Back to basics - the first step in reducing overwhelm

When it all gets too much there are options.   

- carry on going until you end up in a heap ( done that before - not good!!)
- drop a few of those spinning plates and hope they are not too expensive!
- put all the plates down and then work out which ones you didn't need to spin anyway

I have done the first option - several times - and so not going to tick that box again.  I have tried reducing the number of spinning plates but each time I put one down, another two seemed to jump into its place!

So this time I am going for option 3.

I admit, it was a tough call to make but with the plates all on the floor, I borrowed a technique I learned from a financier about debt management.  Her approach was to not focus on the debt that had the highest APR (the 'sensible' thing), but the one that emotionally drained you the most! 

I love mind maps.  So I started putting down all of those 'plates' onto one sheet of paper so that I could see the big picture.  Some of the plates were more like saucers, others were great big salvers!  But with them all in one place, it became really easy to see which ones were causing the most overwhelm and deal with them first.

Without having done this, I know that I would have focused on the 'easy' things.  My husband has a habit of writing lists of things he has already done so that he can cross them straight off because that makes him feel like he's achieved something!!! It is so easy to focus on easy things just to reduce the length of the todo list whilst tricky ones just stay in the background niggling away at you (and draining you more!)

One of the things that for me, not just takes up energy but obliterates it, is dealing with Social Services!  I have a disabled brother for whom I run his life.  Sitting in my kitchen for over 2 weeks were 2 'deadly' forms - we're talking 50+ pages plus the requirement to be an accountant!  I HATE doing these forms so typically leave them until I am getting stroppy messages about cancelling his benefits or court action!  Great strategy - NOT!

So with my mindmap, the obvious thing was to get these forms done and out of the way.  I set aside Tuesday morning, got up with a heavy heart but then sat and got them done.  By lunchtime, I was light as a feather and my husband was somewhat curious when he came home to find me dancing around the kitchen having had a wonderful day (the first couple of hours of form filling completely forgotten about!)  All down to having completed those blinkin' forms!!

And this is how I'm going to continue:  Setting time aside to deal with the next most emotionally draining thing until I am back on an even keel.  And the wonderful thing is that with each thing you achieve, the less you feel drained, the more you feel able to do.  I've only crossed off 3 things so far but my motivation to do more is already ramping up.  

So if you are feeling overwhelmed, please give this a go - from the heart I can say it works!  Write down all the things that you need to do.  Then focus on the one you want to do least!  You may need to put your big girl/boy pants on, but once it is done, boy does it feel good!

And if you need some help with it, just get in touch.

So what do you think?  Can you see this working for you too????

Published by Caroline Cavanagh Clinical Hypnotherapist and author of Anxiety Alchemy. on |


RE: Back to basics - the first step in reducing overwhelm

Wonderful article Thank you
Commented by: Isabela on Saturday 21st July 2018 03:01:40 PM

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