My Top Tips For Managing Overwhelm

“That’s your solution? Have a cookie?’ Astrid asked. ‘No, my solution is to run down to the beach and hide out until this is all over,’ Sam said. ‘But a cookie never hurts.” 
~ Michael Grant

Goodness, lovelies, my inbox is FULL of messages from those of you who are majorly stuck in overwhelm right now. It’s a space I am well acquainted with, and as much as I would like to say that with maturity has come the capacity to not succumb, the truth is that I sometimes still move into overwhelm too. So I figure it’s not whether you’ll ever find yourself in overwhelm but when!

Here are my top ten tips for managing myself when I get into overwhelm. I hope you find them useful too.

1.Check my energy levels. Am I exhausted? Dehydrated? Are my blood sugar levels low? Can it be as simple as that? Yes! Sometimes what I need is to chug some water, eat a decent meal and have a good long sleep. Things usually look more manageable after that.

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

2. Go for a walk in nature. Walking clears the head, oxygenates the body and helps ground me back into my self.

3. Take a break. Sometimes I just need to step back from my desk or project and disengage for a while. This refreshes and renews me, and is often enough to help me find my flow again.

4. Clutter really contributes to my sense of overwhelm. When things get on top of me I clean my desk, clean my house, put a load of washing on, clean out the fridge, take out the trash, vacuum, diffuse a favourite essential oil. As things move from visual chaos back to calm it helps me find the peace within myself too. Plus it is giving me a much-needed break from my workload or emotional burden and I get the benefit of satisfaction for having cleaned up after myself.

5. I take an hour or two and write down EVERYTHING that needs doing. Even the act of writing it down helps pull it back into some kind of manageable shape for me. It’s always better when I have gotten it out of my head and onto a list.

6. I pick one small thing from my to-do list. I do that thing and I don’t start a new thing until this first thing is done. There is a lot of satisfaction to be gained from actually completing something.

7. I chunk big scary goals or projects down into bite-sized tasks. Then I do those tasks one after another. Anywhere I can I delegate whatever is possible to delegate so I am working on the things that only I can do.

8. I make sure I have time for me to do things that fill me up and make my heart sing. Sunday is always a day off and planning day and I don’t compromise that for anything. Working madly 24/7 will only burn me out and create resistance and resentment.

9. Talk with a mentor, coach or friend. Someone who has walked the road ahead of me can often give me a new perspective and some handy tips. Why reinvent the wheel?

Photo by Farrel Nobel on Unsplash

10. Believe that I WILL get it done, and manage my expectation so that I am not unrealistic about getting a gazillion things done in one day!

Photo by Katrina on Unsplash

I’m cheering you on. Lots of love, Nicole ❤ xx

Guided Meditation for Managing and Reducing Stress

“You have to just relax, calm down, take a deep breath and try to see how you can make things work rather than complain about how they’re wrong.” ~ Tom Welling

 

There’s so much change around us right now.

Some of us are overwhelmed with loss and grief and endings.

Some of us are overwhelmed with opportunity and don’t know which direction to pursue.

Most of us have too much on our plates, overflowing to-do lists and simply not enough time in the day to get to everything we need to do.

Deep Breath by Tomas A

Deep Breath by Tomas A

Stress reduces our ability to cope and to be resilient.

Sometimes we need to take a deep breath and slow down for a moment.

You know what I’m talking about…

Disappointments. Things that don’t go to plan. Endings we weren’t expecting. Futures that don’t conform to what we’d been led to believe. Judgments against us. Misunderstandings. Our body misbehaving or breaking. Hopes and dreams that end up in tatters at our feet. Grand ideas that tank. Injustices. Broken promises. Wrongs.

Sometimes life just knocks the wind out of our sails.

Or that’s how it feels…

One thing I’ve learned about life’s hard knocks is that although we may get winded, if we can just take a good deep breath, then pause and take another, we often find things aren’t as bad as they first appeared.

Sometimes, of course, it really is that bad. No matter. Breathing helps. Taking a good deep breath centers you; it calms you down, puts you back in your body, and helps clear your head. Then you can better see your way forward.

We are, all of us, stronger than we know. And it’s usually not until we’re really tested by life that we ever find this out.

Tree of Life by Sharon Cummings

Tree of Life by Sharon Cummings

I have recorded a twenty minute Guided Meditation for helping you to deal with stress and overwhelm. It uses breathing and visualisation to help reduce tension in your body so that you come to a place of calm and better flow of thoughts, feelings and energy.

All you need to do is make sure that you won’t be disturbed, and then sit or lie quietly and follow along with the sound of my voice.

Nicole Cody’s Guided Meditation for Reducing Stress

In endings and difficulties are always the seeds of a new beginning. I’m intending support, healing, connection, guidance, positive flow and direction for you.

Keep breathing. Trust in good outcomes.

All my love, Nicole ❤ xx

 

Letting Myself Cry…

“The cure for anything is salt water. Sweat, tears, or the ocean.”
~ Isak Dinesen

 

It’s been building up for a while.

