What to do when overwhelm sneaks into your house

What to do when overwhelm sneaks into your house

Today I am feeling overwhelmed. With a capital D and an H and a W and capital all-the-other-letters.

Oh god, there are so many letters! Gahhhhhh.

Coming back from being away always seems to land me in some kind of shemozzle for at least 1-3 shemozzley weeks,

even when my trips away are a working holiday.

When you live out of a suitcase for a couple of months, away from day to day life admin and friends and groceries and catch ups and the like, life feels remarkably simple and easy.

Then you come back and BAM, clothing decisions to make every day (uh the drama), catch ups to cram into weekends, new work projects to knuckle down on, commitments to keep, obligations to fill, exercise to fit in, and buckets of random life admin that doesn’t seem to follow overseas.

And I don’t even have kids.

Having lived out of a backpack for 83% of my twenties, it’s taken til my 30s to be certain that living real life is really rather tricky, and a lot of that trickiness stems from meaningless crap that we don’t notice building up in our day to day lives when we stay in one place for too long with no need to cull.

A lot of the overwhelm we face is just clutter.

Clutter in dinner related decisions. Clutter in friendships where we lack the ability to enforce boundaries when we feel bad for saying no. Clutter in our wardrobes. Clutter in the tabs on our computer. Clutter in our mind. Clutter in the things left unsaid that muddy the waters. Clutter in random possessions collecting dust. Clutter in notifications, apps, messages, emails, voicemails, ALL THE BLOODY TECH.

Our brains are wired to filter out most of what we could potentially focus on at any given moment, but we just keep testing them with more and more bollocks.

And then we get overwhelmed.

If you’re a female, consult your cycle. If you’re anything like me, you’ll need a lot more space, a lot slower pace, a lot less tabs, and a lot fewer catch ups in the last week or so of your cycle.

If you’re overwhelmed, like me, it’s probably time to declutter and give your brain a wee rest.

• Delete apps and turn OFF all notifications on your phone.

Better yet, throw it in the bin.

• Give away clothes and shoes you haven’t worn in 6 months.

• Say no to catch ups when you need some time alone.

• Slow down for at least part of your day. Try yin yoga or a walk in the park.

• Close all the tabs on your browser and start fresh. Close them at the end of every day.

• Say the things you’ve left unsaid.

• Write a letter about the things that you can’t say. Then throw it out.

• Meditate. Learn to allow your thoughts to come and go without hooking onto every one.

I’ll be attempting to take my own advice.

Soon, after I just flap about aimlessly for another few minutes.

I’ve just added all that to my list of things to do, and now I’m overwhelmed by my list of things to stop overwhelm.

Fuck.

So I’ll start with just 1.

Meditate.

Everything always seems less mental after a few minutes of sitting in silence.

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G'day, I'm Andrea

I'm a mindfulness facilitator and former cynical pessimist.

I used to be an awkward, pessimistic, overachiever.

Life looked good on the outside, but on the inside things were average.

I was indecisive, I didn't know what to do with my life, I self-sabotaged the hell out of my relationships.

I had a feeling I was going to keep f-ing things up for myself unless something radical changed.

The life handbrake-turn that followed over the next few years came as the result of learning what I now teach in my unconventional mind-taming program for indecisive overachievers - Bloody Good Life. Just practical, relatable techniques without any rainbow and butterfly jibber jabber.