A Spiritually Enlightening Online Magazine. March's Theme: "Reflection"
Volume 5 Issue 3 ISSN# 1708-3265
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5 Strategies to Escape Overwhelm and Transform your Life
by Vicky White
Overwhelm stops you living the life you're here to live.
It stops you stepping into your unique brilliance. It blocks your creativity, your intuition, your inspiration, your very life force. It keeps you distracted from what's most important - and makes you feel there's not enough time to do what you want to do, not enough time for yourself.
Luckily our friend overwhelm makes itself known pretty fast so you can send it packing.
Take a deep breath! These 5 strategies will help you do just that.
1. Be intentional about your life: Starting with the assumption that there is no end to the things on your to-do list What are your priorities? What is most important to you in the coming year, this month, and today?
A few years ago I learned to keep a Master List - this is one of the most useful and effective things I've ever done. This way I have everything in one place and most importantly - out of my head and off my desk.
Whenever I think of something that needs doing I write it on my list. And I note where the relevant information has been filed so I don't need to keep all that stuff visible - I'll know where to find it.
On Sunday nights I look at my Master List and make choices about the coming week. I think about my big picture intentions for the year and ask myself: what's most important to move forward with, or complete? I keep this to 4-6 accomplishments for the week. That way I focus on what's most important. Other things will fit in around these.
First thing each morning in my ME time, I set an intention for the day, and decide what my 3-5 most important tasks are. Tasks are bite-sized pieces of my most important goals for the week - things I can accomplish in one sitting. Then I look at my day and schedule those chunks of time. That means I'm focused on what's most important and I'm not sitting there wondering what to do next, and deciding it's more fun to check email yet again
I find having a specific chunk of time to accomplish something ensures it gets done in less time. When I feel like I've got all day, guess what? It takes all day.
And the days I handle one of these tasks before I even open my email are the days I accomplish the most and feel most satisfied.
Then - I get my yellow highlighter and put a line through them as I do them - very satisfying.
Keep your Master List handy - it's only useful if you look at it and keep adding to it - but don't work from it - that will be totally overwhelming!
Everything is a choice. If you hear yourself thinking or saying, you 'have' to do something or you 'should' do something, that's a red flag. You don't 'have' to do anything. Before you bite my head off over that statement - let me explain.
This is your life and you do have choice. There are always consequences to those choices however. So taking into account the consequences, what do you choose to do? Asking this question puts you in a position of power. It's no longer some outside person or force, making you do something. So listening to your heart and taking into account your priorities and energy available, what do you choose to do?
When you do things you think you have to do, you resent them. Those things will take longer and you'll deplete your energy. When you can find a good reason to choose to do the things you do, you'll receive the benefit of attracting a similar energy back.
And you'll need to say 'no' to some things - some requests - some activities others might be used to you doing. If you say 'yes' to everything, that's a sure recipe for overwhelm, resentment, health consequences and not getting to live the life you are here to live.
So, set those boundaries. One hour to check email. One hour to choose to do that thing for someone else - after that there's something else you are choosing to do.
What is one thing you're thinking you 'have' to do today? Can you find a good reason to choose to do it, or is it something you'd like to let go of? (Letting go of shoulds and have to's is a great way to get things crossed off your to-do list fast!)
3. Take time for you: This may be a little counter-intuitive. Here you are feeling overwhelmed, and I'm suggesting you take time for yourself! What's that about?
Women are designed to create life and shape lives. And women wait to do things for themselves. Wait for the right time, wait till everything else is done, wait for permission, wait till everyone else is taken care of. I'm sure men can relate to some of this too.
You cannot keep giving out. As I said earlier, there is no end of things on your to-list. You will never be done with them. Never! You can't keep depleting your energy - life is a flow - in and out - you need to balance what's going out with what's coming in.
And a funny thing happens when you take some time just for you. You have more energy for the other things and for other people and you'll get more done in less time. Remember, when Gandhi was asked what he does on days he's really busy, he said 'I meditate for even longer in the morning'.
First thing in the morning take some time for yourself. If you need to get up earlier to grab some minutes for yourself, do it. Make this appointment with yourself and keep it - it's important.
If you're feeling overwhelmed it's a sign you're out of integrity with yourself. Step away from the scene of the crime, take a few deep breaths and spend a few minutes in silence, in nature, in a different part of your home or office. You'll shift your energy and see things more clearly.
4. Be in integrity: Clutter represents who you used to be and if you're surrounded by who you used to be, you're sending the Universe mixed messages. On the one hand you're asking for what you want and stating your intention for who you wish to be, and on the other hand your environment is filled with things that do not represent that.
Definition of clutter: anything unfinished, unused, unresolved, tolerated or disorganized.
Clutter will make you feel overwhelmed, will keep you from expressing your purpose and connecting with your spirit.
This is where to start: what's bugging you the most? Right now what bugs me the most is that I have a leaking shower (prosperity going down the drain) and the plumber I contacted has not yet shown up. Today's the day to call a different one.
Perhaps it's the papers on your desk, the mail piled up in your kitchen, your overstuffed closet. Whatever it is, you'll get the biggest energy shift by starting there.
5. Take baby steps: write this mantra and stick it on the wall where you'll see it: '20 minutes is my friend'. Even with your most challenging task, the one you've been procrastinating over forever, setting a timer for 20 minutes will make it less daunting. Twenty minutes a day will add up and you'll probably find once you start, you'll want to continue because it feels so good.
Save this article and next time you're feeling overwhelmed, take some of these steps. And even better yet, put some of these strategies into practice now and you'll likely avoid overwhelm all together.
You were born for greatness, not overwhelm.
Vicky White works with Inner Feng Shui and the Law of Attraction to support women in the midst of life step into a bigger picture and be empowered and discover what's next for them. Get her free report, "The 5 Biggest Attraction Mistakes: and How You Can Avoid them" and see what manifests in your life!
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Any advice given is for informational purposes only.
Any advice given is for informational purposes only.