Re-Set and Re-Focus
Do you ever feel overwhelmed by your life? Like you have so much to do and you’re always busy, but also like you’re not actually getting things done? This is incredibly stressful, and yet so many people are struggling with it: Especially conscientious, hardworking and responsible types. Many of my life coaching clients meet this description, yet here’s a a surprising thing: Ironically, even though they are the ones who are often viewed by others as being the MOST competent and productive, many secretly feel on the inside like they are failing.
How to Stop Feeling Overwhelmed
In our life coaching sessions I hear words like, “spiraling,” “drowning,” and “completely overwhelmed.” These amazing people are pushing themselves to exhaustion, feeling mentally and emotionally depleted, and continuing to heap more and more on themselves. Because it is not literally possible to do it all, they feel like they’re dropping balls in every direction. Their anxiety builds, their stress levels spike, and they start to feel out of control.
How about you? Can you relate?
This is SUCH a common experience, especially for slightly perfectionistic superstars. If this is a familiar feeling for you too, you’ve probably also tried the standard advice for getting it together: Making lists! Scheduling things! Organizing your home differently! Decluttering!
So why do you still feel crazed?
It’s because the issue is not actually about what you’re doing, and it never was. It’s about how you’re thinking and feeling about what you’re doing. Once you learn how to manage your thoughts and feelings differently, stress fades, calm control comes back, and things get done.
Getting “More Organized” Isn’t Going to Cut It
While this sounds easy, the struggle to do a hard reset on your approach to life and so that you can feel calm, centered, in control and genuinely productive is a real one. As a therapist, life coach (and human being who struggles with the same things) I’ve learned over the years that the path to real and lasting change is not about the latest productivity hack or organizational system, but rather a personal growth process that puts you back in contact with your authentic self — and then changes the relationship that you have with yourself. (Really!)
At the start of our work together, my hard-driving clients often have not yet come to terms with the fact that they are actually mortals like the rest of us, and that there are limits to what they can do. They are trying to do it all, often comparing themselves to others, and feeling like they’re doing nothing well. Things sometimes do start slipping though the cracks. People work faster, harder and more. They try new systems. But the harder they work, the less they get done.
Hardcore perfectionists hate hearing this, but it’s my duty as a therapist and life coach who is devoted to your wellbeing to say this anyway. The answer is not figuring out some “hack” to stuff more stuff into less time, or clone yourself: It’s about learning how to approach life (and yourself) in a more intentional, compassionate, reality-based, and mindful way.
Or not, and slide into the predictable consequences.
Burnout Is Real (And Awful)
Sometimes, if you don’t catch yourself soon enough, and keep pushing and working and going, you can develop a full-fledged case of burnout. Think about it this way: If overwhelm is the waterslide burnout is the pool that you land into at the end of the ride. If you don’t make a change — a real, lasting change that attends to the core issues of chronic stress and overwhelm — burnout is the final destination.
Real, clinical burnout is an experience akin to depression: People feel apathetic, they have no motivation, and feel exhausted even thinking about tackling the “to dos.” Then things start piling up for real, and the process of digging out needs to happen on every level: Physically, mentally, emotionally, AND in terms of all of the stuff that still needs to get done.
It takes a long time to bounce back from burnout. Better not to go there at all, honestly. By listening to what your emotional guidance system is telling you and taking your feelings of overwhelm and stress seriously, you can get back on track before you slide into burnout.
How to Get Your S**t Together, and Back In Control
“Okay Lisa,” you’re probably thinking, “Sure, sounds good. But how exactly do you propose that I do everything I need to do (so much!) and also stay balanced, calm and healthy?”
I’m here for you: Because so many people struggle with this, I’ve devoted a whole podcast episode to sharing my top tips for how to understand WHY you feel overwhelmed (knowledge is power) and then walking it back into a state of calm, focused control. Join me on this episode, to learn about:
- What types of core belief and approaches to life lead to feelings of overwhelm
- How perfectionism and over achievement is correlated with being LESS successful
- How stress leads to anxiety (and too much anxiety leads to paralysis)
- The type of mindset that helps you do more (and feel happier at the same time)
- How to recognize when you’re spiraling into burnout and how to stop it
- How to do a “hard reset” on overwhelm
- How to get reconnected to your true values, goals and priorities
- What to focus on first if you’re spiraling
- Strategies to help you identify and focus on what is truly important (and say buh-bye to the rest)
- Surprising tips and tricks to relax your body and mind, and enter a state of focused productivity
All for YOU, on this episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast.
xoxo, Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby
PS: I mentioned a number of resources in this program. Here are some links:
- To the mindfulness tools and breathing exercises I have for you on my IGTV channel
- To Hearts of Space (don’t laugh at the website!!)
- To The Happiness Class
- To the Full Focus Planner (I am NOT an affiliate, it’s just a great tool)
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How to Get Your S**t Together When You Feel Overwhelmed
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Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby is the founder and clinical director of Growing Self Counseling and Coaching. She’s the author of “Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to Your Ex Love,” and the host of The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast.