As mothers, we seem to spend our lives juggling tasks and trying to keep all the balls in the air without anything hitting the ground. Why do we do this? What do we want?
Wouldn't we all love to live a life of calm, where things just work and tasks get done without the constant worry, nagging and feeling of overwhelm? If this sounds like you, then read on for a 3 simple step process to getting calm, clarity and a happy household.
So what does Overwhelm actually mean? Well, it is simply when we are left feeling stressed out and unable to take action on the tasks we are faced with or the emotions we are struggling with. We feel like there is simply too much to do, too much noise in our minds, and we haven't got a robust plan to move forward.
But there is a way out. A way to a calmer and more structured life where we wake up with a spring in our step and a plan for the day.
Here is my 3 step process:
Step 1 - Getting things out of our minds
By taking a few minutes to get everything out of our heads in a structured way, we are freeing our minds and giving ourselves 'headspace' to actually focus on how to achieve what we need to, rather than worrying about having to remember everything.
By starting the process of getting things down on paper we will either start to feel better straight away - realising there wasn't that much to feel overwhelmed about after all - or start to feel worse because we realise how much there is to do and how little time we have to do it.
Either way, it is important to make sure we complete the process fully and then take a break to reward ourselves for finishing the task before we move on to the next step.
Step 2 - Focus Objectively and Remove Emotion
After we've taken a break we can then re-read what is down on the paper and try to look at it objectively, without emotion.
We can ask ourselves the following questions
- Is this really true?
- Do we really have to get this done?
- Is there another way to get the same result?
Often we can find that some tasks are actually our minds way of dramatising an emotion we have about something and overlaying that emotion with the need to do something unnecessary which may - or may not - minimise any negative consequences, simply so we feel like we have a solution.
For example, "I must go to the shop to get a specific type of cereal otherwise my kid is going to have a massive meltdown when we run out" may simply be our mind telling us we don't have the emotional space to deal with a possible meltdown, so it is giving us an unnecessary task to do in order to avoid a scenario we actually have no idea if it will happen!
- What is the worst that can happen if we don't get this done at all?
In the case of the above, our children may have a meltdown if we run out of their favorite cereal but we have dealt with meltdowns in the past, they won't starve and they will eventually calm down in the end.
They may also learn that there are other things they like, that things occasionally don't go to plan and that they need to be more flexible. It may not be a perfect scenario but it does allow us to remove an unnecessary trip to the shop from our very full to-do-list!
Step 3 - Prioritise and Take Action
By looking down at everything which was previously in our minds, we can start to prioritise and pick out the tasks which do need immediate action. And by picking tasks one thing at a time, we give our brains the focus and kick start they need to start to work with us and find solutions to the problems or tasks which need our attention.
By having headspace and focus our minds will start to help us on our journey to get things done, as opposed to working against us, giving us the feelings of stress and overwhelm which many mothers live with every day.
To reconnect to who you are and find your inner smile, why not join our online private community 'More to Me than Mum' by clicking here