Many of you are busy professionals, with jobs, businesses and families to take care of. Time and energy are your most valuable resources but can often feel quite limited with your various obligations.
In the process of meeting the demands of life and keeping everyone else happy and healthy, there might be a few things that linger on your mental to-do list for longer than you would like.
Your mother called a week ago. You know she’s lonely, but you’ve still not returned her call.
You set the intention of making some time for yourself and started reading a book, but only managed a few pages before life took over again.
You started knitting a new jumper for your new niece, who is now 18 months old.
A friend keeps asking you to go for a dog walk, which you thought was a great idea, but you’ve not responded to their last 10 text messages and now they are getting nothing but radio silence from you.
How many of these resonate with you?
How many more could you add?
All of these things create energetic loose ends where you’re essentially leaving yourself open and exposed. There’s no sense of completion which leads to an array of pressure building up in the form of negative thoughts and self-talk:
“I should be doing ___”
“I’m such a bad person for not calling my mother back when I know she needs me”
“Why can’t I ever finish anything?”
“I feel like a failure”.
There is a lot going on in the world right now, the energy is tense, and this is combination with your loose ends can very easily lead to your soul feeling overwhelmed.
Being spiritually overwhelmed is when the circumstances of your life seem to build into a perfect storm of pressure which can leave you feeling incredibly vulnerable. It can also be caused by overcommitting, underestimating how much effort something will take, or not respecting your own boundaries enough to say no to things you feel you cannot commit to.
Feeling overwhelmed is a nudge from Spirit to stop and take a breath. After all, nothing useful or meaningful can be achieved when you’re in this state.
The foggy headedness, the indecisiveness, the pressure, the anxious thoughts and feelings – they are all Spirit’s way of giving you a sign to pause, regroup and to live more mindfully.
Moving into a state of overwhelm is often the result of just going through the motions of life. Instead, Spirit is asking you to stay tuned in to your true needs and desires, to keep your values and what matters to you in the forefront of your mind. To live more consciously.
Here are 3 things you can do to move past your spiritual overwhelm:
1. Get some distance from your thoughts
Take a piece of paper and write down anything and everything that is on your mind. Keep writing until your mind is empty and there’s nothing left to write. Getting your thoughts down onto paper creates some physical distance and creates space in your mind for clearer thinking.
Looking at your list, cross out anything that you simply have no control over. i.e. there’s nothing you can do to influence it, so you cannot spend time and energy focusing on it.
Out of the things you can control, ask yourself what the ideal positive outcome is. “What would I like instead of this?” If you’ve written down, “I am frustrated with myself that I haven’t returned my mother’s call”, then what you might want instead could be - “I want my mother to know I am thinking of her and that I love her”.
For each ideal positive outcome, ask yourself “What’s the first step I can take to make this happen?” For the example above, you might decide that a short text message to your mother to let her know you are thinking of her is a suitable step forward.
Once you have determined the next step for the remaining items on your list, ask yourself, “What’s the ONE thing I can do today, that will bring me the biggest sense of relief?” and start there! Taking action is empowering and it makes you feel a sense of control.
2. Explore your boundaries
How often do you worry about what other people think?
Do you feel guilty for wanting to do things by yourself?
When did you last say “no” to someone?
When did you last say “yes” to something you secretly didn’t want to do?
When is it okay to say “no”?
What in your life do you need to say “no” to?
What are your beliefs about saying “no”?
What is most important to you in life?
How would you like to spend more time?
Where would you like to spend less time?
Your top 3 priorities this month are ___, ___ and___
3. Consider preventative self-care Self-care isn’t only for when you 'hit the wall', it’s part of maintaining a balanced way of being. Self-care doesn’t have to feel like a chore and it certainly doesn’t have to cost anything. Breathing exercises are a great form of self-care. Decluttering your mind through journaling or completing a gratitude diary are also great ways of keeping you balanced and helping you to live more mindfully and consciously.
There is purpose in your overwhelm, but don’t let it linger. There is a sense of peace and freedom waiting for you on the other side.
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