Fighting that Feeling of Overwhelm
I’ll admit this right up front:
Feeling “overwhelmed” used to be my favorite flavor of suffering.
Whether it was having too much on my to-do list, too many activities on my calendar, or just that general feeling of “something’s got to give,” I have often found myself experiencing a general sense of panic about how to navigate what came next.
And that was pre-coronavirus.
Right now is a challenging time for a lot of reasons – whether you are dealing with loss of joy, or health difficulties in your family, economic or job loss, that feeling of loss that comes with the interruption of our lives as we knew them, or some combination of all of the above,
many of us are feeling a lot of our feelings (myself included).
And, to borrow an expression from one of my favorite yoga instructors, that is so human.
Over the past several years, one activity that I’ve found is really helpful for me to get clear on what exactly it is that needs to change in my life is an exercise called the Wheel of Life.
It helps you take inventory across different aspects of your life on what is working and what isn’t working – because often when it feels like everything is wrong and you don’t know where to start, if you actually get clinical about the different areas of your life, you see that fixing one or two of them could have a dramatic impact on improving all the others.
Usually everything isn’t actually wrong – and even if it is, there’s usually a targeted intervention that can get things moving in a different direction.
As an example, the first time I took inventory like this, I found that radiance + health was the one thing that, if I improved it, would make me feel better about my career, fun + curiosity + relationships. I was using not feeling amazing in my body as an excuse to not do the things that made me feel successful, happy, and connected.
More recently, I found myself feeling generally frustrated and overwhelmed and questioning what came next for me:
Was it a move back to Southern California?
Was it a new job?
Or even, something else?
I revisited this and realized I didn’t actually need to reinvent my entire life – I needed to find a way to make more money to support the life I already had in San Francisco.
I fully appreciate that for a lot of us, now doesn’t necessarily feel like the right energy to be designing the lives of our dreams.
But if you’re feeling a little bit icky, and you’d like to figure out where you’d like to direct your energy when you have a little more mental bandwidth, I’ve created a free workbook you may find useful for seeing what has to give. It also has a fun journal prompt, book recommendations, & 1 action you can take today to get moving in a different direction.
I hope you find it helpful.
Because, remember, we are all in this together.
GUEST POST FROM LIS BEST
Combining over a decade of experience at the intersection of sustainability, communications, & government affairs with countless hours spent practicing yoga, exploring mindfulness, + healing, Lis Best now helps badass women in impact navigate their careers, become more effective change agents, & lead with mindfulness and moxie.