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The One Powerful Secret to Overcome the Overwhelm

March 27, 2018
Overcome the overwhelm

Feeling overwhelmed as a mom is one of the worst feelings in the world. It can make you anxious, restless and frustrated. As the overwhelm mounts in one area of your life, it can overflow into other areas.

For instance, I will start to be overwhelmed when I look at my never-ending work at home to-do list.  Then while I’m trying to tackle that list, I notice how messy the house is getting and how much the laundry has piled up since yesterday. My organizational tendency starts sending off alarms and I try to tidy up and throw in a load of laundry so my frazzled mind can calm down.

I come back to the to-do list and it seems even longer and more daunting than before. I try to tackle it again and the baby spits up all over me. We have to go find a change of clothes and do more laundry. By this point, the older two girls have been left to their own devices for too long and they are spilling nail polish all over their hands, or coloring on the furniture. By late afternoon, this cycle of chaos has taken over and I feel just about DONE trying to be productive.

Does this sound familiar?

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No matter how hard you try to have a routine in place, or a plan for the day, things are just not always almost never going to work out perfectly with kids. Something inevitably happens every single day that throws the whole plan off its axle and you are left to pick up the pieces while doggedly trying to stay on track with your vision for the day.

You can try to reduce your activities, you can try to get ready to go out the door earlier, you can try making those to-do lists, you can try staying organized with planners and time blocking, but you still can’t control everything.

And don’t get me wrong, I still have those routines and habits and lists in place.  I use them the best I can but as hard as I try, I can not control what my kids do nor can I plan for the unexpected that often happens in a mom’s life.

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So what is the solution?

I’ve come to realize that the one powerful secret to overcoming the overwhelm is to CHOOSE TO NOT BE OVERWHELMED. That sounds ridiculous and too simple, right?

I thought so too but hear me out.

When you are dealing with situations that are out of your control and you have done everything in your power to keep on task and it still all falls apart, you have to make a choice. That is all you are left with.

You can either give into the frustration, break down crying, say that you can’t do it anymore, throw in the towel and/or wallow in a self-pity party (not saying I EVER do any of those things)……..OR you can choose to be cheerful and continue to do the best you can.

You can intentionally decide to have a positive perspective and a hopeful mindset.

At least that is what I’m trying to learn to do as a mom.

The question remains as to how do you do this? Speaking from personal experience, you can’t just flip a switch and suddenly not feel overwhelmed. It can be a heavy feeling that hangs over you like a grey storm cloud, swollen with unfallen rain, and you can’t just brush it off instantly.

You need tools to help you choose the right reaction to that overwhelmed emotion.  Here are some ideas that have worked for me when I’m feeling overwhelmed.

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Talk It Through

Talking about the emotions and frustrations swirling through your head can help to clear some of the overwhelm fog. Sometimes I’m not even sure why I’m overwhelmed until I start to unpack the layers through a conversation. My husband is amazing at helping me get to the bottom of my feelings and see situations through a more rational and positive lens.

Find someone you can trust, who you know will listen to you and can give you sound advice. That person might be your spouse, your mom or a close friend. Joining a Facebook community with other like-minded moms can be a place where you can share your struggles in a supportive environment and receive positive encouragement from multiple people at once.

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Write It Out

I’m a big believer in writing things out, which is one of the reasons I started this blog. You can write in any kind of journal or even just on loose leaf paper. Just sit down, take a few deep breaths,   and clear your mind by writing out all the things you are feeling and thinking in the midst of the overwhelm. You are sure to feel better afterwards.

I also find it very helpful to write in a prayer journal. I go sit in the silence of church and write about what I’m going through as a letter to God. Then I can go back over what I wrote and talk to Him about it. Speaking to God about your tough situations in prayer is always a great solution to finding peace in the overwhelm. He understands us better than we understand ourselves and He is always willing to listen and offer us His comfort.


“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” {Phillipians 4:6-7}.

Read Something Inspiring

Often, we just need to get out of our own heads and listen to a different voice. We can be our own worst enemy when we listen to the voices inside that tell us, “You’re not good enough,” “You can’t do this” or “This is more than you can handle”. When you are starting to listen to those lies, go read something to get you out of the discouraging funk.

Here are a couple of articles to get you started from one of my favorite mom bloggers, Sierra at Beautifully Candid.

That Time Momming Caught Up With Me

7 Goals Every Mom Should Have For Herself

You can also check out this book to help combat those voices in your head: Lies Moms Believe.

Put Systems in Place

My experience is that household systems and routines can be helpful to eliminate some of the overwhelm triggers. It doesn’t necessarily solve the problem completely but it can make your life much easier and contribute to a more organized and peaceful family life.

Some of the practical systems I use include weekly meal planning, decluttering and staying organized, and writing out my to-do list in this planner. As hard as it has been lately for me to get a lot of my tasks done, when I do finally check something big off my list, it is so satisfying. That is where the “Slay Your Goals Planner” comes in. I love the weekly to-do list pages that have little checkboxes for each completed task.

There is a whole collection of digital resources that can help you overcome the overwhelm in this parenting super bundle.

There are e-courses, printables and ebooks to help you perfect important elements of being a thriving mom and homemaker.

Here are some of the products that look the most helpful to me as a mom of three little ones:

The amazing thing is that this entire collection of 129 resources is only $47! But it’s only available for a limited time so make sure you check it out.

Take A Break From The Overwhelm

Sometimes taking a break from our current environment, is one of the best things for our sanity. Being able to step away from the mess or the project or the noise that is the most overwhelming can bring so much perspective and can, in a sense, emotionally free you. As moms, this is why self-care and mom timeouts are so important.  Join a mom’s group, attend a retreat, take a walk, go shopping for new clothes, grab coffee with a friend, go on a date with your husband, or engage in your favorite hobby. I’ve noticed that when I make time to recharge and get away from the chaos for a little while, I’m a much calmer, happier mom.

Find what works to equip you to deal with the overwhelm. So that when the storm is brewing on your doorstep you are ready to face it head-on with a hopeful perspective and a calm reaction. Do not let the overwhelm beat you, CHOOSE to do battle against it and remember that you are one awesome mama.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” Philippians 4:8.

 

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