How to effectively deal with overwhelm

how to effectively deal with overwhelm
You feel a sense of urgency rising up in your body, along with increased levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.

You start tackling several things at the same time in an attempt to expedite matters. Your attention flits from one task to another – scattered and distracted.

Your friend wants to catch up over a juice and you get irritated. You don’t have time for chitty chatter – you need to get THIS done!

Same applies to your daily walk in the sunshine, meditation practice and a healthy lunch.

All swept abruptly to the side.

These are some of my personal warning signals – indicators that I have just crossed into the city of overwhelm.

Are you familiar with yours?

How do you deal with them? What do you do next?

Take three deep breaths and read on.

How to effectively deal with overwhelm


Our brains crave stimulation but are only capable of effectively processing a small amount of information at one time.  Start turning down the noise!

Maybe you don’t need the radio on while you drive to work.  Maybe you do not need to check your email, Facebook, Pinterest, etc, multiple times a day. When you find yourself resisting downtime, that’s usually when you need it the most.

Five minutes in the sunshine, a spot of yoga (or whatever works for you), some deep breathing – activities such as these help immeasurably, to slowly wean the brain off its need for another dopamine hit.


Simplify it

A monkey mind is a mind that is very hard to manage. Our minds are not designed to be at peace amidst as many distractions and changes they now experience in the average day.

So start simplifying your life. Tackle your heavy thinking projects first thing in the morning. Do the important things you love, the one urgent thing that is vying for you attention (if you must).

But overall, try to do a little less each day.


Practice Radical Acceptance

It is the nature of the seeking mind to subtly reject what is here now and strive towards some imagined future that promises to be better.  Then we get there….and discover that we then want something else!

Rather than always judging the present to be lacking (or ourselves to be lacking), practice saying a big “yes” to fully accepting what is here now.

Slow down.

You have enough time. You have enough talent. You have plenty of opportunities. You just have to continue to show up.

If you are keen to explore this concept further  and gain some easy to implement tips – check out this recent blog from my personal yogi and friend –  Corona at Nurturepod.


Wholehearted focus

Develop your focus.  The goal here is to minimize the stress producing and energy consuming activity of multitasking, which creates a lot of noise in the brain.

So if you are writing, write. If you are cooking, cook. Don’t pause every few minutes to go do something else.


Stress Reduction

Anything you can do to lower your stress is a good thing.   When you feel stressed, you are more likely to be a reactive and compulsive.

(If you’re like me, you will notice a pull towards self-focus and a closed off heart). That’s not how I want to live.

One of the best tools I have been exploring this year is EFT, or tapping as it’s more commonly referred to.

Kelly Burch, a master practitioner and passionate advocate of  EFT has created a fabulous stress reduction programme.

She includes videos, articles and a 21 day workbook.

I’ve tried it out and found it to be incredibly useful and it’s FREE.  You can gain access to the entire programme  right here.


If you have found some clarity and useful tips on how to effectively deal with overwhelm – please share the love.

And tell me  – What are your personal danger signs for overwhelm and what’s your favourite way of tackling it?


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  1. says

    I’m sure I live in this state most of the time. It’s like you’ve written about me. Even my comment to your #1 or #2 options yesterday confirms this. It’s not like it’s a revelation. I just need to find a practical way of doing what I need to do. Jump off the hamster wheel (a consciously different thing from the treadmill) and sit in that sun. Like I’m doing right now, for a change after ignoring my lunch break for 2 hours!

  2. says

    I like to think there is always a good reason for us to continue with behaviours that do not serve us. I have every faith that you will figure it out for yourself Veronica.
    Good on your for having a long sweet sunshiney lunch x

  3. says

    I have really been trying to focus on one thing at a time, as I’ve always been someone who does 6 things at once and has an overactive monkey mind. I am far more productive doing less. And it’s far more satisfying too.
    I hit overwhelm when I am doing something like preparing dinner and then both kids decide to turn their demand dial up to full at the same time. I have no idea how they know how to do that, but it brings the worst out of me every time. xx

  4. says

    I needed to read this right now. I clicked onto Kelly’s EFT program and I’m going to give it a try. Thank you, thank you, thank you xxx

  5. beth says

    Thank you for this post! I so needed to read this. And thanks for reading my mind (again!) I have been wanting to contact you for more info on clean eating so am so excited to read about your new venture in October!

  6. says

    Kirri, wonderful post – I’ve to the city of overwhelm many times and I don’t like it! What I’ve found is sacrificing my me-time is actually worse in the long time. I may get stuff done right now but I will have a crash later. I love this wisdom from Brene Brown – “we have to let of exhaustion as a status symbol and productivity as self-worth. I’m also excited about your upcoming project and I’m sure it will FANTABULOUS! Can’t wait to see what you gals have in store. xoxo

  7. says

    I’m doing too much of everything right this second. I want to go meditate. Clean up. Watch this gerson vid i am halfway through. Make another juice. fix my dead leg! Hmmmm great reminder to do one thing at a time.

  8. says

    Another thorough and e3xcellent post. Saying “Yes” to today instead of always looking for tomorrow to offer some hope of improvement is one of the things I feel we me most need to relearn in this hurried modern world.

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