You probably haven’t heard of The Vortex of Overwhelm. But, I bet you’ve been in it before or you might even be engulfed in it right now.
Let me explain.
In my previous career, I had an extremely busy, ‘caring professional’ role that included a never ending to-do list, checking my phone for messages and emails as soon as I woke up and dealing with unexpected ‘emergencies’ at any time. I was constantly in a rush and my mind just wouldn’t switch off. I found it hard to go to sleep and rarely woke up feeling well rested. Does any of that sound familiar to you?
10 signs that you might be in the Vortex of Overwhelm:
- You desperately want to slow down the pace of your life
- You know what you ‘should’ be doing for work-life balance but you just can’t make it happen
- You don’t want to go to work and you have to force yourself out the door in the morning
- You feel tired, irritable and stressed
- You long for a job that you don’t take home with you
- You rely on caffeine to wake you up and help you keep pushing through the day
- You rely on alcohol to help you wind down your brain and relax in the evenings
- You just want to escape
- You think thoughts like ‘This is not what I signed up for’ and ‘There must be more than this’
- You tell yourself to suck it up and just get on with it, after all you should be able to handle it
The dreaded to-do list
Back when I was trapped in overwhelm, I knew all of the things that I should have done to keep my life in balance. I knew there was a better way of living. But I never took action because I was too busy, and finding help or learning new habits was just adding another task to the dreaded to-do list!
There is a better way
You don’t need me to tell you how hard it can be to get out of that damn vortex! The good news is that there is another way. You can have a life of balance and flow.
Choose One Thing
If you are in your own Vortex of Overwhelm and you’d like to do things differently, my number one piece of advice is to do just ONE THING that will make a difference for you right now.
5 simple ways to immediately slow down the Vortex of Overwhelm
Remember, choose just ONE THING to practice
- Claim the Day. Instead of immediately checking your phone when you wake, begin your day by choosing a word that describes how you want to feel and be that day. Pause and check in on how you are going at multiple times during the day.
- Apply your body’s brakes. Breathe out fully and slowly. This activates a calming response within our body, slowing down heart rate and dampening the stress response.
- Find pockets of time during the day (even one minute is enough!) to pause and simply focus on your breathing, this brings you into the present moment and helps clear the mind.
- Name it to tame it. When you feel a strong emotional or stress response happening within you, focus on naming all the emotions you are feeling. This action helps to shift our brain’s focus from survival mode and allows us to slow down a little and choose what to do next, rather than react immediately and emotionally.
- Be kind to yourself! Research shows that individuals are more likely to be persistent and resilient when practicing self-compassion rather than self-criticism. (see Dr Kristen Neff)
Katrina is a life coach working with overwhelmed, overworked, caring professionals to create a life of balance and flow. Follow her on Facebook for weekly live group coaching. Arrange a complimentary consult at AVNT.