How many of us feel overwhelmed and short on time?

I was swapping text messages with my sister when she told me she was completely overwhelmed and ‘drowning’ in all she had to do. I gently suggested she read some of my blog posts and get some helpful tips. She responded in a less gentle manner, saying she didn’t have time to read and asked me, quite seriously, if I could make the blog into a podcast!

I get where my sister was coming from. I remember quite clearly what it feels like to be overwhelmed and drowning in all there is to do. When we are in that space – I call it the ‘vortex of overwhelm’ –  it’s difficult to think clearly or to take calm, logical steps to get back on track. It’s like things just keep coming at you, more work, less time, more emergencies, more interruptions, paperwork stacking up, housework undone, appointments cancelled or forgotten and sleep ever elusive.

I feel out of breath just writing that. How do we do allow ourselves to exist and to carry on like that?

When you’re in it that deep it seems like there is no way out

Being overwhelmed is all consuming. It can seem like you better not stop for fear of losing momentum and falling even further behind. You might know that there’s a better way of being and doing but you’re just too bloody tired and have to many other things to do rather than to go and search for a solution.

Never fear!

You can pull yourself out of the vortex of overwhelm

It doesn’t mean you have to quit your job or go on stress leave or wait until your next holiday. Just take five. Five minutes somewhere every day. Carve out just that tiny bit of space for you. Inhabit it fully and guard it ferociously. Don’t give up that five minutes for anything. Go outside for five minutes or go into your office/bedroom/bathroom and close the door. Sit in the car before driving to/ from work or before getting out of the car and going inside .
Once you’ve found the perfect spot for your own five minutes, do nothing in that space. Just breathe. Be still. Slow down.

What’s your inner voice telling you?

When you slow down and get quiet, you can start to listen. Tune into that little voice inside, the one that knows what you want and need. Be curious. Be patient. It’s there, you just might need to slow down, quieten down a little more – this will happen with practise.

Be kind to yourself. You are doing your very best in every way that you can.


Try this meditation for when you are feeling particularly busy and overwhelmed

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