You are not alone!
I consider myself someone who is fortunate enough to be working every day in a field I love and enjoy, working with many inspirational and motivated people. Yet I continue to see a common thread through us all…. yep it’s being stressed and overwhelmed. Some more overwhelmed with the amount of activity and responsibility they have and some completely stressed (and I’m talking about an unhealthy level of stress) by the lack of control over the situations they find themselves in.
I see highly successful people take on more activity and responsibility because they feel they “should”, or that they can, and sometimes because they want to for enjoyment or achievement. There are many who also just simply can’t say no. Perhaps due to the responsibility you have to others, you feel you have lost control over your situation. Whatever the situation we have to look at it like it is a choice, a choice to work where you work, a choice to have children, a choice to exercise (and take a 6am boot camp class!) and a choice to travel. Some choices are harder than others, like choosing to work more hours over having more time and sometimes these choices are a means to an end for ultimately more freedom in life. Regardless, wherever we are at, we should own it and make the most of it.
Sometimes it can be a matter of accepting your choices. Acknowledge that you are living the life that you choose to live, and embrace and own your choices! By owning our choices, we take control over our own lives and as a consequence keep control of our life. You may not be happy with where you are at right now, but you can still be in control. You can always make different choices in the future but always accept and embrace where you’re at now.
When I start to hear my inside voice bleating “why, has this happened”, “how did I let myself get into this situation”, “why didn’t I say no?”, I know I am starting to feel overwhelmed and I have a choice to either let my feelings manifest into feelings of annoyance or worry, or I can accept that this is how I feel right now and just let it sit still with me until I am ready to explore how to push forward. If we keep telling ourselves we feel “overwhelmed”, in my opinion it will only get worse and a more effective approach is to alter the language you are using to describe your experience. “I am eager to get as much done as possible, with the time that I have”, could be more effective and positive language to use.
The top tip I hear from many people I work with, is they promise to make themselves a priority. You have to learn to put yourself first, no one else will. Make a promise to yourself that you will always put yourself first and give yourself what you need in life. When you need a break, find time to do something for yourself. If you don’t make time and effort for your own wellbeing, there is more likelihood of stress and overwhelming feelings arising. I understand this theory as a working mum of three girls, if my wellbeing drops, so does my energy and patience for my kids.
So make one change, and tell yourself everyday what you are grateful for in your life. This is a great way to start your day and finish your day. Gratitude is the foundation for building more in your life. If you disregard what you already have, the world usually finds a way of preventing you from having anything further! Writing this down can also help to reinforce and remind you of the many wonderful things you already have right in front of you.