This week I’ve been reflecting on overwhelm and that feeling of juggling too many things. Have you started the new year with big goals? Too many priorities and not enough time? Whether you’re just launching a new business, thinking about starting or in a growth phase, overwhelm affects us all. Let’s focus on building a business and a life that works for you.

You can’t calm the storm so stop trying. What you can do is calm yourself. The storm will pass.” Timber Hawkeye

Dealing with overwhelm

Wherever you are in your business journey – just starting out or several years in – most of us have moments where we struggle with overwhelm. It’s easy to brush them off and try to power on through. The risk when we ignore our feelings is that they tend to intensify, and overwhelm can easily lead to anxiety and stress. Building a business is tough. It’s definitely a marathon rather than a sprint. Building up our resilience is key and becoming more self aware and managing our emotions is all part of the process. Recognising when we’re feeling overwhelmed and taking steps to take care of ourselves helps build our confidence and longevity.

I’ve had a tough few days juggling some personal issues as well as my businesses and a house move thrown in for good measure! I’ve found myself feeling sad and confused as well as energised, focused and positive. I’ve noticed with myself as well as several clients – that overwhelm can often feel like a jumble of emotions. At this time of year, it’s common to feel overwhelmed. Maybe you’ve enjoyed spending time with loved ones and you’re struggling to get back into ‘wok mode’. Perhaps you’ve started the year with big plans and ambitions and you’re struggling with where to put your focus. Or like me, you may be juggling big life and business changes and finding the process a challenge.

Rather than ignoring how you’re feeling or trying to carry on regardless, take a moment to help yourself get to a better place. Here are my Top 10 Tips:-

🌟 Breathe. The simplest and most fundamental step you can take is to breathe. When we’re anxious our breathing tends to shallow. A few deep breaths will make you feel calmer and help you see things more clearly.

🌟 Step back. Often when we feel overwhelmed we’re too close to the problem. Taking a break, a step back, can help clear your head and give you some much-needed perspective. Allow yourself to disconnect.

🌟 Say no. Overwhelm is a sign we’re doing too much. Take a moment to review everything you’re expecting of yourself. What things can wait? What things can be delegated? What things can you simply say no to?

🌟 Ask for help. When we feel overwhelmed, we can become blinkered and stuck in our busyness. We focus on getting stuff done, ticking things off. It’s easy to forget that help is available if only we ask.

🌟 Write. Getting things out of your head and onto paper (on a screen) will help you clear your head. Writing can help you process your feelings. Once you’ve cleared your head it’s much easier to get organised.

🌟 Plan. Having a plan usually makes us feel better. If you list out what needs to be done, you can look at timings and also who’s doing what. You can figure out what’s manageable rather than simply trying to power on through.

🌟 Time. However busy you are, it’s vital that you allocate some time for you. Spending time on things that recharge and refresh you and make you feel good about yourself. Go for a walk, practice yoga, do something creative!

🌟 Move. I know how easy it is to tell yourself you’re too busy to go to the gym or to take that walk. Moving your body is essential in relieving stress and clearing your head. It’s well worth the investment of your precious time.

🌟 Sleep. The most powerful rejuvenator is getting a good night’s sleep. Focus on making your sleep as restful as possible by eating well, keeping yourself hydrated and staying away from screens before bed.

🌟 Be kind. We can be really harsh with ourselves when we’re feeling overwhelmed. Instead of being kind we tend to get out our big stick. Have some compassion for yourself and watch out for those shoulds!

It’s completely unrealistic to expect yourself to know everything or be able to do everything. Please be kind to yourself and if you’d like to talk through the choices you’re facing or any blockers in your business, let me know.

Lisa Zevi – January 2022