How do you deal with the big ‘O’?

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The Big O, overwhelm

So last week we started talking about the big O.

…no not that one.

Overwhelm.

We all experience it from time to time and the challenge that so many women face is how do we face overwhelm, and still stay in our feminine?

Last week I started sharing my top 10 ways to deal with overwhelm in a feminine way, and so this week I get to share the final 6 with you…and I promise you they’re worth the wait!

5. Break it down, or build it up – Sometimes we can get caught up in the details.  We look at all of the hundreds of steps that it will take to get us from here to where we’re aiming at and it all seems a bit much…it’s no wonder we enter overwhelm! Likewise there are other times when we have one big task ahead of us, but it seems so huge that we’ve no idea where to begin.  So when you’re thinking about your desires for 2013, it’s worth making sure that you’re looking at it in manageable chunks.  It can be easier to group the little steps into bigger chunks that are less overwhelming to consider…and this can also make it easier to remember what the next step is along the way.  I always remember a task we did in primary school to name all of the steps it took to make a cup of tea.

It’s much easier to think in terms of ‘Boil the kettle’, ‘warm the pot’, ‘brew the tea’ and ‘pour the tea’, than to focus on each little teeny tiny step along the way.  If you look at ‘Boil the kettle’ that alone consists of at least 8 steps…‘lift kettle’, ‘move to sink’, ‘put kettle under tap’, ‘turn tap on’, ‘when kettle is filled, turn tap off’, ‘put kettle back on base’, ‘turn kettle on’.  If we were thinking of the whole process of making a cup of tea in terms of all of the little steps, we’d feel a sense of overwhelm and total exhaustion before we even got up off the sofa!

Likewise, if we have a goal that seems very large (and doesn’t have any little steps) that can be just as challenging.   For example, if you thought simply of the goal “I want to be a better Mum”, but there aren’t any steps to it, it can be easy not to know where to start…and the threat of overwhelm looms.  But if you were to create some smaller chunks to that goal, for example ‘setting aside 20 minutes every day to talk to my children’, ‘having a family day out once a month’ and ‘finding out what are the 3 most important things to my children at the moment’…those smaller steps make the larger goal seem easier to deal with.

So if you’re beginning to feel a sense of overwhelm over something, see if you can make the chunks more manageable.

6. Surrender – Surrender has a bad rap.  These days it is synonymous with giving up, losing or weakness…when in reality it is about letting go.  Understanding that sometimes things don’t work out the way we plan or expect…and that’s OK.  So when you’re feeling overwhelm, remind yourself that you are perfectly imperfect…let go of the illusion of control and just allow things to happen.  When we hang onto our need for control, we hold tension in our bodies and we hold onto the masculine.  When we can surrender, we allow ourselves to relax and the feminine to flow.

7. Be kind to yourself and look after yourself – Are you expecting too much of yourself?  As I reminded you a few months back…remember you are human too!  I invite you to be like the human heart.  Most people believe that the first place the heart pumps blood to is the brain, when in actual fact it first pumps it to itself.  It knows that it can’t give out what it doesn’t have itself….the same is true of you.  In order to continue to give to others, you first need to give to yourself.  So when feeling a sense of overwhelm, I encourage you to remember the four Rs – Rest, Relax, Recharge and Reward!  Ensure you have enough rest so that you have the energy for what you want to do.  Take time for you to relax and recharge your batteries…even if it’s only 15 minutes here or there.  And finally remember to reward yourself when you’ve done something well! Acknowledging what you have done already will encourage you to keep moving forward and will make you feel great in the process!

8. Smile – I know it sounds so simple, but remember to keep smiling, because it is more powerful that you probably realise. When you smile it sends a chemical message known as an endorphin throughout your whole body. Endorphins are a ‘feel good’ chemical which can spread happy feelings from the top of your head to the tips of your toes. Although most people have heard of endorphins, they don’t know just how strong they are. They have the ability to reduce physical pain and emotional pain and will fill you up with lovely warm fuzzy feelings! They have approximately the same strength as another well known chemical called morphine (yes, really!)…all that feel good power just from a simple smile! These fantastic fuzzy feelings will help you to stay open and in touch with your positive emotions, keeping you feeling fabulously feminine as well. So if you feel that overwhelm might be on the horizon, remember to keep a smile on your face…and you’re in for an instant feel good boost (no alcohol required!)

9. Be present in the moment – Keep yourself in the now.  Often, our anxiety comes from looking backwards or forwards.  We are either worrying about something that has (or hasn’t) happened in the past, or are concerned about something that might (or might not) happen in the future.  It’s no wonder we feel a bit of overwhelm when we’re focusinon past, present and future all at once! By keeping yourself in the present moment, you allow yourself to focus on what you are doing right here and now, and this is the moment where you have the ability to do something that will affect what you want in the future!  To keep plugged into the present moment one of the easiest ways I know is to do something that will stimulate your senses…light a scented candle or some incense, put on a snuggly jumper or a silk scarf, or play some music that would make you feel really great in this moment (rather than a piece that reminds you of another moment in time).  When you connect into your senses, you get out of your head and into your body…and that’s the key to staying in the present in a beautifully feminine way.

10. Breathe again – …and again, and again…I know I’ve already mentioned this, but it’s so important to not only remember to breathe once, but to keep breathing through it.  By breathing you will encourage your body to relax, tension to release, you will feel more feminine, centred and able to cope with whatever is ahead.  You will allow the overwhelm to slowly melt away and feel in a much better state of mind to deal with everything at hand.

The great news about these top ten ways to deal with overwhelm in a feminine way, is that they are actually great to use even when you’re not feeling a sense of overwhelm!  They will help you remain centred and in feminine flow in any situation, and will actually help you to avoid going into a state of overwhelm.

So I encourage you give one or two of them a go this week, whether you’re feeling a sense of overwhelm, want to help prevent those feelings from coming up or just want to stay more centred and in flow.

…and I’d love for you to share your stories of how these suggestions keep you feeling feminine, no matter what comes your way…

Stay Fabulous!

Claire x

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