Feeling Overwhelmed? You know what to do.

feeling overwhelmed emily ehlers

Have you been feeling overwhelmed lately?

Me too. Well that is, until today.

This morning, as I was clearing my inbox, I came across a newsletter from Nikki Elledge Brown who is an amazing writer that gives super useful advice that makes running a business feel nicer. This morning was no different.

She wrote something that felt like a slap across the face, but in a good way. Like being slapped by bag of kittens. That would feel soft, fuzzy and cute right? Moving right along.

She wrote;

Sometimes I follow this advice.
Sometimes I don’t.
On days that I DO I go to bed feeling on (pillow)top of the world.
On days that I DON’T, I go to bed feeling disappointed + behind.

What she was writing about is irrelevant (it was to-do lists by the way) because this scenario applies to every single good habit we have, task we do and choice we make.

How many things can you think of like that? Things that you know make you feel better every time, even if they feel hard at the time. Shall I list a few?

  • Going to bed early.
  • Not having that glass of wine. Or the second one. Or the third.
  • Exercising.
  • Staying on top of your inbox.
  • Affirmations, meditation or whatever positive psychology jives with you.
  • Not spending your precious time toggling on social media.
  • Reading vs. TV.
  • Not having the salted caramel churro that is filled with salted caramel and comes with a side of salted caramel sauce and looks like heaven but feels like hell.

When it comes to feeling good, we all know exactly what it is we need and exactly what we don’t. We can choose to, either, reap the benefits or tantrum the inevitable.

It really isn’t that hard. You know what to do.

It can be tempting to shirk our responsibilities, to ask for advice and to search for answers on Dr Google. We type “feeling overwhelmed how the hell do I cope with eep urgh blah $(#^%)” into google and wait with baited fingertips for the answer. Then the answer pops up and you go ‘UGH! Meditate again. LAME“.

Or you ask your friend, who knows you better than yourself at times, and she gives you the obvious answer “you need to take some time out. Have you had a bath? I have some Epsom salts!”. And you roll your eyes.

Whether you eye-roll, or grumble, or make excuses or try to ignore it, we all know that the antithesis of feeling overwhelmed is filling your well. Stepping back. Asking for help. Sending an email asking for more time. Getting what it is you need.

You know what you need to do.

Back to me. Even though I literally just written a book on mindfulness and stress management I have been feeling overwhelmed this year. It’s been a year full of the crazy ups and downs that make up this tapestry called life.

I used this clusterfuck of shitfulness (as Sarah Wilson so eloquently puts it) as an excuse to let habits slip. Because when times get tough, things are crazy, right? When things go wrong it’s okay to eat takeout and stop exercising and let routine slip. Isn’t it? When people are sad they drink, don’t they?

Well, yes, maybe occasionally (we all have weak moments) but here’s the truth we all know – when you look after yourself better you are better able to look after yourself.

When you maintain your self-care you are more productive, have more clarity and are more likely to stay on top of your shit.

It just takes a choice.

That’s why today didn’t look like sitting at my desk endlessly, drinking too much coffee, getting all up in my head, not going outside and not overfilling my to-do list.

Instead it looks like an early start, long walks between clients accompanied by long chats with a bestie, green tea by the bucket, coffee by the thimble, baths with Epsom salts, a visit to the beach and salmon with kale for lunch. 

And you know, I feel better.

So if you are feeling overwhelmed I want you to take a moment. Close your eyes. Clear the decks. Ask yourself “what will make me feel better“. Then go and do it. Whether you need to call in a babysitting favour or just take a few deep breaths.

Whatever it is I guarantee you will come back to your desk/home/family more equipped to deal with it than before.

You know what to do. 


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