Are you overwhelmed? Many people feel overwhelmed and don’t like this time of year because they have too much to do. Well, I think there’s more to it than a supersized to-do list.

I believe that there are five causes for your overwhelm:

  1. you just have too much to do
  2. you’re doing things because you think you should
  3. you’re doing things because you think it will please someone else
  4. you’re afraid that you won’t get it all done
  5. you aren’t taking any time for you

Today, I’m going to focus on No. 5 – not making time for yourself.

At all times, but especially when things are stressful, you have to take some time for yourself and do the things that rejuvenate your soul and spirit. You must. Even your heart rests between beats.

The airplane metaphor for life: Put your own oxygen mask on first. How can you give to anyone else if your well is dry? Do you know what fills you and brings you joy?

Overwhelm is not a function of having a big to do list. Your overwhelm is your spirit begging to be heard, to be fed with what is meaningful to you. It’s your soul shouting at you “STOP! Pay attention to me and to your life. We matter.”

Could you actually leave the dishes undone for one night (I can hear the gasps of horror …) or let someone else do an imperfect job of the vacuuming (now people are fainting …) so that you could spend some time doing something for you? Something that would allow you to stop rushing ahead (to who knows where), to be calm, to connect with yourself, to treat yourself …

A leisurely bath, a long walk and talk with someone important to you, sitting and watching a sunset, taking a class, jumping out of an airplane, indulging in something just because. Whatever would fill your cup. Not just cramming your days with the obligations and responsibilities that consume so much of our lives.

When you look back on this time what will be important and cherished for you? Having a perfectly clean house or being present with the people you love? Feeling guilty about that piece of pie you ate or doing what makes your heart and soul sing a chorus so loudly that people turn and stare when you walk down the street?

This is it. This moment. Now this moment. Now this moment. These are some of the precious gifts that the universe has bestowed upon you. These moments, your spirit, your life and everyone and everything else that matters to you.

So add to the too-long list of things that you have to do this holiday season:

  • Feed my soul
  • Be present with the people I love

And, No. 4 – Your fear that you won’t get it all done? Guess what? Don’t be afraid. You’re right. You won’t get it all done. Ever. Whenever I tell my clients that they won’t ever get it all done, they laugh. And breathe a sigh of relief. It’s as though they have been given permission to stop trying to do it all.

If you like the power of tapping, here’s a link to a tapping sequence I created on dealing with overwhelm. I’m leaving this link active until December 28th to help you release some of your overwhelm. I hope you like it.

Click here to listen…

Anne Pustil, MEd, CCC,
President, Coaching In A Nutshell
Certified Therapist and Relationship Coach