How to reconnect with yourself and kick overwhelm into touch.


“When you lose touch with your inner stillness, you lose touch with yourself. When you lose touch with yourself, you lose yourself in the world.”   Eckhart Tolle

Probably the most insidious issue facing everyone today is overwhelm. It can creep up on you and you start to procrastinate as a defense mechanism against it. Instead of doing that urgent piece of work you rearrange your sock drawer by colour.

Or perhaps you push on through and create yet another TO-DO list so as not to let anyone down. It haunts you. Soon enough you are running on empty. Stress starts to take a hold which affects you mentally, physically and emotionally.

So how do you take back your control and joy?

Think about the safety announcement on a flight that says: “In the case of decompression, the oxygen masks will drop and parents must put theirs on first”. Otherwise, they will be unconscious and that won’t help the kids at all. 

So here is an OXYGEN guide to get you out of overwhelm:

On a single piece of paper write down everything you need to do and every little task that is bugging you and is probably keeping you awake at night.

X marks the ones that you really can’t do anything about. You may be worried about them but you can’t actually do anything at this time to alter them. Put a line through them.

You must do some things but not all at once. Prioritisation is key. So take another piece of paper and draw a box inside it then draw a cross across the middle of this inner box to create four boxes. Write NOT Important on the bottom left-side of the axis and Important top left-hand side. At the top of the first box write Urgent and top right put Not Urgent. Now put the things you really must do into these boxes then deal with them in order of being important/urgent first down to Not important/not urgent. In fact, do you need to do these tasks at all?

Get time specific now. Put times next to the items in the boxes. Times such as today/this week/next week/this month/this quarter. Scope out time for them in your diary.

Ensure you are motivated to do them by finding your ‘Why’. Change items to do from the likes of ‘Accounts’ or ‘Gym’ to something like: ‘Be my own financial guru’ and ‘Get my body beach ready’. You get the idea.

Now take your first step. Do something this minute to take back your life and your control by oxygenating your body. Stop what you are doing, sit down somewhere safe, close your eyes and start to draw a box with your breath. Breath in for four slow counts and draw an imaginary line in your head. Hold it for four breaths and draw the next side of your inner visualised box. Next breathe out for four counts and draw the third side then hold again for four counts and complete the square. Do this about 10 times and then open your eyes.

Anytime you feel that sense of overwhelm creeping back, say to yourself or out loud: “I’ve got this”. Then follow the OXYGEN steps again.