How To Overcome Overwhelm (Without Surrendering to Daily Bouts of Ugly Crying)

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*This is a guest post from Jill at Screw The Nine To Five

Up until a month ago I was drowning.

I was struggling to keep up with my day-to-day tasks, willing myself to get up at the crack of dawn just to feel as though I was being productive, and feeling envious of every goddamn marketer who seemed to be making their business their bitch.

Simply put, I was overwhelmed.

Though I could have just ugly-cried my way through this rough patch – trust me, I was tempted – I realized I needed to make a few changes.

I longed to add some structure to my work days.

I yearned to leverage my time and create some personal white space in my life.

I craved being able to indulge in the freedom an Uncaged Life affords you.

And I resolved, right then and there, to overcome my overwhelm.

But I had no clue where to start.

 

After all, how does one take the first step to stop feeling overwhelmed when you feel overwhelmed at the thought of stopping yourself from feeling overwhelmed?

 

I decided I had to baby-step it.

I began by kickstarting my days with a morning ritual, which I lovingly call my ‘Ritual to Riches’.

Each morning I wake up at 7am, slug back half a litre of water, wash my face, brush my teeth and force myself out the door to start my workout.

After my sweat sesh is over, I come home, shower, make a green juice, grab my yoga mat, plop down and visualize for 15 minutes.

I visualize what I want to accomplish for the day, the precise amount of money I want to make, the team I want to build, the products I want to create, the lifestyle I want to have and the adventures I want to go on.

Once my routine is complete I feel energized and motivated in a way I hadn’t felt prior to starting this ritual. It has allowed me to prioritize my day and approach my to-do list with a sense of clarity and laser-targeted focus – a feeling I had coveted for so long but never knew how to attain.

As soon as I had incorporated my morning ritual into my life I started looking for other areas I could tidy up – it was then that my to-do list bitch-slapped me in the face.

 

I realized I had an opportunity to leverage my time and hand off some of my more menial tasks to someone who was just as qualified as me to handle them.

 

But I stressed and struggled to figure out which tasks to delegate.

So, I began by creating a list. On my list were three columns: tasks I didn’t want to do, tasks I didn’t know how to do and tasks I shouldn’t be doing.

From there it was easy to see how much of my day-to-day work could be lifted off my shoulders; allowing me the opportunity to finally work on my business as opposed to working in my business.

I felt happier, less stressed and more appreciative of the projects I could now fully dedicate myself to.

This decision also allowed me the personal white space to not feel so damn guilty when my husband and I skipped down to the Thai islands for a spell of relaxing and sipping fruity cocktails.

And let me tell you, that freedom is worth more than triple what I now pay monthly to outsourcers!

Speaking of freedom, I realized that getting out and clearing your head is mandatory when trying to battle overwhelm.

Now you don’t have to travel to the Thai islands (although, I highly suggest you do if you can!); a quick walk through a park, along the lake or taking a drive is enough to cause your shoulders to drop, your heartbeat to slow, your cortisol levels to plummet, and your mind to stop spinning.

 

It is such a simple tweak – getting outside and out of your head – yet it can help you regain your composure, take stock of what is happening and figure out ways to deal with the situation at hand.

 

If nothing else, it is just nice to get away from your computer, blast your skin with vitamin D and give your nervous system a much-needed rest.

After all, overwhelm does nothing other than overtake your rational thought, blow things out of proportion and leave you with unwanted stress wrinkles. And really, who needs that?

Of course, if all else fails, just remember, wine fixes everything.

How do you overcome your feelings of overwhelm? Do you attack it head-on or ride it out? Share your story with me in the comment section below.

 

Screen shot 2013-07-30 at 9.12.53 AMJill is a wanderluster and lifestyle business owner hell-bent on teaching others how to live a life full of freedom and purpose. Currently travelling around Thailand with her husband, she lives out of a backpack, probably swears too much for her own good and isn’t afraid of a tall glass of gin. Hit her up at www.ScrewTheNineToFive.com!

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  1. Umgawa

    Hey Becca–
    I loved this post and think many will find it very useful. But my question is how did you and Jill partner up? I am aware that the newer biz model is about turning competition into joint ventures. Since you seem to me to have the same niche, how did you manage this?

  2. Umgawa Simple – she asked me if she could guest post, I said “sure!”

    Anything that resonates with people who read Uncaged is fair game for me. The way I see it, Jill and I have TOTALLY different businesses – we d very different things. There is no competition. Actually, I can;t think of anyone who is my competition. What I offer is totally unique and perfect for my perfect clients… and what everyone else offers is totally unique too.