My mind was spinning so much with all the things I wanted to get done before the holiday weekend and the things I still needed to get done for month end. But I'd been staring at my computer for more than an hour, I was barely keeping my head above water and I couldn't figure out what to do next. I was blocked!
And that is the best definition I can imagine for one of everyone's least favorite words (or feelings):
It's not about how much I have to do and want to complete; it's about not knowing where to begin and what to do first.
When the start of a holiday weekend is only hours away, I'll bet you can relate. (and if not, please let me know how you avoid the overwhelm so I can share your tips with our readers!)
Here's what happened here that allowed me to stop staring at the blank screen on my computer and get back into action.
I stepped away from my desk.
Sometimes all it takes is movement and a change of scenery to refocus. I know this, yet whether it's the brain fog or overthinking things I tend to forget and work to “make something happen.” And when I attempt to force things, the results are typically dismal.
I ate something.
The medications I'm taking drastically curb my appetite, so I forget to eat. (sadly, this reduced appetite has not resulted in weight-loss, but that's another story entirely.) One thing I've figured out is that my ability to focus diminishes with a lack of food, but I also forget to remember this little fact. And I get cranky when I don't eat which doesn't help matters, either. (and once again, a story for another time. )
I did something completely unrelated to the overwhelm or the holiday weekend.
After putting something in my belly, I took a few minutes and shifted gears away from the work that was looming in my office. I threw out the dead flowers in the vases around the house, put the still healthy looking flowers in smaller containers, hand-washed the large ones, and put them away.
When I returned to my desk, my mind was clear and I no longer felt like I was treading water. Sitting down, I asked myself one question:
What is the most important thing I can do RIGHT NOW?
And then I did that one thing!
It's easy to get trapped, stuck or completely blocked by the overwhelm. Especially when things like flares, holiday weekends, month-end, house guests or events spike our anxiety. When it happens to you, know you're not alone.
Be kind to yourself. Don't beat yourself up if the overwhelm hits you upside the head like a freight train. Try a quick movement and change of scenery to see if it helps.
Do what brings you joy this weekend always.
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