Back To School: Calming The Chaos And Overwhelm
For many women like me, back to school symbolizes two things.
On one hand you are extremely excited to have a few moments to breathe in the middle of the day, where you can focus on your business/work and your own personal care and priorities. On the other hand, you often have a moment or two, where overwhelm can creep in when thinking about all of what the day, week or month has in store for your family.
Does this sound like you?
In my work with many women over the years, one thing is clear. Women are capable of great things.
You have this ability to wear many hats.
Yet sometimes women can find themselves consumed with the stress, chaos and overwhelm due to the busy life they lead. This causes them to miss out on the joy of the moment because they are consumed with the millions of things on their mind and their plate. Sometimes the stress and weight of it all can cause life to feel chaotic and overwhelming instead of a joyful ride.
What I have noticed over time for myself and my clients is that when the thought pattern becomes focused on details of future events, where no action is being taken, but the ‘thinking/brainstorming/planning’ process is occurring, this is the time when the feeling of chaos and overwhelm can set in. I deeply believe this is because we are in a state of not taking action right now, but are simply brewing (and stewing) on what is yet to come. This causes a disconnect for action-oriented people. I would invite you to spend less time brewing on future events and more time taking concrete action towards those future events, even if it simply means making a list of your thoughts and parking the list until it is closer to that date.
For example. You have an upcoming sport tournament. It is in two weeks time. One approach is to become consumed with thinking about all of the items that must be packed and all of the items that must be purchased ahead of time (ie. snacks, drinks, breakfast, etc). The thoughts spiral on and on in your head as you try to focus at work or while falling asleep. Both are times when planning is not ideal. You feel your energy spiraling into the feeling of unease and you begin to worry about what you will forget, what happens if you forget the jersey, how you will recover from the possible error, etc. The stress, anxiety and worry you feel in these moments are real, but are they necessary? Is there a more productive, less stressful way to prepare?
I invite you to be intentional in your preparation. Creating a mindful routine that feels calm and purposeful. Choose a time that suits you better (not while working or trying to fall asleep) to make a concrete written down list (on your phone or on a piece of paper). Note everything down that you want to/ need to bring to the tournament. Last minute packing can also cause higher stress, so begin the action of packing early as well. A great question to ask yourself is “what action can I take right now to help prepare and to help me feel better about this?”
Pro Tip: Reuse this list for future tournaments instead of having to take the time to make the list again.
I encourage you to gather confidence and ease from the thousands of moments of proof (that you undoubtedly have), which suggest that you will indeed be successful in the next task you undertake. There is proof of your awesomeness all around you. You get to notice it and embrace it. Allow this preparation and this proof to fuel a mindset of “I have got this” instead of “I am overwhelmed by this”.
Back to school means back to busy. This is only one strategy for bringing calm and ease to your day instead of chaos and overwhelm. There are many other strategies which can be helpful. This is why I created a free PDF of my top 5 tips to Bust the Cycle of Overwhelm.
These tips are easy and practical tips that you can use in your daily life as the stress metre begins to rise.
Back to school time doesn’t have to mean chaos and overwhelm.
Cheering you on!
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