How are you doing?
The sun is shining in Devon, the sky is blue and it would seem that the sea gulls are taking a Zumba class on my office roof!
Yes, I know in the UK we are hunkering down for lockdown part two and that the fabric of society is disintegrating faster than the whole loo roll I knocked into the toilet this morning, but I also know that you can do this.
I was quoted in a feature on overwhelm in the December issue of Health & Wellbeing as it’s something that my clients often talk to me about, and something I have been tripped up by in the past.
There is no getting away from the fact that we are in a pretty fragile place on a global scale right now, but if you take on all of the world’s problems, overwhelm is going to come and bite you on the bum and life will feel hard and heavy, and we do not want that.
You might think that I am stating the obvious, but while it might feel as if there is little option than to take on all the issues at play out there, let me assure you, you really don’t have to.
What you do need to do is to look after you!
How does that sound?
I was talking to a colleague earlier and she told me how she looked after her team at work and then looked after her kids.
“What about you?”, I asked?
She looked at me, via Zoom obviously, and stopped to think.
“Hmmm, yes, what about me.”
The reality is, we can get so overwhelmed by everything that is going on around us and with those we love and care for, that we don’t bother to think about ourselves and that’s when things can get messy.
So, what can you do?
Well, taking time out to read this is a pretty good start, so thank you.
After I have written this, I am going to get my two dogs, put on my boots and we will tramp over the farmer’s fields at the bottom of our road and head down to the beach, and that is how I get out of my own head and prevent overwhelm from taking over. This time last year I would have seen an hour away from my desk and my clients as a luxury I couldn’t afford, today I see it as the self care I need to keep me happy and Dotty and Coco blinking love it. It’s the chance to reflect on the day, to get some headspace from the issues in the news and heaven knows, those feel good endorphins are potent!
While I know not everyone lives by the sea and some of you don’t’ have dogs, carving that little bit of time out of you could really help you to keep calm and keep overwhelm under control this winter.
Simple, but effective ideas, include:
Making a cuppa and drinking it while it is hot! Don’t use this time to scroll on your phone, don’t call up the gas company to make a complaint and don’t take slurps of tea as you empty the washing machine and stack the dishwasher. Sit and drink in peace and just relax, adding a chocolate digestive if you like.
Getting outside is so good for you and you don’t have to make it into a big deal to get some benefits. A walk to the shop, a jog round the block or even half an hour in the garden or on the allotment can give you the time and space you need to leave your troubles behind you.
Run a hot bath! Doesn’t really matter what time of day it is, it’s not like we can go far otherwise, but having a soak and just lying back and reflecting can help ease tension and if you bung on some tunes and light a scented candle, it’s like a mini spa break all from your bathroom.
I am not a great one for meditating, but I love the Calm app and some of the stories they have – it’s amazing how the Harry Styles’s tale is relaxing and soothing and a great antidote to overwhelm.
A good book is another way to escape from the world. Whether it’s a self development delight by Margie Warrell, a romantic rendezvous from Kim Nash or How to Pick a Puppy by Vanessa Holburn, delving into the pages of a book is the best way to leave the world behind you and find a little bit of escapism, it’s also another excuse to make a cuppa.
Journalling, knitting, painting, writing and cooking are all sure fire ways to get your brain engaged on something other than your to do list, the latest email form school or breaking news from the BBC that fills you with fear and dread.
Yes, overwhelm might be a part of 21st century living, but it doesn’t have to take over your life.
Sending love and sea vibes from me to you.