Everything, everywhere, all at once. That’s what it feels like when you’re overwhelmed.
So how do you stop it from spiraling into burnout?
Being overwhelmed is a state of being mentally or emotionally overloaded with excessive demands, pressures, or stressors. It can manifest as a feeling of being swamped, overburdened, or unable to cope with a given situation.
Some physical signs to look out for that may indicate you are experiencing overwhelm are fatigue, headaches, and muscle tension. Left unchecked, overwhelm may lead to burnout, anxiety, depression, or some combination of all three.
If you’re reading this post, you’re already doing better than I was - someone had to TELL ME that I was overwhelmed. Because in my life, being overloaded with excessive demands was normal.
Here’s what helped me get back on track:
1. Do a life check
The first time I completed the life wheel assessment (ask me about it), I was SHOCKED to see how many areas of my life were scoring in the bottom quartile. Work, relationships, money, health, everything was on fire. But seeing this using real data put things into perspective for me. It was no longer just a feeling of overwhelm, it was real.
2. Get some assistance
I didn’t figure any of this out on my own. My Coach helped me prioritize the areas of my life that needed addressing first, then we co-created a plan and execution strategy to put out the most threatening flames.
3. Start with step one
When you are overwhelmed, your brain is thinking about everything, everywhere, all at once. It feels like too much because it is too much. The simplest answer is usually the right one. To stop the noise and prevent yourself from spiraling into the depths of everything you have to do, focus instead on step one. Pick one thing to do (the life wheel can help you) and then focus on that one thing. It’s the same way you eat an elephant - one bite at a time.