Judith's Jottings » Blog Home Page
How can you break the cycle of overwhelm? - 21st June 2019
It's no secret that I have experienced chronic anxiety and Adrenal Exhaustion. Both were overwhelm inducing and yet also, strangely, a product of overwhelm. It was only when I was at my worst with Adrenal Exhaustion (similar to Chronic Fatigue), that I began to understand the vicious circle of overwhelm that is the experience of many of my clients.
I began to consider, how might it be possible to step away from this draining experience?
The big "aha" moment for me came in 2015 when I was totally overwhelmed by ill-health and was scarcely able to do anything requiring clear thought or physical energy. I remembered how many clients had told me they were overwhelmed by clutter. In that moment I understood that my own situation was one of overwhelm in every sense.
Suddenly, this thought, what if clients were already in a state of overwhelm and that caused clutter to accumulate? It felt like a truth. When I considered individuals I had worked with I remembered that they had experienced divorce, separation, bereavement, illness and so on. Even more 'positive' life changes can sometimes feel overwhelming, like a house move, for instance, or an adult child leaving home.
When a person is fire-fighting their overwhelm on all fronts it is likely that the part of their brain that might manage their possessions and level of clutter is disengaged. Too much else is going on! It's easy then to appreciate that overwhelm can lead to clutter. The thing is, that clutter is in itself overwhelming! Hence, people can find themselves in an overwhelm-clutter-overwhelm-clutter downward spiral.
Actions you can take
Firstly consider what it is that has overwhelmed you in the first place. Mine was rooted in my upbringing I realised. All other overwhelm could be traced back to my early years. I decided I needed some counselling. This proved to be hugely beneficial. I soon noticed I felt differently about myself and was reacting to things much more calmly. If you choose this route, make sure you find the right counsellor for you.
You may not want to consider the source of your overwhelm. Instead you might want to take up relaxing practices that will ease these feelings. I can recommend yoga, especially yoga nidra which can be found online as a free resource. Meditation has also helped me a lot. You can probably find a class near you, or you could get a book from your local library and try it out. Making time to meditate on a daily basis helps me feel more grounded and more calm. Give it a go!
Other than that, getting out in nature is hugely beneficial. A short walk every day where you can see trees and flowers and listen to the birds is a real tonic. Do as many of these as possible and add in your own. What do you enjoy doing that takes you away from those feelings of overwhelm?
How I can help
An alternative or additional approach is to deal with your clutter. I know from experience that this is a way of taking "the back road" to dismantling your overwhelm. Since clutter has accumulated as a result of initial overwhelm you will find that many items are connected to this experience - hence they are keeping you stuck.
My services these days are holistic. In other words, my main focus is on helping you feel better. Practical decluttering is very much a part of this process, but I now combine it with a more emotional approach. Parting with key items will facilitate your internal decluttering. In other words, you will have less overwhelm.
Letting go of possessions is inextricably connected with the release of emotion. I find this quite exciting, as the potential is there for clients to feel so much better. Do contact me if you would like to know more about how I work. I have a variety of offerings, one is bound to suit you.
Keywords: overwhelm, anxiety