You crack open your eyes to the sound of your alarm and before you can even press snooze, there it is: your to-do list crashing in like a 20-foot tidal wave…repeatedly. Maybe your children are already pining for your attention or your dog is whining at the foot of your bed. Or maybe you wake up with a feeling of dread, a flutter of anxiety and all that you know is that you’re wishing for a vacation and it isn’t even 9am yet. You’re dreaming of home time, eating something dirty and curling up to watch Netflix in peace in your favourite old stained University shirt.
Which begs the question…
How can we effectively combat overwhelm?
Overwhelm is a hurricane of intense emotions that only you at that moment can understand. For example, telling me to relax during these moments is as effective as trying to give a cat a bath – it’s just not happening. Overwhelm is an intense bundle of emotions: anxiety, anger, irritability and worry. And maybe you go through such extreme moments of doubt that your life as you very well know it is for sure over…in your head of course.
Trust me I get it because much like you, I am for the most part, a one-woman show. The stress of seeing my life as a never-ending menu of options to choose from is enough to make me not want to choose at all. So here is my three-step process on what I do to overcome overwhelm and what I eat to make mama (that’s me) feel better.
Writing a to-do list…in pen
While this task itself can be super overwhelming, it’s necessary and I urge you to avoid using technology to do so. Not to mention, try to do this before the night before. It helps to avoid looking at everything roll in and wondering where to begin. As for using a pen over a computer, I will be honest and say that have zero scientific backings on why the pen (or pencil) is more effective. Somehow it just is. Kickin’ it old school just seems to work, especially when I get to cross out an item like Zoro. Huzzah!
The 15-minute challenge
In my to-do list, I will take 15 minutes to tackle only the easiest tasks like emails and phone calls. No, they’re not priority items, but the quick rapid fire accomplishment reassures me that I’m moving along and the 15 minute window keeps me focused.
The 35-minute shut down challenge
No, this isn’t a break. This is when you shut down everything – your phone, your computer, etc. to tackle the most daunting task in complete silence when there is no hesitation or distractions.
Listen, this may not work for you and you may need to adjust it with greater periods of time. But the point is, that it’s time-focused, making you more focused. That way, by the time you come home, you’ll have a little less on your plate to deal with and can open your world to something healthy and tasty. But, if you’re still in the position of overwhelm, here is a favourite recipe of mine that I had learned during my time in Italy:
2 chicken legs (with skin) dusted with flour (brown rice flour is a good GF option)
1/3 cup diced organic tomato
¼ cup white wine
¼ cup pitted kalamata olives
4 whole cloves garlic
1 small chili
3 sprigs rosemary
2 tbsp organic olive oil
1 tbsp honey
Sea salt & cracked pepper
In a large saucepan on medium heat, add olive oil and after a couple minutes add in whole garlic and chili. Sauté for about five minutes.
Add in dusted chicken legs turning on each side to brown (about five minutes on each side).
Add in olives, tomatoes and sauté a little more turning up heat to med-high. Add in white wine and let it reduce a little bit for a couple minutes. Add in whole rosemary sprigs (don’t break apart), honey, sea salt & cracked pepper to taste.
Cover and let cook on just below medium for an additional 10mins and then serve.
Cooking doesn’t have to be overwhelming. It can be easy, but for the times where you feel overwhelmed by life, take it step by step and cook extras so that you already have something prepared the next time you’re hungry.
In the meantime, don’t forget, my FREE webinar on how combat stress and let go is coming up on Wednesday October 23rd at 7:30pmEST. You’ll get tons of valuable info on what you can do right now to help you overcome overwhelm & stress from a Nutrition, supplemental, lifestyle and Chinese Medical viewpoint.
Oh and pssst, when you do, you’ll get a copy of my Sexy Smoothies ebook for free. Sweet!
In the meantime, I want to hear from you, how do you combat feelings of being overwhelm?