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5 Strategies to Overcome Overwhelm

It seems that overwhelm has become the new norm in North America and most of the world, that and loneliness as per NewsTalk 1010.

I want to let you in on a little secret – you’re doing this to yourself. I say that as a coach and with love.

I need to say this to you because we can fall victim to our life, or we can take control and make transformational change that leads us to our best life!

Life is hard, but we make it so much more complicated than we need to – WHY?

Because we are problem solvers so when things are complicated, we feel busy, like we’re working hard, and that to most of us, is being productive and the necessary evil to accomplishing our life goals.

If you can relate, keep reading!

Let’s KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid – it’s become my new favourite saying, and even talked about it back in April.

Overwhelm used to be my middle name

I used to be the one to overcomplicate EVERYTHING!

Like, at a restaurant, I’d spend ages trying to figure out what to order. I was soooo indecisive, questioning and second-guessing my every move.

It’s something I still work at, but am so much more aware of when I am NOT keeping things as simple as they need to be.

I speak to so many women who are in executive positions, running their own businesses, and I see a reflection of my old self.

The one that worked through lunches, the one that prioritized everyone else’s time over my own, the one that brought work home with me, checked emails first thing in the morning, after dinner, and before bed…

Does this sound familiar?

Stress and overwhelm are no joke, and can be important signals that things are out of balance, when it is a constant in your life.

We all need stress in small doses to keep us on our toes but if you can’t manage stress, you will get overwhelmed, which may lead to BURNOUT or BREAKDOWN!

Trust me, I know! I’ve been there.

How to avoid and overcome Overwhelm

When I was working full-time and schooling part-time to earn my MBA and CPA, I got to a state where I was in constant stress and overwhelm.

I had an amazing team and an incredible support system, which was definitely how I survived and completed my post-grad. I use the word survive here, because that’s what it felt like.

Constantly reminding yourself that it’s going to get better. Living every day on what felt like fumes, just pushing through no matter what.

But there’s a difference to pushing through in stress mode vs boss mode, and that comes only when you learn to put yourself first and get clear on what you really want.

Strategy #1 Get clear on what you want!

When you are not clear on what you want, you can’t help but make bad decisions.

You’re mind is thinking a mile a minute in a thousand different directions to the point you’re just shooting from the hip, hoping something, anything will just work out for a change.


In other words, what do I want? If you don’t know what you want, start with what you don’t want and then turn each item into the opposite or positive form.

For example: I don’t want to be stuck in meetings all day becomes… I want time freedom to be able to leverage my talents and accomplish my goals OR I want to hire someone that can effectively manage my calendar so that I have 3 hours free to accomplish what I need to do.

When you’re not clear on what you want, you have no concept of time, well, I guess it’s more so that you feel you have no time to do anything, especially for yourself!

You want to OWN YOUR TIME, don’t let your time own you!

Start with who you want to be, then what you want to do, then what you want to have – better yet, make a vision board!.

Strategy #2 – Get clear on what you’re doing!

When you get clear on who you are and what you want, it’s time to figure out what you’re going to do, and not just that but also WHY you want it.

So, you have your objectives, now you want to ask yourself WHY are these important? WHY do these matter to me?

From there it’s about creating an action plan – WHAT are you going to do and WHEN do you need to do them.

Strategy #3 – Make an action plan!

Please read this carefully – an action plan is NOT a to-do list.

An action plan is like a to-do list in that it has the actions required to achieve your objective, but it is so unlike a to-do list in that you have timelines that are attached to a WHY, a purpose, your purpose!

Strategy #4 – Plan to make time for planning!

How often do you plan? If it’s not at least once a week, my next question for you is: How do you know what to do each week, let alone each day?

You probably have an idea… in your head… but you also probably feel a bit lost.

This is the ultimate test: Do you wake up in the morning knowing exactly what you need to get done for the day?

If you answered no, we need to chat because there are some habits that need to change!

Strategy #5 – Balance and manage your emotions

Emotions and feelings are different but they’re often used interchangeably, so what is the difference?

Since finding yoga and essential oils, I have become absolutely fascinated with human anatomy, the mind, and how the how the body functions.

EMOTIONS are neurological reactions to an emotional stimulus, like when you hear a bang and you jump out of your chair, or when you see a movie where little Timmy finds his long lost retriever and you get a little teary, or when you touch something really hot and you pull your finger away.

Put in another, more scientific way, emotions are lower-level responses occurring in the subcortical regions of the brain (amygdala, which is part of the limbic system) and the neocortex (ventromedial prefrontal cortices, which deal with conscious thoughts, reasoning, and decision making).

Those responses create biochemical and electrical reactions in the body that alter its physical state as you saw in the initial examples. (Click HERE to learn how to balance emotions using your 5 senses.)

Ok, so then what are FEELINGS?

To recap, emotions are associated with bodily reactions that are activated through neurotransmitters and hormones released by the brain.

Feelings are sparked by emotions and are coloured by personal experiences, beliefs, memories, and thoughts that are linked or associated with that particular emotion.

It’s a byproduct of your brain perceiving an emotion and assigning a certain meaning to it.

Mind Blowing right?! Do you see now why I say you have a lot more control than you think?

Strategy #6 – Find your joy

I know, I said there were five, but I couldn’t help myself. I’m an underpromise, overdeliver kind of girl.

I think one of the meanings in life is to find your purpose and live joyfully.

Don’t forget about life. Life is not all about work and your career. There are actually 12 key elements – career, relationships, finances, mindset, spirituality, purpose, water, air, sun, body, food, and rest.

I see it time and time again – Entrepreneurial women that have fallen out of love with life and their business or career…

Successful women on the outside appear to have it all figured out, but on the inside, they feel lost and out of control, thinking they’re going to be found out soon.

Close your eyes and think of when you were most happy – what did you see, what did you hear, what did you smell, what did you feel?

You FEEL unstoppable, like you can do anything… in control of your life, your time, and your choices. You FEEL at peace because you have this inner knowing that it’s all going to be ok.

That’s what I want for you too.

Wellness 360 – Wheel of Life

Put these strategies to practice one day at a time and feel free to share it with someone that may be suffering from stress or overwhelm, or that may need a friendly reminder that it’s all going to be ok.

Lots of love, Nat

Life Strategies with Nat for the Entrepreneurial Woman

This was episode 21 of my Facebook Live Series, helping you live your best life with clarity, purpose and abundance.

Catch the live recording by clicking the button below:

Facebook Live Series: Life Strategies with Nat for the Entrepreneurial Woman

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Natalia Edelmann

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