Step by step guide to reduce overwhelm in the workplace
We’ve all been there....The e-mails keeping pinging in, the to-do list becomes a whole notebook, people need deadlines met, and you just don’t know where to start!
Getting overwhelmed in busy and demanding working environments is a very common problem, and one which can be easily resolved when working with a coaching qualified therapist. No matter how impossible or Herculean your tasks may seem.
If you are tackling this issue without a practitioner, here are some useful and practical tips you can take to get a new perspective and restore clarity to take action.
- Switch off your computer and your phone, at least for an hour or two, to allow yourself time to refocus and take a step back.
- Review your boundaries and say no. Practice saying no or giving realistic time-scales to ease the sense of time pressure and give yourself some space to think. Autopilot ‘people pleasing’ creates unnecessary stress, but is a habit that can be easily changed.
- Cancel and reschedule. Have your diary working for you, not against you.
- Take action. With you head in a better space, pull out what needs attention right now and commit to doing it. Having your list and your head free of these points will ease that previous sense of pressure even further.
- Brain rehearse. Get you and your brain into ‘useful’ states, remember and re-live times when you were calm, resourceful, tenacious, got great feedback. Review all your successes and strengths. Do this regularly! Your brain doesn’t know the difference in you ‘imagining and remembering’ or actually doing, it complies by activating powerful neurological pathways in your brain which help you get into the right state of mind for the job.
- Set realistic goals. Connect with your exciting future and progression by setting long term goals, with actions which can be ‘chunked down’ into small achievable steps. Be realistic about what is involved and how long things take to avoid over committing with a fear of under delivering.
- Plan something fun or relaxing. Nothing to do with work, something for you or the family that will bring you joy and have you absorbed in the moment, or relaxed and calm.
- Breathe! I mean really breathe...If you get into a routine of practising ‘paced breathing’ at regular intervals throughout the day (preferably away from your desk), just a few minutes of deep slow breathing, with the out breath a couple of counts longer than the in-breath, as if my magic your vagus nerve will respond by putting your body into a mini ‘relaxation response’ the physiological antidote to the ‘stress response’. The focus and attention also acts like a mini meditation practice, and has you in the present moment, focused on your body, rather than up in your head focused on thoughts.
- Remember we ‘create’ stress. Aside from getting us out of the way of real threat and danger (which let’s face it is very rare in day to day life! we actually create our stress by our thoughts, and then or thoughts trigger the sympathetic nervous system to respond to ‘imagined’ threat, in same way as if we were escaping a wild lion. So, we can create some space, and we do have a choice in how we respond to ‘stressors’.
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