It’s summer! Does that mean it’s time for lots of fun in the sun or time to find a million ways to entertain your kids who are bouncing off the walls? Maybe it’s a bit of both? I have 5 steps to help you with your summer overwhelm!
Super Fun or Super Overwhelming?
Summer can be one of the best, most fun times of the year and it can also be one of the most overwhelming times. We hear a lot of talk about the slow, relaxing days of summer and that’s true to an extent, but when you have young kids, a job, and a life, summer can feel anything but slow.
Don’t get me wrong, I love summer. I love spending time with my kids, taking advantage of all the wonderful beaches and outdoor fun San Diego has to offer, heading to the pool, spending time with family, and traveling. But I also get pretty frustrated and overwhelmed by my kids’ incessant bickering and asking what we are going to do next. This summer my 4-year-old has decided the phrase, “I’m bored” is one of her new favorites. I have decided that this phrase is my least favorite.
Are You Practicing Balance?
Summer is a time for me to practice a lot of balance. In recent years, as a work-at-home mom, I keep my coaching business open over the summer, with limited childcare, while also making time for my family and all the fun that summer entails. Oh yeah, and what about a little time for me? At times that can feel quite overwhelming.
Can you relate? Is summer a fun, but overwhelming time of year for you too? Are you trying to balance work and play, summer camps, beach days, meetings, appointments, projects, etc? If so, you’re not alone!
Here are 5 Steps to Help you with Your Overwhelm During the Summer (Or at any Time of Year):
1. Acknowledge and accept your feelings.
As I always say, whenever you are experiencing any challenging feeling, it’s always important to stop and acknowledge the feeling you’re having. In this case, acknowledge the overwhelm, and also try to accept it. Overwhelm is normal and expected when you have a lot going on. Acknowledging and accepting your overwhelm is the first step to letting it go.
2. Determine where the overwhelm is coming from.
We feel overwhelmed when there is too much of something: too much to do, too many feelings, too many things to think about, too many people or things pulling us in too many directions… you get the idea! After you acknowledge that you are overwhelmed, ask yourself what’s causing the feeling. For me it’s often caused by the feeling that I have to give all the people and all the things all of my attention right now and I have to do it all perfectly. That’s a very overwhelming feeling!
3. Figure out the truth.
Once you know where the overwhelm is coming from, you might notice that you’re telling yourself a story that isn’t true. Like in my example from above, it might feel like I need to take care of everything all at once and I need to do it all perfectly, but that simply is not true. The truth is that some things can be set aside for now. The truth is that everything will be okay if I let go of perfection.
4. Ask yourself what you need.
This step can be challenging at first but it is so important. Once you know that you are overwhelmed, you know what’s causing your overwhelm, and you’ve been honest with yourself about it, it’s time to ask yourself what you need right now in this moment. Maybe you need to tackle a task and get it out of the way, maybe you need a break, or maybe stepping outside for a walk will help tame your overwhelm. There is no right or wrong answer here, just figure out what will give you a bit of space to breath and feel a bit more calm.
5. Take one small step.
Now that you know what you need, take one small step to help yourself. If you need a walk, take one. If you need to check something off your list, do it. One small step will usually lead you to one next step, and before you know it, you’ve calmed yourself down and you’re ready for the next thing.
If you’d like to hear me talk more about these 5 steps you can check out my video here.
A lot of times we feel overwhelmed when we have too many things on our plate and we don’t know what to tackle first. I teach my clients an exercise that they find quite helpful.
If you’d like to learn this quick and easy exercise that will help you figure out what’s most important to you right now, watch this video.
Overwhelm is real and it can be paralyzing sometimes. It’s helpful to remember that your feelings are normal and understandable. Feeling overwhelmed doesn’t have to turn your summer into a bummer. Try out the steps I’ve given you and see how you feel. I’d love to hear from you. Let me know how it goes!