Posted on Sep 28th, 2006

My interest is in bringing wellness to life and overwhelm inhibits wellness. Some people are naturally good at managing their lives. Others appear to lack simple self management skills so their effectiveness is reduced and their stress levels are increased. This latter group are often impulsive, they fail to plan, they are disorganised and they are frequently overwhelmed to the point of stasis and eventually they manifest physical illnesses as a result.

This article gives tips and techniques which, when adopted into the lives of the serially overwhelmed, will assist them to organise themselves, their lives and their possessions thereby freeing up time, energy and mental capacity; ensuring they have the best chance of enjoying Wellness for Life.

1. When feeling overwhelmed resist the temptation to initiate large changes in your life. When you are overwhelmed you are not in the right frame of mind to make important decisions.

2. Free up some time for you. This is thinking time, relaxation time or planning time.

3. Find a cleaner, an ironing lady or a babysitter anything which buys you a little more time and energy

4. Eliminate energy drains in your life. These may be situations, people or your own procrastination

5. Reduce your expenditure and save extra money. Even if money appears to be the root of the overwhelm it is important to build a reserve even the smallest sum saved each week is better than nothing

6. Resist the temptation to set yourself new goals. Focus on reducing the current situation of overwhelm to immediately improve quality of life before taking on any new challenges

7. Give yourself permission to put yourself first. Delegate tasks where possible at work and at home

8. Make a commitment to leave your place of work at a reasonable time every evening. This will allow you time with your family and friends and time to relax. You will find that you will get more done in less time as your commitment to leave at a specific time will make you more focused and more productive during the working day

9. Arrange fewer meetings. These may be business or social. Do not cram your calendar full of appointments allow yourself some buffer time to catch up

10. Recognise that there is more to life than your career or your work. Avoid the trap of investing too much of your time in work searching for something that cannot be found there - your life

11. Ensure you get enough sleep. Tiredness is the shortest route to feelings of overwhelm

12. Eat a balanced diet and eat regularly. It is essential to provide fuel for the body if the body is to supply you with sufficient energy for the day

13. Always take your holidays from work. Resist the temptation to accept payments in lieu (even if it’s offered). You need this holiday time to recharge your physical, emotional and spiritual reserves

14. Recognise that the acquisition of more is a myth. Having it all is not all it would appear to be - it does not bring happiness, instead it brings high levels of stress and lots of responsibility

15. Make friends with yourself again. Get to know yourself again. What makes you tick? Start a journal, choose a journal which pleases you, something which gives you pleasure. Use your journal to start a dialogue with yourself. If you find it difficult to get started, think about acknowledging the things you’re most grateful for or most afraid of or most challenged by

16. Book an appointment with yourself one evening every week. Make this a regular date and use the time for self care. Write the appointments in your diary or Mark your calendar - this is a non-negotiable date

17. Make your health a priority. Do not wait until illness strikes before you start taking care of yourself. Prevention really is better than cure

18. Take care of your emotional health. Know what makes you feel good and build it into your day

19. Take care of your relationships. Spend time with people who are important to you

20. Take care of your spiritual well-being. This will mean something different for everyone from regular religious worship to meditation or simply spending time close to nature

21. Have fun. Having fun is not frivolous it is just as important as the time we spend working. Use your journal to explore where and how you are bringing fun into your life

22. Be generous with your “self”. This is not a large request for action or a large time commitment. Demonstrate a generous spirit in small ways perhaps by holding a door open for someone or assisting an elderly person with their shopping anything which will encourage a smile in return

23. Slow down. Be aware of your whole body throughout the day. Avoid the temptation of just residing in your head. Keep your attention on the here and now. Talk more slowly, write more slowly and walk more slowly

24. Get your priorities straight. Look at where you are spending the most of your time and ask yourself if this makes sense. Define your priorities and arrange your diary around them

25. Acknowledge that you have no power to manage time. You can only manage yourself and the way you use time

26. Be aware of how often you agree to something when you would rather not. Put space between a request for your time and your response

27. Take daily breaks and allow yourself to just be. Practise doing nothing just for five minutes and teach yourself how to be still instead of always been busy

28. Identify what is sapping your energy. Procrastination often takes more energy than action

29. Deal with money problems. Acknowledge all debt and work out a realistic repayment plan. Avoid incurring further debt as debt and the worry caused by debt is one of the biggest energy drains

30. Deal with anything that has been left incomplete or unresolved from the past. These issues hold you back and leave no energy available for the present

31. Identify the people who continuously drain your energy. Either re-negotiate the basis of your relationship with them or ease them out of your life

32. Handle all outstanding communication. Return phone calls, e-mails and letters which may be outstanding

33. Maintain your home. Get on and do those niggling jobs which are annoying you. Fix the door which regularly sticks, replace the washer in the dripping tap and clear out the old newspapers and magazines

34. Sort through your clothes. Clean, repair or alter any you are keeping. Clothes which are worn out, no longer fit or are no longer required should be cleared out and either given to a charity shop, a good friend or binned

35. De-clutter your home. Go through cupboards, outbuildings and the loft. Creating physical space will also permit mental space

Donetta Harrison is building http://www.wellnessforlife.info, an information resource on all aspects of wellness in all domains of life, to encourage individuals to take responsibility for their health and wellbeing in order that that they may live life to the full. More Information from wellnessforlife@stressmanagementarticles.com.

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