I am preparing to fly across the US to attend a training retreat in Ft. Lauderdale. As I prepare to go on this trip I am excited and overwhelmed at the same time. This marks the first time that I leave my kids for 6 days. As with any trip there are so many preparations before and events to prepare for after. In addition to the usual preparations, it turns out that when I return from my trip I have a very busy 3 days. This happens sometimes, opportunities came my way that resonated deeply. If you aren’t a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) this may not seem like a lot to manage but for me, a HSP, I am managing my thoughts and feelings regularly regarding this feeling of overwhelm. Planning usually helps me feel like I am more in control but there also comes a time where I have to let go of the perfectionism and expectations of what I believe I can or should do. I have to come to the realization that there are limits to what I can accomplish before I leave, if I don’t want to start my trip feeling drained. As a recovering perfectionist I have to tell you that it is not easy to let go of everything being completed before I leave. I had to make a conscious decision to prioritize, and let go.
When you are faced with a similar overwhelming situation there are some steps you can take to manage your overwhelm and stress.
- Decide on your priorities. What is Urgent and Important ? Work on those tasks first. Also, put each activity on your calendar instead of writing a list.
- Manage your thoughts, are the things you are telling yourself really true? Does it really have to be perfect? If during each task you find yourself thinking of the next thing you have to do, then it is time to refocus. By focusing on the task at hand you not only get more done faster you reduce your stress because you are not in a state of worry. Worry never gets anything done. A quick remember, you can only effectively do one thing at a time.
- Take some deep breaths. When you are in a state of stress, you may forget to breathe or have very shallow breaths. Taking a few seconds to think about breathing can reduce your stress and refocus your energy.
- Know you are enough, it’s all OK. If you still don’t finish everything, it’s OK. Believe me when I say all the work will still be there when you return. If it helps, you can plan out what you will do after your come back. Before you plan decide if each task really needs to be done. Don’t waste your precious time and energy.
I hope this helps you if you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed.
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