Feeling Overwhelmed In Work And Life - Let me help!
I was leading a teleconference this morning with twenty interesting, diverse, ambitious females in the Women's Network I lead. The hot subject up for discussion was how overwhelmed, beat, tired, and burned-out many were feeling due to the “too much to do / can’t stop now” syndrome.
Are you one of those people who can’t seem to stop “doing?”
I have yet to meet anyone who hasn’t felt overwhelmed from time to time. Since it tends to feel uncomfortable, if not downright unpleasant, we tend to view it as negative and as a weakness. We don’t dare to admit we are overwhelmed or dare to talk about it, which can leave us feeling isolated and alone, further exacerbating the feeling. We often deny we are overwhelmed because we do not know how to stop the behaviour that leads to this feeling. So we do nothing. Most of the time employers, colleagues or friends often do not even know this is how you are feeling, let alone be able to provide the right support when you need it.
Why do we do this to ourselves?
Primarily, this syndrome occurs in our work life but it can carry over to our personal and family life, and it frequently does. Focusing on projects often begins with good intentions but we can quickly and easily be overwhelmed if we do not have a plan to minimise and balance our work. Getting the project finalised for your team, writing the copy for your website, designing the new sales brochure or completing the 90-day marketing plan are extremely important – but having a balanced, health life is equally important.
This stressful pattern is telling you to change your life! Once you get this message, it is easier to identify the steps you need to take to shift out of the behaviour quickly.
The following are helpful strategies from my personal experience and from my work with coaching females who are burned out, in overwhelm, frustrated and not seeing results. These strategies immediately diminish feelings of being overwhelmed so you can refocus and make the right work/life balance decisions.
Stop what you are doing for a few minutes and take a break. Go for a short walk, sit outside in the garden, meditate, breathe deeply, go to the cinema, call a friend to grab breakfast or meet for a coffee and share what is going on.
Get a piece of paper and make two columns. In one column, list urgent things you need to do this week. In the other column, list those projects that you can delegate to be done.
Eliminate, eliminate, eliminate. Unsubscribe to unnecessary e-mail, organise your desk and office to decrease clutter, stop attending meetings you do not need to go to, leave groups that no longer add value to your life and decrease volunteering your free time unless you have a total passion for the cause.
Do not spend time with people who you do not like. Assess your friends and work colleagues. Do they support you and except you for who you are? If they are negative and don’t share your vision for your dreams, don’t spend another minute with them.
Decide what is most important in your life. If you want a balanced life, you will have to make changes in your life to allow this to happen. That takes some time and planning but it will be well worth the improvement in your life!
Take an action step today to make change in your life! Call a friend who will support you, get organised with a plan, or work with a coach who will support and motivate you to have a more balanced life.