It’s happened to all of us at some stage. When you feel totally overwhelmed by life. When you’re in too deep. There’s too much going on. You’re absolutely exhausted, running on almost empty – yet still, you keep pushing through.
Because you have to
This was me about a year and a half ago. Trying to have it all. Motherhood, a successful career as a blogger, whizzing between speaking at events, TV and radio, and deadlines.
Despite the fact that my health was clearly suffering, I pushed on through. Giving, giving, giving. Giving everything I had to give to everyone else. And leaving nothing for me.
Eventually I burned out and crashed, and as a result, because very unwell for the best part of a year. My life went on hold while I dragged my sorry self between medical appointments. Finally I was diagnosed with reactive hypoglycemia – an often debilitating condition and invisible illness where my blood sugar levels crash every 2-3 hours after eating. I felt as though I was trapped inside a nightmare.
This was the price I had paid for not taking care of myself
And it’s likely to be one that I’m left with for the rest of my life. If only I had taken better care of myself, not pushed myself so hard, and made more time for self care. If only I had been kinder to myself, slowed things down, and loved myself just as I had deserved as a mum to a young child and woman “trying to have it all”.
Through my experience I know just how painfully self love and self care is important for today’s modern day mum. As women we can be such people pleasers, and becoming a mum juggling a career puts a whole other level of burden on us. I have spoken to so many mums who are in the same position – on the brink of burnout. But what can we do when we feel overwhelmed by life?
Life IS fast paced
And perhaps we have to accept that and the constant juggle we’re embroiled in. But what we can do is at least make some time to fill up our cups. Ideally – that’s a little bit of something every day. But sometimes, we just need one big reset.
When I met Aliya Jasrai, founder of Hayya Health, we immediately knew that we wanted to create a space for women to reset and escape the stress and busyness of modern day life. Aliya had experienced her own version of overwhelm and burnout from her manic corporate life. It was a total meeting of minds.
Enter Self Love Sunday
And so, we gave birth to Self Love Sunday – which is now coming up to its second instalment. A glorious half day event where women can spend time on themselves, for themselves. To reconnect. To replenish. To rediscover. And to fill up their cups to help bolster them for their return to the never ending hamster wheel that is life.
In advance of the next instalment of Self Love Sunday on 13th October (see event details and booking here) I wanted to share some of my tips of how to take care of you when you’re feeling overwhelmed by life.
My tips for dealing with overwhelm
Meditation has been life changing for me. I now meditate every night before I go to bed. It helps to clear the decks before turning in for the night (making getting to sleep so much easier), and stops the crazy pinball machine pinging in your brain. You can start with one minute, or three. Anything is better than nothing.
Reconnect with nature
Do you know that some GPS are actually prescribing nature now? It’s a well known fact that we are not getting anywhere enough exposure to nature as we are designed to. Get out into your garden. Go for a walk in the park. And feel the overwhelm dissolve.
During times of overwhelm, yoga really can be your saviour. After operating at a million miles an hour all day, I really recommend spending time doing yoga after the littles are in bed. There are some amazing videos over at Yoga with Adrienne which are perfect for transitioning into the evening and her Wind Down Yoga video is just the ticket.
Get up a bit earlier
Starting the day on the back foot is a one way ticket to feeling overwhelmed. Think about it – you can either get up slowly before everyone else is up, have a shower in peace, get dressed calmly and be ready for the day ahead. Or you can be shaken awake, have a shower while people are shouting at you and throw on some clothes like a maniac. I think the difference speaks for itself if you want to have a calmer morning.
Never underestimate the power of calming breathing. The 4-7-8 breathing technique is nothing short of brilliant for calming your whole system down when you’re feeling overwhelmed. You can do it at any part of the day when you’re feeling a bit ARGHHHHH but it’s also a great thing to do before going to sleep too.
Beef up your nighttime routine
Most of us do not take nearly enough time to wind down as we should. But how can we expect all those neurons firing on all cylinders to calm down within a short space of time and then go to sleep. If you can try and spend longer winding down in the evening, do it. I switch my brain into evening mode around two hour’s before going to bed and it makes all the difference. Read my tips on creating a better bedtime routine here.
Whoever said multitasking was productive is a big fat liar. It doesn’t do our state of mind any good either, leaving us feeling frenzied. Instead, focus on one task at a time. To-do lists are your best friend here. Make one and just keep picking any one thing at a time to tackle!
Banish your phone
As if life wasn’t overwhelming enough already, now we have technology constantly pinging and clamouring for our attention about stuff that mostly doesn’t matter. Instead, only use your phone when you truly need to. And if you don’t need it – put it away in a drawer so it doesn’t distract you unnecessarily!
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and need a reset then firstly I want you to know – you are not alone! This is becoming such a common feeling. But the important thing is to listen to yourself, and give yourself room to breathe and reset. Weaving in some of the above tips I mentioned earlier will help. But for those who need a little more, join us at our next Self Love Sunday event on 13th October – more on that below:
About Self Love Sunday
The Autumn edition of Self Love Sunday is set to be a glorious half day urban retreat to escape the stress and busyness of life. Presented by Talya Stone of Motherhood: The Real Deal and Aliya Jasrai of Hayya Health, the afternoon has been especially curated to help you reconnect and replenish.
Experience two guided meditations, choose from seven unique workshops all designed to inspire you to fall in love with taking care of yourself this Autumn and beyond.
Sessions for the day include:
– A guided grounding meditation for transitioning into Autumn by Rowena Grace Healing
– Grounding yoga to keep you present by Yoga With Anna
– Self care tips for busy people by Hayya Health
– Exclusive hair styling and easy hair hacks for on the go by Hair by Hendricks
– Creating a capsule wardrobe for Autumn/Winter by Personal Stylist Natasha Edge
– Grounding yourself with Autumn essential oils with Dotty’s Oils
– Autumn skin care made easy by Ringana Partners
– A sensory food exploration and tasting by Breadren
– A closing guided meditation to help you relax and sleep better by Liz Findlay
You can also read Aliya’s overwhelm story here.