Overwhelm attacks us all. It doesn’t discriminate, though it is usually kind enough to provide some warning of its arrival. Warning we often ignore.
We are only given three options when confronted with the beast:
Curl up in the fetal position, slam your door on the world, burst into tears, curse at every driver foolish enough to cross your path and toss out your dreams and goals, comforting yourself with the knowledge that they were unattainable, moronic, trite and irrelevant to begin with.
You won’t regret this choice until you suddenly discover you no longer recognize yourself or the world which has been created around you, bereft of what your fulfilled dreams and goals could have nurtured in it.
Ignore your wounds, your exhaustion and the blindness Overwhelm has manufactured. Tap into the extra reserve of energy in your belly, take a moment to assess the field and dive at the closest target (ie. task).
This approach will work until, one day, you discovered you resemble Monty Python’s Black Knight.
After all, until further notice, we humans are NOT equivalent to Energizer Bunnies.
Call for a tea break
Hell, it worked for the British. Granted, it only happened once – a cease fire was called in the trenches around tea time on Christmas Eve in 1914 – but, if soldiers in the middle of a world war can figure out that they need to take a break from insanity, I argue that there’s a lesson to be learned in it.
The lesson is that, even at the most fraught and treacherous of times, it is sometimes necessary to step OUT of the situation in which we find ourselves.
We must STOP everything within the sphere of Overwhelm and have a proverbial Earl Grey.
Sometimes our tea break can be as straight-forward as… an actual tea break. Or a nap. A walk around the block. A spontaneous visit to a swing set, or a movie theatre or a friend’s kitchen table.
Taking the tea break doesn’t mean you can’t next choose surrender or counter-attack.
It just allows you time to take a long, slow, deep breath…
And discover that you haven’t done that in a very long time…
Oh, and that, suddenly, you’re not so overwhelmed.
How do you deal with overwhelm? Let me know, in the comments below.
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