Overwhelmed? Me too. Here’s what to do about it…


It’s a tough place to be, to be completely overcome with emotion, feeling like there’s no escape, no way out, no respite from the frustration, fear, sadness and anxiety. Submerged in despair.

We have all been overwhelmed at times. We all know the crushing feeling and how it can take our breath away. When life is normal, (aka pre-COVID) we bounce between our emotions with relative control. Some days we are up, others we are a little more down. But for the most part, we understand cause and effect, and know what we need to do to improve our mindset.

A few months ago that was the norm, yet in lockdown, the rule book has been thrown out the window, at least for the most part. Most of us have had to learn, and are still learning new coping mechanisms to help us continue moving forward, and eventually thrive in this new normal.

There’s certainly no one size fits all approach to overwhelm, however I have four strategies which I think anyone can utilise and adapt to their situation. To help them feel, and do better when things get tough.

Overwhelm stems from a lack of control. To be completely transparent, there are more uncontrollables in your world than you could possibly count in your lifetime. The weather, acts of God, the place you’re born, the culinary habits within the markets of Wuhan, how other people respond to the things you do just to name a few.

When we begin to bring focus to that which is within our locus of control, we shift our mentality from that of a victim to that of a winner. We open the door to become the hero in our own story.

To quote Victor Frankyl (as I often do)

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

These four strategies allow you to develop the capacity to choose your own way. You won’t always make the right choice, but it’s better to have the tools in your toolbox than to try and use a hammer to fix everything.

  1. Awareness:

    Know thyself. A simple yet powerful life tool. Pay attention to how you feel, react and respond to the world around you. Write about it, think through it and learn to understand your worldview from a plethora of angles.

    Awareness Activities: Journalling, Meditation, Quiet time, Conversation.

  2. Perspective:

    Empathy is a superpower. When we take the helicopter view of our life, we begin to realise how much is happening outside of our perspective. We are but one of 7 or so billion humans, and we all suffer. It helps to know that. