Let’s. Talk. About. Overwhelm.
If you are a business owner, you are no stranger to feeling overwhelmed – but it’s crucial to recognize that it’s not the real problem. Instead, it is simply an emotional response to a deeper, underlying challenge.
Think of it like a headache. You want it to go away – so what do you do? You take medicine, drink some water, or catch a quick nap. However, the root cause is still there. But what if we took a moment to dig a little deeper? The headache is just a symptom – the root might be sinus issues, allergies, stress, or something else entirely. The same is true for overwhelm – it’s a symptom of a deeper problem, and by getting to the root of it, we can start to tackle it at the source.
Understand Your Signs of Overwhelm
Stress and anxiety can take many forms, and everyone reacts differently to these pressures in life and business. Unfortunately, finding the solution isn’t as straightforward as looking it up in a book. But, what we do know is that overwhelm often stems from a feeling of lack – a lack of confidence, perspective, time, or energy.
By paying attention to your physical and emotional responses to stress, such as trouble sleeping, increased irritability, and decreased motivation, you can start to get a sense of what might be causing your overwhelm. By being mindful of these signs, you can take action to address the root of the problem and find a more balanced, fulfilling life.
Find the Root Cause of Your Overwhelm
So how do we find the cause?
1. Stop and Reflect
Discovering the root cause starts with a deep dive into your experience. As soon as you start feeling the weight of overwhelm, it’s crucial to hit the brakes and examine what’s going on.
Could it be a workload problem? Are your goals and expectations manageable? Are you frustrated with too many moving pieces in your business?
Keep a log of every time you feel overwhelmed, jotting down the date, time, and situation. Pay close attention to what’s going on in those moments.
To further uncover the root cause, it’s important to analyze your experience. Data tells a story. Take what you wrote down in step one and see if there are any patterns.
Are there certain days of the week or times of day when you tend to feel overwhelmed? Are there specific tasks that you strongly dislike doing?
Armed with this newfound knowledge, you’ll be able to tackle the root cause head-on and take control, reducing the impact of overwhelm on your life.
Prevent the Overwhelm
Remember that overwhelm is temporary – it will not last forever. By understanding our triggers and what the root of the problem is, we can build a plan to limit the effects of overwhelm in our life and business.
Here are a few ways to prevent overwhelm:
- Manage your business operations: strategic planning, automations, and utilizing a project management tool can all be effective in limiting your stress.
- Start with Mission, Vision, and Values. These will help focus your intentions and prioritize your actions so you can move forward with confidence. Read more about how to define/refine your Mission, Vision, and Values in this post – Mission, Vision, and Values: 3 Essential Foundations to Build a Thriving Business
- Set boundaries to help maintain a healthier balance of work and life.
- Utlize self care or self maintenance. How can you bring joy into your workday?
- Delegate tasks you don’t have time for or don’t want to do.
Dealing with Overwhelm
How do you cope with overwhelm when it has come knocking at your door? Take these practical steps to reduce its impact on your life.
Build a Support System
Whether it’s through hiring a team member, finding a mentor, or joining a supportive Facebook group, building a support system can help you feel empowered and motivated.
Looking for a Facebook community? Join the Grow Your Business Facebook group here!
Reframe Negative Thoughts
Replacing negative thoughts with liberating truths can shift your perspective and provide a much-needed boost of confidence.
Replace “I don’t ever have enough time to get all the things done on my to-do list” with “I manage my time effectively by prioritizing the tasks that need my attention most.”
Replace “I can’t do this” with “I have the knowledge and experience to move forward with confidence.”
Take a Break
Taking breaks, drinking water, and getting up from your desk can help you recharge, refocus, and restore your energy. Sometimes you just need space to refocus your mind and your intentions.
When it comes to managing overwhelm, having a quick and easy reference is key. That’s why writing down your options for coping and keeping them readily available on your desk can be a lifesaver. Whether you need to take a break, get up from your desk, or remind yourself of liberating truths, having these options at your fingertips can help you take control of the situation and find a sense of peace in the midst of chaos. So take a few minutes to jot down your go-to coping strategies, and keep them close by for when you need them most.
- Reflect & Analyze: Over the next 2 weeks, write down every time you start to feel overwhelm. How are you reacting to it? What is happening when you’re feeling stress and anxiety? At what point in your day is all of this happening?
- Create a list of ways you can prevent overwhelm. Then choose 1 action to take today.
- Create a list of ways you can cope with overwhelm and keep it in a place where it is readily available to you.
- Join the free Facebook Group and let us know how we can support you. Join here!