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

How to nurture Inner Peace

“Peace of mind is not a goal I need achieve.  It’s a place inside I never want to leave.  Close my eyes, I still my thoughts and then I say I will choose to live in peace today.” – Robert Alan           (Beautiful image by anankkml)

Most of us live bombarded by situations, workplaces, devices and relationships that over-stimulate us.  In fact, this overt stimulation seems ‘normal’ and we don’t realise just how frazzled, stressed and over-extended we are, because that’s how everyone lives!

In this state of bombardment, our bodies produce extra chemicals to hype us up and help us cope as we become more stressed.  And in this place of stress we become less able to hear our own inner guidance systems, and the guidance systems of the universe.  This stress taxes our body and soul.  We also become much more left-brain dominant.  Our left brain analyses and organises and prioritises and schedules and criticises to help us cope with the overwhelming inflow of stimulation and information.  (I feel exhausted just reading that!)  Our creative, emotive, spiritual right brain is used much less.  That aspect of us becomes ignored.

As a result we become depleted, depressed, exhausted and just plain old stuck.

 (Image by graur codrin)

In fact, sometimes we become so depleted or overwhelmed that the universe assists us in our need to hibernate and reconnect by gifting us an illness, accident or other life-altering drama so that we have no choice but to rest and re-evaluate.

If that sounds even remotely like you, it’s time to nurture some inner peace.  Inner Peace is a place of calm connectedness, an energy of stillness and silence that is found deep within you.  It replenishes you, it heals and refreshes you, and it radiates from you to touch, heal and calm others.

Here are some simple suggestions for nurturing Inner peace:

  1. Declare certain days or times of the day to be computer, television and telephone free.
  2. Simplify your life.
  3. Spend less time doing things you don’t want to, and being with people who tax you.
  4. Instead of going to shopping malls and crowded places, try a beach, a park, your garden, or even your lounge or bedroom. (But no TV, phone or computer!)
  5. Let go of some of your extra commitments and activities.
  6. Book a weekend break somewhere in nature where you can eat, sleep, walk, read and rest.  Leave the phone and laptop at home and resist the urge to listen to the radio, read the newspaper or watch TV.  Practice being lazy and indulgent.
  7. Learn to meditate.
  8. Take up yoga, tai chi or qi gung and practice it daily on your own.
  9. Indulge in a regular massage, health or beauty treatment that is relaxing and/or healing.  Ask the practitioner not to talk unless the question or instruction is part of the treatment.
  10. Spend five minutes each day just being mindful of where you are, how you feel, what is happening around you in nature, and what is happening in your body.
  11. Walk.
  12. Go on a retreat.
  13. Start a hobby you can do on your own like art, woodwork, knitting or writing.  Make the hobby a form of meditation.
  14. Dance. It frees and builds energy within the body, and promotes joyfulness.
  15. Sleep. (Yep, that’s right.  It’s a remarkable antidote to fatigue!) 

Many people who are out of balance, or who feel a spiritual calling are telling me right now that they feel a compulsion to drop the drama.  They just don’t feel like being with ‘friends’ who gossip destructively, who drink excessively or who otherwise drain them.  They can feel themselves literally putting up barriers, or going into behaviours such as avoidance by not answering their phone or returning emails.  They feel themselves withdrawing from the complexities and overwhelming interaction of their lives.  They also feel the need to ‘get their house in order’.  For some people this is about doing seven years of overdue taxes.  For other people it is about de-cluttering their home, or even their social calendar so that there is time and space for themselves to transform.

Is that okay?  YES.  Sometimes we need to simplify and create time for ourselves so that we can heal and reconnect.  When we reduce the outside chatter and the need to be organised and involved we are free to spend times with ourselves, in self and spiritual exploration.  Our inner world is rich and filled with delights, directions, ideas and advice.  But we can only connect with this aspect of ourselves through peace, solitude and rest.  And sometimes we need to rest FIRST.  Reconnection can begin after our batteries have recharged enough that we are no longer just in survival mode.

Here is a five minute guided meditation to nurture your connection to inner peace:

Nicole Cody’s Meditation for Inner Peace

 

This beautiful artwork called Inner Flame is by Jet James, an awesome young Australian Artist.  I love the serenity and peace captured in this image.