REVIEW: How To Overcome Overwhelm

Stress is an inescapable and necessary component of life. If we were to live without stress we would fail to grow, learn and thrive. But what are we supposed to do when we get overwhelmed and our level of functioning deteriorates?


Review by Georga Cottle

What do you do when you are feeling overwhelmed? I tend to write lists. I look at them, I tick one or two things off, and then I will sit and browse £2m houses on Rightmove.

I will then procrastinate further until my chest feels tight and I feel paralysed, therefore making my anxiety levels increase and my productivity levels void. 

Last week I attended an Overcome Overwhelm workshop hosted by Action Woman for advice and tips on how to create focus, reduce distractions, and change our mindset to take control. 

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The five woman there all shared common ground. We were all Mothers trying to keep everything together- we were playing domestic goddess at home (some more so than others!), Mary Poppins with our own children, and Deborah Meadon in business, all whilst trying to maintain a social life for our own sanity.

We all get distracted (did you know that it can take 25 minutes to refocus on a task after getting distracted?), and we all try to multitask, but research has actually shown that multitasking is as effective as smoking cannabis. During our workshop with the fabulous Action Woman we discussed our perception of stress and how we can change our views to create a positive mindset: Stressed vs. Busy? Overwhelming Vs. Challenging? I don’t have time Vs. It is not a priority this week?

We all spend too much time living in crisis mode by spending too much focus on ‘important and urgent’ things on our never ending to-do lists, but if we if we spend over 30% in this firefighting quadrant you can feel a lack of control which will have an impact on your adrenal glands.

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Get it out of your head

To do lists can actually work against you. Post it notes can be moved as your priorities change. Weekly spider diagrams also help.

Don’t start the day with emails

By starting the day with emails you are setting up the day for an email conversation. Remember… replying within 24-48 hours is standard.

Define most important task and priorities that

The first two hours of the day is when you are most productive so start with your most important task.

Environment is everything

Create a workspace that you feel motivated in and engage the senses - auditory and olfactory cues can be helpful

Lighten up

When things go wrong, don’t go with them, learn to learn to accept certain situations for what they are. You never know, you may even see the funny side!

If we can understand how to change our mindset to minimise stress (will the world actually explode if you don’t put away the laundry by school pick up?) we can focus on incorporating more rich, productive time in to our lives. Action Woman helps you achieve this balance by helping define what is ‘urgent’ and creating realistic action plans which are sustainable to suit your requirements.

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Remember, stress is a choice and sometimes we need a little help remembering that. Those £2million houses can wait.

You can book on to the next workshop here

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To get some perspective, book your session with Action Woman (Gold Members get 10% discount)