I just shared 5 of my go to mantras for overwhelm on Instagram. That got me thinking about other things I do in the moment to help me move through the day with presence and a calm(er) mind.
Not sure why but overwhelm has been a primary feeling over the past few weeks. I constantly feel like I have a ton do to but lack the required energy and/or time to get things done the way I want. I keep blaming the kids being sick, but honestly at this point, that’s just life. If I keep going down that line of thinking, I won’t ever feel good about what I’m doing.
Something I’ve been doing recently, especially when overwhelm hits hard, is breaking my day into very very small steps. For example, if I’m solo parenting and start to feel overwhelmed with everything that needs to happen between 3-8, I tell myself to think about only the next milestone. “Right now you’re playing with the kids and next comes dinner.” That’s it. I remind myself of what I’m currently doing and what comes next.
This does a couple of things for me – 1. It helps me stay present in the moment and actually enjoy it and 2. It keeps me from thinking about the million other things that need to happen/I need to accomplish. So instead of thinking about dinnertime, bath time and bedtime all at once, I only think about dinner. After dinner, I think about bath time. After bath time, I think about bedtime.
I use this little mindset shift for my work day too, especially when I have lots of professional and personal tasks I need to get through in a short few hours.
“Right now you’re doing XXX, and next you’re going to do XXX.”
After observing my own thoughts of the past few weeks, I’ve come to realize that overwhelm for me is 100% driven by thoughts about the future – things that are going to be happening, things that need to happen. And not just thoughts about the future but worry/fear related to future events.
I don’t want to live like this anymore. It’s exhausting. And it doesn’t allow you to live in ease and just be. Also, this kind of mindset absolutely starts to impact the health of your family, where you see it or not.
I don’t want to cultivate overwhelm for my kids. However, I want them to know that it’s normal, and that we can work through it by staying as present as possible.
I hope this helps in some small way because I feel like a lot of us are in the same boat.
Remember, one small step at a time is all we can do. And that’s amazing!