When It's All Just Too Much…& How We Can Protect Our Peace
July 7, 2022
I’m stepping in with you today to talk about how we can protect our peace & press the reset button when all that is around us has keeps us overwhelmed, over extended and present for everything and nothing at the same time.
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Sarah Metzger 0:08
Thanks for joining me for another episode of what’s on your plate. I’m Sarah, your host. I’m stopping in today to talk to you about the things that are just feeling far too much in life right now. Do you feel that way? And it’s from every possible angle.
It’s personally, professionally, it’s politically. I’m not going to dig into the nitty gritty of all the actual issues in this little mini episode today. But I am going to talk about how we get caught up in it all, and what we can do to unleash ourselves from it all.
It’s incredibly easy to get caught up in it in the thick of it all and become very overwhelmed. To feel like you’re focused on everything, and nothing all at the same time. You want to put your energy into relationships and connections, but also it needs to be in your work and your passions. And then there is attention needed to the matters of the world that without our fight will be left to others that feel differently than you might to decide for you. And then there’s all the little things, the little things that fill in the spaces that make the day even more full. You need to get to the grocery store, and prepare food, clothes need to be washed, kids need to be attended to and taken to practice. Everyone always needs something. It’s both a blessing and a curse I know.
And then there are things that are needed to care for your own well being. The things that often get cut out first, when time and resources are limited. Things like sleep, exercise, meditation and journaling. Doing things like listening to podcasts! Just having time to be with yourself and in your own thoughts. And that, for me at least is when I’m most creative, and it’s time necessary for me to refuel. Otherwise, I can’t be at my best. But all too often doesn’t make the cut of the day.
So what do we do to protect our peace when there’s far too much heaviness and responsibilities that fall to us? What do you do? One of the first things that I do when I start feeling stretched too thin is just to simply pause. It is true that when I get over extended, overtired, overstimulated, I also get over emotional. If I don’t identify this fairly early, my mental state of pure overload and fatigue can trigger a snowball effects that will ultimately be felt by everyone around me, which is just not okay. You’re allowed to feel what you feel. But what you feel shouldn’t be taken out on everyone else around you. Especially when those feelings become highly emotional because you’ve overextended yourself. And then the thoughts that are spoken as a result can be irrational, and unproductive. So what do we do?
For starters, we can practice the pause. Even if it’s just 10 minutes of just sitting alone, without your phone, with just your thoughts and with tears, if those happen to come too. Write it down, if that’s helpful to you, get it out of your system, and then just throw it away.
Once you’ve allowed yourself some mental space, figure out a way to allow yourself some physical space for movement. And by movement, I mean just that… move your body movement provides clarity. It will do so every single time without fail. Whether you can go for a walk, take a run, go cycle, go to yoga, or just do some stretching, whether it’s strength training, or even just doing some gardening, move your body put it into motion. I promise you, things will start to feel easier if you do
Once you have gained better perspective from mental and physical space,take a look at what is not working for you. What needs to change in order for you to feel less overwhelmed. Having an understanding of what it actually is, and what the options might be, will help you sort it out. When you really stop and think about all that is in front of you, and think about it in a rational state of mind, you may come to understand that you don’t actually have a lot of problems, so much as you are just avoiding making decisions.
This next one is something that I fail at all the time. It’s next on my checklist of things to do to protect my peace. But quite honestly, I suck at it. It’s easy to forget. And it’s easy to dismiss. And it seems so simple. But so often, it just feels so hard for me. Ask for help. I admit I’m terrible at this, even though I often need it. I just decline it, I just feel like I should be able to handle it myself. I’ve even been known to decline it when it’s actually freely offered. What the hell, I have no idea why I would do this. I know not doing so much by myself would really be amazing. And then I just set myself up for more stress down the road, because people will then expect you to continue to do it all not understanding why it’s a problem for you now, when it didn’t seem like it was a problem before. It was of course, you just pretended that it wasn’t.
What can you stop doing? That’s the next thing to look at. I know you’re going to have all kinds of excuses of why there’s nothing you can let go of, nothing you can delegate. I know because I do the same thing. And it goes right back to that asking for help thing that we all have a problem with. But if you really take a closer look of everything that’s on your plate of everything that you insist on carrying and taking on. I bet at least one or two of those things can shift. start focusing less on the problem itself and look for solutions. One thing for me that has really lighten the load in the past is having somebody helped me with basic cleaning. I know it sounds like an indulgence, right. But when you think about it, many of us go to a carwash several times a month, or have a lawn service come out even weekly. Why not someone to help with mopping the floors or scrubbing the bathrooms?
Or what about the other things you do that you can just stop altogether? Like saying yes too much. Continuing to offer something that no longer aligns with your goals? Or what about doing things for your kids that they are old enough to do for themselves? We need to start asking ourselves… Is my fear of disappointing other people, causing me to disappoint myself?
The last thing that I look at when I start to feel overwhelmed is making a real effort to control some of the chaos by truly being intentional with my time. This is a real tangible habit that you can develop in order to take back your peace. Creating a calendar where you create space in writing every day for how you intend to spend certain hours and then tell other people about it. Show it to your spouse or your partner, your kids or anyone else it may directly affect so that it creates less confusion or frustration when you are reserving time for specific things rather than just randomly trying to jam it all in and be indefinitely available. Do this right down to the time reserved for Netflix or social media. Run your day. Don’t let your day run you.
So now that you have some starting points to help you reset When you’re feeling overwhelmed, here’s what not to do. Listen in, lean in closer!…. Don’t try to implement it all at once. It is solid scientific facts that if you try to change too much all at once, you will create more of the stress that you’re actually trying to reduce. So just pick one thing, start with the pause, and then do the next thing that feels easiest to you. Give it a little time, a week maybe. And then if that’s working, see if adding another method is helpful, too. Just don’t make it hard by trying to do it all at once. No matter how you start, remember that it’s up to you. No one else is going to make the changes for you. No one else is going to protect your peace. Never subscribe to the idea that it just is what it is. Because it’s not an it doesn’t have to be. You may not feel like the choices before you are there. But you do in fact, have them. And sometimes it gets worse before it gets better. But you’re worth the effort to get there.
I hope you start prioritizing yourself as someone who is worth the same if not more of the effort you give to everyone and everything else.
I hope you share this with a friend so that they may be reminded of that too. I really love creating this space for us to connect every week. When you share it, follow it rate and review it, your efforts help in growing and sustaining it. Check the show notes for other ways to connect or leave feedback. I’ll have another guest on next week with a conversation to bring new insight and perspective into your day. I appreciate you all so much. Thanks for sharing your time with me today. I’ll see you next Thursday.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai