Lately I have been hearing my clients and friends comment to me that they are overwhelmed!

It seems that our normal days are scheduled from hour to hour, often with only a few minutes between appointments. How many days have you missed your lunch because you were simply too busy? Life is different today than what it was when we were growing up. There was actual playtime, and people were able to relax and still be successful. Families were intact units, and there were very few after school activities. Today, we force children to grab a sandwich in the car on their way to a soccer game and the concept of a family dinner is perhaps a once a week event on a Sunday night.

What is so different? For one, we are completely controlled by our smart devices. I thought about how many times I check my phone, my e mail, my messages. It is considered unacceptable today not to respond to these correspondences immediately or at the least by the day’s end. Today there are so many options to choose from, which in and of itself is overwhelming. Try walking down the toothpaste or hair products aisle in the drug store and it can take up to 5 minutes just to select a product.

There are so many expectations placed on the shoulders of children and adults. What happened to downtime?

I try very hard to keep myself from being overwhelmed, even though I am a type A personality, who always has to be productive at every moment. I thought about what I do to keep in touch with my inner peace and how to deal with the feeling of being overwhelmed. Here are a few tips to help keep at bay the gnawing angst that builds within when one is overwhelmed:

      1. Write a to-do list each Sunday night and place a priority number or day in which the task is to be accomplished.
      2.Check the list several times a day to keep yourself in check. Perhaps a priority has changed, or an emergency has come up.
      3. If you keep adding on responsibilities to your list, then delete items that have to wait or just put them at the bottom of the list.
      4. Take a breather- find 15 minutes, an hour, or a block of time to separate from all the work or pressure that is causing you to be overwhelmed. Being distracted and doing something you like, can freshen the horizon once you return to the task at hand.
      5. Don’t get distracted! If the phone rings and you are in the middle of your work, simply let it go to voice mail.Find a 10 minute segment when you can stop and listen to the voice mails at one time. Then decide what needs to be done.
      6. Keep to a schedule. Be time efficient. Determine how long a task will take prior to starting and be truthful and realistic as to how long it will take.
      7. Ask for help. If you do not ask, you do not get!
      8. Delegate tasks- you do not have to do it all!
      9. Take deep breaths. Seriously-it can revive you and calm your nerves.
      10. Commit to one activity that you feel good about each week.. It can be an educational class, a walk, a visit with a friend, or an exercise class.

Focusing on being organized and completing the task. The rewards will yield relief and accomplishment.

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