Last week I shared with you 4 steps you can take when you are feeling overwhelmed. This week I want to help you craft a personalized plan for overcoming overwhelm.
Feeling overwhelmed will typically have a paralyzing effect on you. You have a thousand things to do but can’t seem to pull two thoughts together in order to know what your next move needs to be.
As a leader, having a plan you can quickly execute to help get you out of overwhelm is an important tool to have in your leadership tool chest. You don’t want to wait until you’re feeling overwhelmed to figure out what you can do because at that point it’s too late. You need to know ahead of time what you will do.
The first step I mentioned last week was to figure out how overwhelm shows up for you. Once you are clear on how it presents for you, ask yourself the following three questions to help you put your unique plan together.
1) What things help you to feel calm?
A cup of steaming hot tea will always calm me down so this is on my overcoming overwhelm game plan. For you it might be a cup of coffee or the smell of scented candles, neither of which would work for me.
It might be listening to your favorite playlist or taking a few minutes to pray/meditate. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated and in fact, it should be simple things that can quickly and easily help restore your sanity in those overwhelming moments.
Whatever those things are for you, they go on your list.
2) What’s the best way for you to release pent up energy?
The feeling of overwhelm will almost always show up as increased energy in your body. That increased energy can present in any number of ways but getting the energy out is a necessary component for overcoming overwhelm.
If you’re a runner then lacing up your running shoes may be the answer for you. If you like yoga, then doing a few Sun Salutation rounds may do the trick. If none of those are possible for you then something as simple as going for a ten-minute walk can be helpful.
I highly recommend having one or two things on your list that are specifically related to getting the pent up energy out of your body.
3) Who are your safe people?
When I’m overwhelmed my thoughts can often get irrational. Everything and everyone feels like too much and I can’t see anything clearly. In those moments, having someone I can talk to helps put me back into a rational state of mind.
Identify the one or two, no more than three, people you know you can call in those irrational moments. These will be the people who can help talk you off the ledge or help you reframe what’s going on so you can make sound decisions. If you’re married, your spouse may not be the best person to call in those moments for a number of reasons I won’t get into now J But your best friend or a close colleague would be good places to start.
Figure out who these people are and then ask them to be the voice of reason for you when overwhelm strikes. You may not need them but it’s good to know who those people are should the situation arise and you find yourself needing that extra support.
I have created a worksheet you can download to put your list together. On it is a copy of my personal plan to help you generate some ideas.
Download the worksheet and write out your list. Once it’s done, cut it out and put it somewhere you can easily access it when you need it. On your desk or on a wall near your computer are good places.
Here’s to you overcoming overwhelm on a consistent basis!
From my heart to yours,
Want More Tips Like This?
This tip is one of 5 FREE tips I share in my training 5 Days to Less Stress in Your Leadership. It’s 5 strategies you can put to use right now to decrease your stress level and create more time in your life for what matters most to you. All delivered in a special set of emails that hit your inbox every two days.