How to Deal with Overload

Start by reading Dealing with Overload if you haven’t done so first.

Where do you start?

The short answer is —ANYWHERE YOU CAN!

I like to start with deep breathing because it is instant stress relief. Taking deep breaths will start to release fear, paralysis, and clear the mind. To think straight on how to solve a problem, you have first to get oxygen to the brain. Even a few, slow, deep breaths will help. Any physical exercise, singing, dancing, heavy duty housework, chopping wood, laughing– all make you breathe.

Add music as it will instantly change your mood. If you need to accomplish physical work, combine it with energizing/happy music. Whereas, if you need to accomplish mental work, then combine it with soothing, relaxing music.

My top picks are to 

  • meditate for a few minutes to clear my mind and affirm that I have access to internal resources to do what is needed
  • do some needed task, no matter how small

Sometimes I need to get totally away from things, and just do something relaxing or fun. This is the point of vacations — rest and renewal. This clears out the paralysis and gives me energy that I can then harness to address important issues. Make sure that any ‘fun’ item is not just mindless, time wasting like t.v./internet, but something like being with people you love and care about, or singing, dancing, laughing, sports, etc. that makes you breathe, releases stuck energy out of the body, and shifts your mood. Give yourself a time limit.

Then move to the current problem. Write down various things that have to be done to resolve whatever is overwhelming you, and do whatever you can that you can tackle it immediately. This might as simple as making some phone calls, setting an appointment, scheduling for some help. You do not have to know everything you need to do, just the next step. Do that!

If you don’t know what to do to resolve the issue that is overwhelming you, do other tasks that will be then out of the way for when you do know what to do with the area of concern. This could be your everyday needed tasks like washing the dishes, doing the laundry, food shopping, cooking, etc. I have found that getting your energy moving in any direction, relieves the paralysis in other areas. 

Get help

Find someone who likes solving your type of problem and is good at it. For example, if your house is a mess and that is draining your energy just to look at it, find someone to come in and help you. If you can afford it, hire someone and delegate it. If not, barter, trade with a friend. In other words, I’ll trade you two hours with you coming to my house and helping me do ____ on Saturday, and I’ll come to help you do whatever you want help with for two hours the following week.

Just as two heads are better than one in solving a problem, four hands make the work go faster. When I hire someone to clean, I normally work with them doing those things that are best left to me. This might mean cleaning out a drawer or closet. If you work along with someone else, not only are you doubling the progress, but the other person will keep you on track, and the socialization while you work can even be fun. 

Again, if money is an issue, find some other way to make it work. For example, I had some extra bedrooms in my house and at one time used the rent to pay for needed help. At other times, I traded a room for their labor in my house or farm. I bartered hypnosis for massage. I registered with a local Time Bank to use my skills to get help I needed. Many years ago, I traded babysitting with a couple of other mothers. Ask yourself, how can I get the help I need with ____? What do I have to sell/barter/share? Who can help me with ___? 

Goal Setting 

Lessening overload will always entail goal setting and ordinary problem solving. As mentioned, get the energy moving any way you can by doing something. Then do the next easiest task, and the next. For example, when I have to clean house, I start with the smallest, easiest room. This is usually the bathroom. Then I move on to the next easiest room, and so on. By the time, I get to the hardest room, I am already feeling better by seeing so much of the house looking good that I am in a more hopeful, better mood to take on the bigger job whether that day or the next.

However, some people like to tackle the hardest thing that they are avoiding first. What works for me in tacking whatever I find overwhelming is to get someone to work with me. It bypasses procrastination and generates tremendous energy that persists even after they leave. Having someone work with you is tremendously helpful because they are not emotionally invested in your problem. They may also have the skills you need and enjoy using them. They see solution where you just see problem. They are energized by your challenge, and you are drained. Their approach and possibility thinking can be positively contagious.

Be accountable to someone for taking action.

A client wanted help in getting rid of procrastination so that she could complete a writing project. So besides doing hypnosis, EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) on procrastination and non-beneficial beliefs, I made a contract with her. She made a commitment to do  x_ pages and/or _x_  time writing, and I would rewrite/edit one chapter of a book I was working on. At the end of each day we were to email each other on what we had done. She submitted her short stories for a competition, and I completed a rewrite of my self-hypnosis book. It helped us both. You can make a similar contract with a friend.

Develop a do-able strategy or plan of attack.

Make lists and prioritize. Put it on the calendar. Then start checking off as you accomplish each thing. Make a note each night on what you have accomplished. Seeing progress as things are crossed off will make you feel better. If you don’t know how to set up a strategy, ask someone else. There are many forums, meet-ups, business organizations that offer help.

Can you make it fun?

Perhaps you can listen to something interesting as you work. For example, I used to put the Saturday Matinee broadcast of the Metropolitan Opera on while I was working in the kitchen. During that broadcast, not only did the kitchen get cleaned, but I did my major food preparation/ cooking for the week. That cooking made sure that I was going to eat right –important if you are to maintain a high level of energy. Because I was so mesmerized by the heavenly music, I was not caught up in “woe is me,” or “I hate doing this”, etc. I follow the same strategy with other mundane tasks.

If you have to go out and do something you have been avoiding, can you go with a friend or meet up afterwards? For example, I have friends who take a friend to their doctor visits. I know others who join a gym together, or go for a regularly scheduled walk. They get their exercise done and socialize at the same time. Make a commitment, and you will get it done. 

Pay attention to basic self-care

Sleep, good nutrition, contact with others that care about you, fun and humor all provide the energy you need to solve problems and get out from under. Positive energy has to be coming in both to the physical body and to the spirit so that burnout does not occur. Find a way to get more coming in than is going out. 

Pay attention to your self-talk

Your thoughts will help or hinder you. They will make it easier or harder. Become aware and shift from the negative ones quickly. Here are some: “Sooner or later, I figure it out.” “I find a way that works for me.” “I get the help I need to do this.” “I take it one step at a time.”

More Ways of How to Deal With Overload 

There are a thousand ways to get rid of being overwhelmed. My favorite way is my own Infinite Intelligence Process. See Accessing More–Tapping into the Eternal, Unlimited Self with the Infinite Intelligence Process . Another book, Your Unlimited Potential will teach you self-hypnosis, stress management, Walking Mantras, and goal setting. The Emotional Freedom Technique is also very helpful, and I teach it to ALL my students and clients. 

Questions? 

Call me: Roxanne Louise at 434-263-4337 or email me at RoxanneLouise2@gmail.com. 

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