Overwhelmed? Take these 3 steps.

Dealing with overwhelm

It is that time of year. So much is going on and coming up. And, that is natural.

When overwhelm hits, it feels like you need to do all the things.

What actually needs to happen is taking a step back. Not much good comes from action that is done out of an unregulated nervous system and chaotic thinking.

You are the expert on your situation. If the captain of the ship is not clear, the whole ship is in trouble.

Also, if you stay in the overwhelm too long, you may be flooding. Which is actually traumatizing your nervous system. Read more about that here and here.

So, the first thing is to get yourself back on track by using these three steps:

ONE: Make the choice to care for yourself through this situation.

Instead of being swept away by it, are you willing to take ahold of the situation by choosing to care for yourself?

That means choosing to bring down the emotional intensity rather than getting wrapped up in the why it’s happening to you questions and how you are going to get through it ideas.

TWO: Stop all forward action.

Can you remember that this is not the time to make decision or take actions? That time will come shortly, but metabolizing your emotions and regulating your nervous system have to come first.

THREE: Find solid ground.

That means you do what you need to do to calm your nervous system.

You are your own best resource for solutions and that precious resource gets hyjacked by really intense emotion.

So, make a list in your phone of things that help you get your emotional system back on track.

Is it a friend you talk with? Is it taking a walk? Is it doing something mundane, like starting the laundry or going grocery shopping? Is it an enjoyable but distracting activity like talking to a friend about their day or looking at your favorite animal accounts on social media?

Make that list, always add to it and go to it when you need to calm your nervous system so you can come back online as your own best resource for solutions.

THEN you can make a plan and move forward.

Making a plan to move forward might only be delayed by 5 minutes if you are in a willing place to care for yourself instead of being swept away with the overwhelm. [Read more here about why willingness is SO important]

You can start re-programing your nervous system and automatic responses now.

The more you practice this, the more easily you will do this under any kind of stress.

If you need support learning how to do this, we are here to help. Contact us.

1 Comment

  1. […] process through, then you can “do” something about them *if* that is even needed. See last week’s post about dealing with overwhelm for help on […]


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