I was reminded while talking with a client who was feeling overwhelmed, that it’s never the tasks themselves that are overwhelming.
It’s what we think our capacity to do them is.
Some days you feel strong and powerful, able to strike through whatever life brings. Other days doing the dishes seems impossible.
When it feels too much, we often procrastinate. We say we will do it tomorrow. And then tomorrow pops up and we have one less day to do all the things.
When you are feeling overwhelmed, the first thing to do restore your belief in your ability to do your tasks and projects. Some ways to play with:
- Rest. Go to bed extra early and get enough sleep. Or snuggle into a short nap. Or relax into a 15-min meditation. If you are procrastinating, you might as well be getting your rest. And resting the body and mind can renew your energy for the day.
- Move. Go for an easy run, joyfully dance to one song or hold a yoga pose. I know I always feel stronger after moving.
- Plan. Take 5 minutes to do a quick plan on paper or in an app of a few next steps. Make your tasks tiny steps that you know you can do. Your brain becomes overwhelmed when to dos are stacked in your thoughts instead of on paper. Plus, the underlying anxiety of thinking we are missing something. Seeing a small, concrete plan can get us unstuck.
- Get Inspired. Listen to an inspiring podcast, read a passage in a motivating book, watch a fun YouTube video. Find the media that will change your emotional state. Perhaps you have a playlist of songs that encourage you. (I like Eye of the Tiger and anything from India Arie.)
- Gratitude. You may be overwhelmed because your life is full. Abundant. Re frame busyness as a life bursting with aliveness. Write or say what you are grateful for in your wonderful life.
- Use your imagination. Remember times you were able to do something even when you thought you couldn’t. See them in vivid detail. Let the feelings move within you. Now see your next small step. Visualize you accomplishing it with ease and then enjoying completing the task.
What are you procrastinating on? What is one way you can raise how you think about your capacity?