Welcome to another episode of season 3 of the Pick Me Up Podcasts. Today’s episode is all about helping you to overcome the overwhelm that you may be feeling as a Mum, enabling to feel like you remove some of the noise, the pressure and the stress so that you can work on feeling like you again.
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Transcript Of Overcoming Overwhelm
Let’s talk overwhelm shall we? I don’t know about you but I actually don’t think overwhelm is something I have ever experienced, or at least not significantly until being a Mum. It seems to be like Mum guilt, in that it just seems to come with the territory.
Overwhelm can present itself in many ways, depending on who we are. It can lead to us feeling a bit stressed, it can make some of us emotional. If we are feeling overwhelmed, that’s when we could end up become that “shouty Mum” that we never thought we’d be.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a stay at home Mum, a working Mum, or whether you do both, it’s so easy to feel so overwhelmed. We aren’t just trying to look at what we need in that day, or that week, but somebody else’s whole life depends on us, so it’s what somebody else needs for that whole day or whole week. Then put on top of that keeping on top of a house, running a business, working etc and then it’s just really easy to feel overwhelmed. It can be feeling overwhelmed in the amount of need the somebody is needing you, or constantly touching you, or I know for me for example, it’s the amount of noise that can be in the house. Generally, the result of being overwhelmed is never something that is positive on our life, generally it’s just some kind of negative consequence.
Now if we were to work on a way of overcoming this overwhelm, and I’m not saying that will mean that we won’t ever experience that again, but, the idea of this episode is to give you some tips for when you are feeling overwhelmed and how you can then overcome that, because when we are talking about feeling like ourselves again, if we are feeling overwhelmed, chances are that’s one of the reasons why we put it to the bottom of the pile. Because we think, “I’ve got enough going on”, or “I can’t possibly manage anything else in my day or in my life right now, so forget it, it’s just extra stress, extra pressure, it’s just another thing on my to-do list.” So if we can find a way of feeling less overwhelmed more of the time, then it can really be a pillar to helping us on our journey to feeling like ourselves again.
A really good and simple thing when you are feeling any type of overwhelm and you can’t see the wood for the trees is to focus on your breath. The whole point of just focusing on your breath is that it breaks the cycle of thinking that you’re in and almost acts as a refresh. So in that moment when you can’t think clearly, or everything feels like it is too much, you’re stressed, or feeling like you’ve had enough. Stop, take 3 deep breaths, breathing in through the nose and in through the mouth. You could even close your eyes whilst you’re doing this. If you need more than 3, take 5. The number is a little irrelevant. It’s more about the act of stopping, and breaking the cycle of thinking. Now this may not then be enough, it depends how big that overwhelm is, perhaps how early you’ve caught it, or if it has been building for a few days, or weeks for example, or even potentially how disciplined you’ve been with this before, or how much you’ve practised it. If it is something you regularly do, then this act may in itself be enough. Or, you might find it helpful to then use one of the following techniques after you’ve took some time to just breathe.
So another strategy you could use, and I think this has made it into every episode of this season so far, is to journal. If you’re getting sick of hearing about this and you’re not yet doing something about it, then do it. Because there is real power in writing, it helps give shape to our thoughts. It’s like talking through our feelings with somebody, but without the worry of any judgement that might go with that, in that it can help us to see things from a different perspective, therefore helping us approach things more objectively rather than quite so subjectively. The act of writing something down is like having a clear out in our mind, which then leaves space for the thoughts that serve us better. So some journaling ideas for if you are feeling overwhelming could be:
- What am I feeling right now?
- Can I identify what the specific trigger for this feeling has been?
- Is this within my control right now?
- What can I do to start working through this?
- Is there anything else that would be helpful to me right now?
- If I didn’t have this feeling, what would I be doing differently?
- Can I do something to start to do those things?
Prompts can often be really helpful because it takes another layer of thinking out of the equation: You don’t have to work out what to write, you can simply ask yourself the questions and then answer them. But, if free-flowing writing feels right for you, then there really is no right or wrong way to do this. Just whatever connects with you, or feels right for you. You may end up finding that you do a bit of both depending on how you are feeling in certain situations.
Another recommendation for when you are feeling overwhelmed would be to look at your priorities. Now my guide includes a task that focuses on this totally and is brilliant. We look at your to-do’s as little balls, and we look at which you can afford to drop, and which you can’t. If you haven;t yet downloaded it, it’s free, I urge you to head over and go to this activity as it is brilliant for helping you with how you look at things. I have had so many people say that this helps them if they are feeling overwhelmed and to get a bit of perspective back and to then get some clear focus. Because the reality is, our to-do list as Mums, are never ending. As soon as you’ve ticked something off you’ve got 3 more things to add on there so this really helps.
It’s also incredibly important to be connected to you “why”. And again I have mentioned this before, but if you are connected to your vision and what’s behind that then it really helps put your priorities into order much more. Your actions become ordered much easier because you have something that you are working towards, and you know why this is important to you. So it becomes easier to make decisions.
Finally, make sure that you know that it is OK to slow down, and rest, and step back. Now last weeks episode was all about tuning into yourself, and quietening the noise and slowing yourself down enough to listen in to what’s going on and what you need. This will make a huge different in those overwhelming moments, so if you haven’t yet listened to that then I urge you to head over for a listen.
So there’s 5 of my recommendations to help you when you are feeling overwhelmed in any capacity. Use one, or use them all, experiment and see what helps, and as I mentioned earlier, you may find you need different strategies in different moments. But what I can promise you is, if you bring some of these techniques into your life, it will have a huge impact on how much you feel you are able to work on feeling like you again, because it will remove some of the noise, the pressure and the stresses so you feel like you not only have some time (Which I know is so precious when you are a Mum), but also some headspace for this too.
Sending you love, as always.
It has been great to connect with you
Thanks for stopping by, I hope that you found it useful. Please feel free to share any comments or questions you have below, and if you have any requests of topics you’d like to hear then I would love to know.
Why Journaling Is Good For You