I do my best to manage it. I meditate twice daily. I ground myself. I sit in awareness and go gently when I need to.

But it’s never enough…

 

All the things I feel.

All the things I know.

All the things I see.

All the things I feel you hiding.

All the pain I feel inside you.

All the things of yours that I feel in me as I connect with you, hug you, work with you. Recent things, old things, things from childhood. Things sometimes from before even that.

All the injustices and terrible things that I see in the world or in some of my work where I must live with that knowledge, and the fact that I can’t change it.

All the times I can’t keep someone safe.

All the times my dreams become a continuation of the truth and suffering of others so that I might take some of that burden from you, or so that I can share that information with those who are empowered to act.

All the weight of all the things and all the feels and all that raw life.

 

Sometimes I find myself moving more and more slowly. Getting heavier and heavier in my body and my spirit. It comes upon me and I know that I can only hold it back for so long.

It always ends in tears.

But, after I have cried I feel better. Then I will take a walk, and then a swim in the ocean or a long shower.

Things go back to manageable again. The weight is lifted from me.

I have learned that it is okay to cry. In fact, sometimes it’s the only thing that truly helps.

How about you? What do you do to manage the weight of the world?

I am refreshed this morning, and sending so much love to you as I sit in meditation,

Nicole <3 xoxo

 

 

Christmas as a Meditation on Kindness

Image from www.growingleaders.com

Image from www.growingleaders.com

“People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. 
If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. 
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.” 
~ Mother Teresa

Christmas is such a crazy time – as much as it can be filled with fun and family and wonder, it can be equally a time of stress, loneliness, hardship, emotional buffeting and misery.

That makes it a perfect exercise for practicing kindness.

This Christmas why not choose to see the day, or the season, as a meditation on kindness. You’ll find that not only will this have positive benefits for you and your own state of mind, the benefits of this practice will also flow out to the world around you.

How to Begin

Start by making a decision to be kind to yourself. Accept that you may have feelings of anxiety, sadness, frustration, anger or overwhelm, that you may have your buttons pushed by the people around you – especially family. Create the intention that just for these few hours you will treat yourself with kindness and compassion – that you will allow the unwanted feelings and emotions to wash over you like a momentary cloud passing through a sunny sky, rather than letting them take root and grow. Remind yourself often to come back into your heart, and live from a place of love.

Image from www.weheartit.com

Image from www.weheartit.com

How to Flow Kindness to Others

As you meet people through out the day, remember that they may be also experiencing emotions of stress, loneliness, sorrow, grief, worry, overwhelm, anxiety or despair. Smile from your heart – let kindness build a bridge of understanding between you…

In your mind, wish that person well.  Flow good feelings towards them. Keep smiling.

Sometimes you’ll end up in social situations where people’s moods or behaviours may affect your own positive emotional state.  That’s okay.  Begin by sitting in awareness of how the troubles within the other person’s mind may make them act in ways that reveal their inner turmoil and isolation. Instead of being triggered into negative emotions or behaviours yourself, have compassion for their struggle or attitude.  Let it wash over you like a cloud passing overhead on a sunny day. Disconnect from your need to engage in their drama.  Smile, offer words and acts of kindness, or quietly remove yourself from the situation and maintain your own emotional calm and balance.

Kindness-Quotes-Too-often-we-underestimate-the-power-of-a-touch-a-smile-a-kind-word-a-listening-ear-an-honest-compliment-or-the-smallest-act-of-caring

 

And if you’re game, I have a Christmas Kindness Challenge for you:

The Art of Bliss Bombing

This is a gorgeous activity, and one of my favourites. Take yourself to a public place, like a mall, coffee shop, or a bench in a park near where people are walking by.  (If you are up to it, do this at the family Christmas gathering!) Sit somewhere unobtrusive.  When someone walks past, shoot a radiant shower of golden sparks from your heart to theirs and silently bless them with love.  You can even send joy and love from your heart to trees, animals, plants, bus-loads of commuters and overhead planes.  You might  want to say to yourself, “I bless you with love.  Know joy today.”  If anyone catches your eye, just smile.

beautiful-hearts-larissa-ferreira-sky-Favim.com-209808

Feel your open heart begin to tingle with energy and joy.  In that place of energetic connection look around you at the world and you will see that it IS brighter and more beautiful because of YOU.

Today you have acted as an Earth Angel.  Your Lightwork has helped contribute to our energetic abundance.

It’s okay to let your face crack open from smiling!  Thank the Universe for this amazing experience we call life.  Expect an outpouring of feel-good emotion. ♥ Don’t be at all surprised at how the Universe will mirror your love and energetic abundance back to you as you become more and more magnetic to the flow of good and grace.

