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Finding Balance: How to Overcome Overwhelm and Embrace your Soft Living Era

Learn how to stop self-sabotaging your success and creating unnecessary stress in your life by following these 5 simple steps

Finding balance and reducing overwhelm in your soft era

how to stop being overwhelmed and find balance
overcoming overwhelm and finding balance

I totally get it, life is really hectic right now. Not only is your to-do list a mile long, but the days feel shorter, and the energies of the world are heavy af. You wake up already feeling behind and know that your ever growing list of tasks seems never-ending and you're not really sure how you'll ever catch up.

If this is you, I get it. Because same.

As an ADHD girlie whose favorite day is "tomorrow" I can fully relate to all of these big feels, but it's important not to let your mind become overrun by the intrusive thoughts and the "I can'ts." Cut yourself some slack. You know you're doing your best, but sometimes life can just feel like it's too much.

The best way to overcome these feelings of overwhelm is to get on top of your sh*t. I know that sounds cavalier, but it's the truth. Finding a way to catch up to your work load and stay on top if it is going to

  • quiet the peanut gallery in your mind

  • increase your self-esteem

  • reduce stress

  • make life feel more manageable

The key here is to find a way to do reduce the overwhelming feelings in a way that is appealing, manageable, and sustainable for YOU. The goal here is to discover which techniques best fit the way you operate on a continuous basis.

You're not looking for a bandaid, you're looking for a lasting change that you can continue to build on and evolve with.

Below are my favorite tips on getting your life in order, staying on top of your game. The best part about these tips are that they work great even if you fall back off the productivity wagon (ask me how I know?).

Tip #1 - Define Your Priorities

For the most part everyone has the same general list of priorities that consist of:

  • Spiritual health

  • Health + well-being

  • Family/friends

  • Career

  • Finances

  • Spouse/Partner

  • Personal development

  • Home life

Trying to give each of these categories your all will absolutely lead to burnout and feeling overwhelmed. Instead, prioritize which of these are most important to you and allow for flexibility. For instance if your top 3 are career, spouse, and health, but you have family coming into town, what can take a break on the back burner while you enjoy your time with family?

Part of setting yourself up for success is allowing for flexibility in your priorities. Rigidity may work for a while, but long-term will leave you feeling unbalanced.

Journal Prompt: Take a minute and arrange these 8 categories in order of your day-to-day priorities.

Tip #2 - Choose 3 Tasks to Accomplish Everyday that Reduce your feelings of Overwhelm

Now that you know where your priorities lie, choose 3 tasks every day that are non-negotiable.

What I mean by this is; let these tasks be the first items you tackle on your to-do list. Don't let yourself get sidetracked by busy work in efforts to avoid your responsibilities. And when you do inevitably find yourself distracted, return your attention to where it needs to be.

This shift in focus will help you to retrain your brain to stay centered. You'll also find that doing this will make your work go by much quicker and with less distractions, your finished product will reflect a higher-caliber of effort.

Journal Prompt: Make a list of the 5-10 most daunting tasks that are causing you the most overwhelm.

Imagine this, if you will: It's a week from now and you've prioritized the 5 most daunting tasks you need to accomplish. They're finished to the best of your abilities and now you're not stressed about them at all, your confidence is improved because you've shown yourself you can do hard things, and you're ready to work on the things that light you up!! Really immerse yourself in this version of you. Notice how it feels in your body. Notice how your energy feels. This version of you is totally and completely accessible.

Always remember that you're in control of your life. You decide the direction you'll go.

"If you build it in your mind, focus on seeing it, and take action, the success will come." – Jon Gordon author of The Energy Bus

Tip #3 - Focus on Tasks that will Feel Good to have Finished

This is some of the best advice I've received around accomplishing goals. So often we focus on what feels good in the moment versus what is really going to move the needle in the long run. The first time I heard this golden nugget, it was tax season a few years ago and I was procrastinating like a mf, using every single one of my avoidance tactics to do anything but put all of my paperwork and numbers together.

I was finding every. single. piece of busy work that was available and going hard on it. Then, I was listening to a podcast (I believe it was Manifestation Babe) and she said to not only focus on the tasks that feel good to do, but also the tasks that feel good to have finished and I felt so called out. I was also desperate af to feel that sense of peace she was talking about.

Since then, whenever I feel myself slipping into old ways of avoidance, I remember this advice and utilize the exercise below to help me get on track. More often than not, the things that are making us feel overwhelmed can easily be accomplished with a bit of focused effort and a dash of self-confidence.

Journal Prompt: Plan out your next week by listing 1-2 items that feel overwhelming to you in each of the next 7 days (feel free to take a day or 2 off to enjoy life). Then add 1-2 tasks that excite you for each of the 7 days. Make sure there is a total of only 3 items on your list for each day.

**If you're feeling especially overwhelmed, only put 1-2 items on your list that would feel good to have finished. You can always add additional tasks if it's within your abilities for the day. It's more important to build up your confidence than to get everything done at once.

Tip #4 - Make Self-Care a Priority

We're circling back to the priorities again.

Self-care fits into the health + well-being category on the list above and imho is one of the most, if not the most important item on the list because it's almost impossible to get things done when you don't feel well.

If needed, schedule an appointment with a healthcare practitioner and make feeling great your top priority. Once you have this sorted out, add in bits of self-care throughout your day.

For instance:

  • Take a break between your tasks

    • Go for a walk

    • Stretch

    • Make plans with friends

    • Meditate

  • Reward yourself with fun after you're done for the day

  • Make sure you're eating when you're hungry, drinking when you're thirsty, going to the bathroom when you need to, etc.

  • Get creative and add things that light you up to this list

Journal Prompt: Make a list of self-care activities you can do throughout the day that are easy, manageable, and within your budget.

Tip #5 - Learn Your Limits

While it would be fantastic if you were fired up and ready to go each and ever day, that's just not reality. As you plan out your days and weeks, start to keep track of your energy and see if there's a pattern to the flow.

For women, there are about 7-10 days every cycle that is notorious for having lower energy than the rest of the cycle. These are the days leading up to your bleeding, the bleeding days, and a day or 2 after the bleeding stops. You're going to have an easier time working with the rhythms of your body than against them.

A suggestion here is to go hard when you have the energy to and be soft when needed. Flowing with your individual cycle will help you see the best results and retain your energy/stamina rather than pushing through.

Additionally, when you first start these shifts, you may only be able to complete one task per day and that's fine. If you can do more, that's great, but take the first week or so to focus on building your confidence and getting done what you need to do. Once most of the overwhelming tasks are finished, you can explore branching out and adding more items to your to-do list. I recommend having no more than 5 important items per day so it stays manageable.

Journal Prompt: Keep track of your energy levels for the first 2-3 months you implement these changes. You may notice patterns in your energy or an increase once your confidence increases.

Stress and Overwhelm are not your Destiny

You are in charge of your life and all that you accomplish. Everything is manageable once it's broken down into steps and phases. Taking the big picture and chunking it down into bite sized tasks will help you to realize that you are so much more capable, confident, and determined that you gave yourself credit for.

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