – the deep centered part of you that radiates peace and calm. The best way to do this is to step back and take a few long, deep breaths from you belly making sure that the out breath is as long as the in breath. Proper breathing will calm you down and rebalance your nervous system leaving you feeling energized. For an easy breathing technique click HERE.
When you’re calm and centered begin the first step of the task that has the highest priority on your to do list. Focus on step 1, move on to step 2 and continue until the task is done. The act of beginning (as opposed to thinking about getting started) simplifies the task. Once you start and focus on what you’re doing in the present moment peace will return. For ideas on how to prioritize your to-do list click HERE.
4. Don’t worry
Worry adds to the sense of overwhelm, saps your joy and makes you feel powerless and stressed. When you notice you are worrying say stop or visualize a big red stop sign. If there is something you can do about what you’re worrying about do it. If a problem can be solved there’s no need to worry about it. If it can’t be solved what’s the use of worrying.
5. Practice self-compassion
When you’re feeling overwhelmed treat yourself like a good friend. Ditch the inner critic that says you have to be perfect. We are imperfect beings it’s part of the human condition, so embrace your self flaws and all. Take a moment to figure out one or two things you can treat yourself to today that will make you feel joyful. Then do them!
Being happy and enjoying the season is a choice. Saying no is also a choice. You are in control of your time and life. Every time you make a choice to do too much, over-commit or over-spend you make a choice to feel overwhelmed. If life feels overwhelming ask yourself: How can I simplify things. There’s nothing wrong with admitting that you’re human and can’t do it all and please everyone. Just say no without guilt.
Overwhelm is not your natural state. Peace is and it’s only a breath away. Allow yourself to receive the extraordinary gift of feeling ‘at home’ wherever you are. Once your reach that place of calm, savor it so it can deepen and remain with and within you.