When we have too many demands it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, which can make it harder to function. Work, personal and family needs can lead to an ever-growing to-do list that can feel like trying to dig out of a hole that keeps getting deeper. The brain can react to overwhelm with fear, of scarcity of time, energy, or resources. It may also be felt as a threat of failing, disappointing others, and feeling like we are not doing enough.
Effects of overwhelm can range from forgetfulness, confusion, difficulty concentrating, or thinking logically to a racing mind with an inability to problem solve. When responsibilities are piling up, instead of succumbing to overload, try these key strategies to manage the feelings:
Ground yourself with your senses in the present moment using the 5-4-3-2-1 technique:
5 - Look around and name five things you can see.
4 - Listen and name four things you can hear.
3 - Notice 3 things you can touch.
2 - Breathe in and recognize two smells.
1 - Name something you can taste, like a sip of cold water.
Prioritize by moving everything that should be done down the list and stick to the things that need to get done now.
Do one thing at a time. Stop multitasking.