Written by Tracy Sherriff

Today is a day when I feel like things are out of control.

I’m overwhelmed.

I know exactly when this is happening.

I get butterflies in my stomach, tense muscles, swirling thoughts, a headache (or brain ache as I like to call it), and often I have a fear of impending doom.

Not the kind of doom like the world is going to crash down.

Fortunately, I still have enough rational thought to know that’s an unrealistic thought.

I’m referring to the kind of doom that something that needs to be done will be forgotten. I will let someone down, or ruin the perception others have of me that I have it all together.

This all becomes compounded by anxiety. My anxiety is triggered by my need to regain control, solve the problem, and make this icky feeling go away.

It can be overpowering. It wakes me up at night. Can you relate at all?

So this morning I took the necessary step of figuring out where this overwhelm was coming from.

It wasn’t hard to pinpoint. It’s the same thing I was dealing with the last time I was overwhelmed.

You would think I would be able to figure it out, wouldn’t you?

But instead…

I’m overscheduling myself. Recently I made a lot of commitments to other people but have neglected to protect my time so that I could make a commitment to myself.

I’m not deleting things from my inbox. I have over 10,000 messages in my inbox. Most of them are unimportant.

I’m not using the systems I have put in place for myself. I have a couple of tools I like to use to keep my to-do’s in order (One being Trello. Highly recommend), and have gotten out of the habit of using them.

I’m not setting any boundaries for myself and for others. Instead, I have fallen back into the “yes, sure” mode, and not the “yes, maybe” or “not at this time” mode. This comes from a place of fear. Fear of disappointing others. Fear of missing opportunities. Sound familiar?

I’m not practicing self-care and listening to my body. I have totally dropped my eating plan and have started craving sugar and coffee at a phenomenal rate. After cutting both of these things out of my diet for a few months, it’s even more obvious to me how detrimental this is to my health and well-being, yet the stress in my life is making it even harder to ditch this time.

Now the solutions are simple. To solve all these problems, I need to take a deep breath, prioritize my action items, and take simple actions to regain control of the overwhelm.

I know what I need to do. But simple still feels hard.

So today I will release my overwhelm one step at a time.

I will commit to putting myself first, reapply some simple strategies such as replacing coffee with water, block time in my calendar for ‘me time, identify and establish my non-negotiable boundaries, empty my inbox, revisit my Trello board, and set limits on how many ‘yes’ answers I give when I am being asked to take on a new task this week.

Wish me luck!

P.S. I’d like to know how you know you’re overwhelmed. What strategies do you use to regain a sense of calm? Share in the comments below.

Tracy Sherriff is a Certified Director of Operations with post-graduate training in adult education. She helps coaches, consultants, and service providers scale their businesses with high-value, high-impact curriculum-based courses and online programs. She is the podcast host of Scale Your Course and the founder of Course Design School™ and the Plan to Profit™ Intensive.

If you’re interested in expanding your offerings with courses or programs, improving or refining the design or delivery of a course or program you already have, or becoming strategic about how you build, grow, and scale a business leveraging education-based products and offers that change lives, please reach out. You can email me at tracy@tracysherriff.com or book a Zoom call in my calendar.

Tracy contributes to the Wild About Wellness Community online where members passionate about holistic health and wellness come together to share information, educate and contribute for the purpose of learning and growing. You are invited to explore the site with a free 1-month membership. Get your 1-month free membership HERE.