At some point in our lives, we all realize we have too much on our plates. Somehow, over time, we take on more and more and more and eventually we become overloaded and overwhelmed. We end up with no free hands to grab one more thing. We feel like we’re going to go bananas if something doesn’t change fast.
Meanwhile, we dream of the day when we can wake up with no plans, nothing to do, and no one to see. No commitments. No laundry. No nothing. Just peace and quiet, time to think. We just need a break or else we will break something. We fear for our families because we know we’re on the edge. We feel the tension, our shoulders, neck and stomach hurt. We answer every well intended question with a grumpy response. And this overwhelm sucks because this is the opposite of the life we dream of living. We aren’t who we want to be, not even close. We dream of something more for ourselves, and that more isn’t stuff.
We dream of more down time.
More real conversations.
More belly laughs.
More freedom to do what we love.
More time to create.
But how do we get that when our life is already overflowing? How do we start over?
That question is the perfect place to start. How will you start over? What is required of you to make your dream life possible?
Do you need to start saying “no” in order to some create space in your schedule?
Do you need to stop checking your phone 16 times a day?
Do you need to plan your grocery shopping and meals better so you don’t have to cook every single night?
The first step to dealing with overwhelm is acknowledging it’s a problem. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed and admit it. We can’t change what we don’t acknowledge.
The next step is to brainstorm ways take some of the pressure off. Don’t limit yourself here. No idea is a dumb idea. Think big, think off the wall, think of your dream life. Make a list every possibility. Put it all on paper so it’s visual.
Here’s a couple examples of what has recently helped me.
Last year I felt overwhelmed by my home. I had too much stuff and I don’t like visual clutter. So I spent a lot of time investigating minimalism: listening to podcasts, watching videos, and reading blogs. And no, I’m not the minimalist with only 100 personal items but I’ve went through several rooms now. First I started with my kitchen and got rid of the things I don’t need or love. It took some time but it was so worth it. I feel lighter, almost like instant weight loss, and thankfully I’ve kept it off.
And within the past month, I tackled my digital photos, which is a project I had put off for years. I uploaded over 10K photos/videos to Flickr.com . I love that they offer so much free storage space and that I can set my photos to private. Now when I sit down and work, I no longer feel the weight of that undone project. Plus my laptop is back to working at a decent speed. Prior this, my laptop was a constant reminder of something I hadn’t done yet, so I avoided it, which also meant I avoided doing the things I love like writing, blogging and taking photos. Not anymore, I’m free to do what I love because I finally took the time to do what I didn’t want to do. I’m feeling the payoff and it feels great. Today I spent the morning taking photos of the winter wonderland here in Colorado Springs. Wow, did I feel alive!
Okay, now back to your list of possibilities. Is there ONE thing you can do today, tomorrow or this weekend so you don’t feel so overwhelmed and so you can start doing what you love? It doesn’t have to be major so please don’t make this process stressful. It can be a 5 minute, organizing thing. Even making a list can count if it will help you. But please pick something and share it with me in the comments, tell a friend. Or share on my Facebook page if that’s where you hang out.