Freedom from Overwhelm

Many of us feel stress and get overwhelmed not because we’re taking on too much, but because we’re taking on too little of what really strengthens us.” Marcus Buckingham

We all get overwhelmed. We have too much to do, too little help and no ability to say no. We allow ourselves to get so run down and don’t even begin to know where to turn for help. For some of us, overwhelm is a result of miscalculation (especially around the holidays), for others of us overwhelm is the state of our life. When overwhelm becomes a way of life, it is often the result of our own beliefs or thoughts. We believe that there is no one who can accomplish certain tasks or think that no one wants to help us. We might feel that we simply can’t say no because if we do, we will no longer be needed or wanted. Whatever drives our overwhelm, it ultimately comes down to feeling like we have too much on our plate and no time to get it all done. But, maybe the key to recovering from overwhelm isn’t so much what we have to do, but what we aren’t doing. When we have too much to do, the first things we get rid of are the things that actually might give us the energy to complete our tasks. We stop exercising, meditating or taking time to take care of ourselves. We treat self-care like a luxury and decide that we’ll get back to it once we’re out of overwhelm – only later to discover that our state of chaos never really ends. So, instead of abandoning our self-care regimen during times of madness, it becomes vitally important that we buckle down and do more of what really strengthens us. Think of it as an investment. The more you give to yourself, the more you can brave whatever obstacles you might face without ever feeling like it is all too much.

Weekly Path to Peace: Do more of what strengthens you.

  • Rather than taking something off your plate this week, what is one thing you can add that might give you strength, peace of mind or simply add fun to your life? Spend at least 15 minutes each day this week doing something that you know will strengthen you – whether it is coloring, meditating, exercising or going to a movie, commit to taking time just for you.
  • Also, because asking and receiving help is something that can strengthen our reserves, ask for help with at least one task this week so that you don’t feel so alone or without resource. If you have trouble trusting others, begin with something small and just practice asking and receiving help this week.