Overload and Stress Don’t Have to Be Your Everyday Baseline

Overload end of rope

Overload doesn’t have to be your norm.

Overload and stress sometimes feel like the new normal, don’t they?

How often do you feel like you’re at the end of your rope? Frayed and frazzled and ready to snap?

You use to-do lists and templates. You set time boundaries. But still, you arrive at the end of a typical day with overwhelm and stress as your constant, unwanted companions. After a string of days like this, you can’t help but start to feel discouraged.

I hit one of those times, not very long ago, come to think of it. Things had piled so high that, had I been able to tack on another six or seven hours at the end of my day, I still wouldn’t have come close to “getting it all done.”

Overload and Stress Don’t Have to Own You

Remember that you have choices.
In moments of overload, think of yourself as standing at a crossroad.

  • If you give in to feeling overwhelmed, you can easily sabotage your good efforts, succumb to procrastination, or sap your energy and focus with worry.
  • Prioritizing helps reduce your stress. As an alternative to the above self-defeating choices, I suggest that you look at your values, the urgency of tasks, who will be affected if tasks are not completed, and then prioritize.

And here’s another idea…
Those are excellent ideas and great skills to develop and practice. However, I was very pleased to come upon a third option for myself, most recently when I was feeling overwhelmed. I told myself, “I’ll never get it all done.”

Some honest, self-nurturing relief for overload.
Saying those words to myself in a factual (not a self-pitying) way had an immediate, positive effect.

That’s because I accepted my limits and gave myself permission to stop trying to do the impossible. I put my feet back on the ground, relaxed my shoulders, took a breath, and let go. Then I was able to return to my tasks unburdened.

How does this resonate in your life?

What things have you found helpful when you are on overload?

And what if you could find another hour every week?

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