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getting out from overwhelm

Overwhelm Relief: How to Reclaim Your Time

Feeling overwhelmed is a common complaint, especially for women over 50 who often juggle an unending list of responsibilities. Even with the best attempts to limit the chaos, urgent needs from others can become our own, leaving little to no time for basic self-care, let alone meditation or exercise. If this sounds familiar, here are actionable steps to help you manage your schedule, reduce overwhelm, and reclaim your time.

1. Prioritize Your Tasks Ruthlessly

Start each day by identifying the tasks that must be completed and those that can wait. Remember, not everything that feels urgent is truly critical. It’s essential to differentiate between what truly requires your attention and what can be postponed, delegated, or eliminated.

2. Learn to Delegate More

Delegation is not just a workplace strategy; it applies to personal life too. Whether it’s asking family members to take over certain chores or outsourcing tasks that don’t necessarily need your personal touch, freeing up your schedule can provide much-needed relief from the constant state of overwhelm.

3. Set Clear Boundaries

It’s crucial to set and communicate your boundaries to those around you. If you’re taking on tasks because they’re urgent for others, it’s time to have honest conversations about what you can realistically manage. Yes, it might feel uncomfortable at first, but setting these boundaries is key to protecting your time and well-being.

4. Incorporate Micro Moments of Self-Care

While finding time for extended self-care might seem impossible, integrating micro-moments can make a significant difference. This could be as simple as taking three deep breaths, stepping outside for a 5 minute stroll, or enjoying a five-minute cup of tea or smoothie without distractions. These small acts of self-kindness can collectively work to lower your stress levels.

5. Schedule Your ‘Me Time’

Treat your self-care time with the same importance as you would a doctor’s appointment. Whether it’s 15 minutes to stretch, lift a few weights, practice meditation, or simply sit in silence, make sure it’s non-negotiable and scheduled (written) in your calendar. Over time, this practice will reinforce the importance of caring for your well-being amidst a busy schedule.

6. Adopt a Mindfulness Practice

You might feel like you don’t have time to meditate, but mindfulness doesn’t always mean sitting in silence for an hour. Start with short, guided meditations or mindfulness exercises that you can do in five to ten minutes. These practices can help calm your mind and provide clarity amidst chaos.

7. Seek Support

You’re not alone in feeling overwhelmed. Sometimes, talking through your feelings and experiences can provide immense relief. Whether it’s with a trusted friend, family member, or a professional, sharing your burden can lighten your load significantly.

8. Say No With Conviction

Saying no is a skill that becomes more powerful with practice. When new commitments vie for your time, evaluate them against your current priorities, and don’t be afraid to decline. Saying no to others often means saying yes to your well-being.

9. Reassess Regularly

Life is constantly changing, and so are our priorities and capabilities. Regularly take stock of your commitments, reassessing what’s truly important to you and what might be taking more of your time and energy than it’s worth.

10. Find Your Easiest ‘No’

Identify activities or requests that drain you the most and say no there. Finding the easiest ‘no’ can be empowering and serve as a stepping stone to setting more significant boundaries in the future.

Start prioritizing your well-being over the endless cycle of tasks and responsibilities. By implementing just a few of these strategies, you can begin to find more balance in your day-to-day life.