Dealing with Overwhelm

by Lisa Dietz
Overwhelm has always plagued me: too much to do, too little time. I decided to pay attention to what happens to my body and mind when I'm overwhelmed and see if I could come up with a way to remind myself how to deal with it. The following is the resulting list. It has been helpful to me and it might be for you as well.

The more tired you are, the worse it becomes. Just force yourself to go to bed or veg-out if you need it.

Let Go
Let go of everything you're thinking about doing. Clear the slate, see the big picture.

Bear in mind your TBI and think of what you're sure you can do even if you're tired or sick. If you do more, it's a bonus. If you complete the minimal, congratulate yourself.

Self Care
Place at the top of the list the things you need to do to be calm and peaceful. Living in a state of anxiety creates more overwhelm.

Trust Yourself
Only you know what you really need and what you can or cannot do. If someone gives you advice, don't take it as an order. You can believe what you perceive.

Be realistic and remember time. How long does the task take? How much time do you have? Does the task have a deadline? If it gives you a brain squeeze to figure out timing, then guess.

Be Creative
Problem solve creatively. For instance, can you split the task in half? Can you delegate? Is there an easier way to do it? Can you delete it completely or re-negotiate it, especially if it conflicts with self care?

Focus on the Moment
You can only do one thing at a time. You're only one person. The world will not actually end if you don't get everything done. There is no need to rush and even less to feel anxious.

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