Overwhelmed? How To De-Stress Stat

Five days into October and I’m bracing for overwhelm.

I’ve gone from a laidback summer stroll into a full fall sprint and judging from the conversations I’ve had this past week, I’m definitely not alone!

It’s a busy time of year.

Whether you’re a student prepping for midterms, a mom adjusting to back-to-school stress or a busy career girl heading into your company’s final quarter – supporting yourself during life’s crazy periods is key to calm, cool, collected success.

I’ll admit on Monday I was overwhelmed.

So many tiny tasks, energy-draining errands and big decisions were swirling around my mind, I could barely focus for five minutes, let alone the time it would take to actually get anything done.

Not fun.

So naturally I confided in my life coach (obviously, coaches need coaches) about my anxieties. She held the space for me to talk things through and then told me I should really do a “brain dump.”

She told me to grab a blank piece of paper and a pen, take five minutes and write down every errand, thought, fear, brilliant idea, and tough task that came to mind.

Then she said to grab another piece of paper and divide it into three columns. The first for things in my control that could be scheduled and completed, the second for things to surrender to the universe and add to my prayer list, and the third for things that quite simply (and frankly) are not my problem.

This saved me.

I realized so much of my anxiety and stress came from worrying about things I couldn’t control, like what other people thought about me or whether I could handle the business growth I wanted five years from now (which for obvious reasons is soooo not relevant today).

I came out of that exercise with a clear to-do list and on top of that, the mental space I needed to actually get things done.

It’s also crazy how when we take the time to take stock of our thoughts we can see how sabotaging most of them truly are. Not only did this exercise chill me out and give me total clarity, it shined a light on some negative relationships and bad vibes I’d been hanging onto, allowing me to take action and pull the plug on certain commitments.

In short it was a total game-changer.

Are you reading this and thinking, “oh my god, I need to do a brain dump?”

Thought so!  That’s why I created a sweet little template for you, which you can download here.

Here are a handful of other tips and tricks you can use to overcome overwhelm like a true G. (Take that as gangster or goddess, whatever you prefer)

  1. Meditate.
  2. Trust your intuition. Make decisions based on how you feel, not what you think.
  3. Try not to take on more than three tasks a day. Long to-do lists often mean nothing gets done. As my main-girl Danielle LaPorte says, “Focus creates expansion.”
  4. Set intentions every month, no more than three or four (again, the focus thing) and use these as guiding goals for your month.
  5. Seek support. If you’re going through a wild time at work, or your personal life is in shambles, talk to your girls, get on the phone with your mom or find yourself a sweet therapist or a life coach who gets you. It’s so important not to bottle up and keep our emotions inside. Confide. Just like I did. It will work wonders.

Have another tip to offer someone in the midst of overwhelm? Please share it in the comments below!

Just love,

Alex