Image from www.angelsaroundusinfo.com

Image from www.angelsaroundusinfo.com

Be the Stillness

Image from www.koraorganics.com

“Learning how to be still, to really be still and let life happen – that stillness becomes a radiance.” ~ Morgan Freeman

Just for today

Hold stillness inside you

While the world pulses and races and dances a crazy dance

Image from www.islandperspective.com

Turn inward

Be aware of your breathing

Consciously slow yourself

And be filled with peace

stillness_yoga_silence

It only takes a moment

And you can be in stillness

Like a Mountain

Strong, stable, eternal

Life going on all around you

With you the silent witness

Image from www.naturewallpapers.in

There is an expansiveness in silence

An awareness

A connection

And a great calm.

Image - Life in the city by Larry Lourcey

Today my wish for you is moments of stillness to clarify and illuminate your day. Today my wish for you is peace in your heart.  Bless ♥ xx

Image credits: www.koraorganics.com, www.islandperspective.com, www.naturewallpapers.in, www.aroshtaglia.com

Staying Grounded in Uncertain Times

Tree In A Storm - by Tamara Leigh Jarvis

“The wise man in the storm prays to God, not for safety from danger, but deliverance from fear” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

What does it mean to be grounded? If you think of a strong old tree, tap root reaching deep into the earth like an anchor, other roots reaching out under the ground like strange subterranean branches, then you’ll begin to understand what I mean.

With such a deep root system, big storms can blow and the tree will weather the worst of gales, hanging on soundly because of the strength of those roots, and their wide grasp of the world’s foundations.

For a person to be grounded we need to have that same deep connection, that same energetic stability that holds us firm and safe, no matter what is going on around us. We need to earth ourselves.

When we are well grounded we naturally make good decisions for ourselves, and gravitate towards healthy relationships and situations that support our highest good. When we are grounded we are emotionally stable and mentally strong. We come from a place of balance, and we have great endurance even in the most difficult of situations.

Being grounded is essential when life becomes difficult.  It is a vastly under-rated coping mechanism, especially in the face of uncertainty.

How do you know if you’re not well grounded?  You may feel spacey, vague, depleted or drained. You may over-react to the smallest of things, or not bat an eyelid at something monumental. Unable to make decisions or to trust your own judgement. You could have a sense of perpetual panic or overwhelm, or feel totally disconnected from life. You may even feel unsafe, distressed or upset, without a clear reason why.

Here are some simple ways to create that strong sense of anchoring in our lives, so that we live from a place of balance, connection and security:

1. Choose foods that have a grounding effect on the body.  

Foods that have a grounding effect are things that nurture and calm us.

Avoid stimulants such as sugars, caffeine and refined/processed foods. Also avoid cold and raw foods.

Emphasise root vegetables, like potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, ginger, garlic and onions.

Other great foods for grounding include warmed milk and all roasted, baked or stewed vegetables and meats, chick peas, white beans, lentils, figs, olives, coconut, avocados, soups and warming spices like cinnamon, star anise, curry spices, cumin, fennel, coriander, cloves, allspice and nutmeg.

2. Take an Epsom Salts Bath. 

Epsom Salts Baths are a wonderful way to de-stress, unwind, top your body up with magnesium, and cleanse your auric field. Highly recommended when you are around toxic people or situations.

3.  Get back into your Body

No-one can be grounded when they live in their head!  Pull back from the computer or TV. Organise a massage, go for a walk, swim, run, climb, ride, dance, stretch, play, get moving. Physical exercise and activities help burn off stress and re-balance your body chemistry.

4. Spend time in Nature

They call it ‘grounding’ for a reason.  Nature helps defuse the tension within us, and relaxes our minds and bodies.  You don’t even need to be active. Relax on a park bench in the sunshine on a winter’s day, dig in the garden, wander along the shoreline, fly a kite…

If you can, take your shoes off and stand with your bare feet on the earth.  Walk around for a bit if that is possible. This allows you to discharge built up electromagnetic energy, and re-orient your body’s inner compass. If you suffer from feeling ‘spacey’, exhausted, drained or disconnected, bare-footed reconnection to the Earth will do you wonders! You could also sit on the grass, or rest with your back against a tree.

5.  Breathe

That’s right! Sit in silence, be still and just focus on your breath, being aware of your breathe entering and leaving your body.  Breathing in.  Relaxing.  Breathing out.  Relaxing a little more. You can do this to calm yourself down at any time during the day, but giving yourself the gift of five or ten minutes of stillness and mindful breathing is a powerfully grounding and energetically restorative act.

6.  Meditate

Meditation calms the mind, soothes the spirit and relaxes the body. You’ll find plenty of simple guided meditations and meditation techniques here on my blog (just use the search box at the top right hand corner of this page).

I’ve also recorded a simple guided meditation specifically for helping you to ground into the earth. All you have to do is close your eyes, and follow my voice. Set aside fifteen minutes to relax, ground and heal. This is a very useful and powerful meditation, and I hope you enjoy it!  Click on the link or button below to listen:

Nicole Cody’s Guided Meditation for Spiritual Grounding 

 

Be well.  Trust that you are Guided.  Know that you are Loved.  ♥ xx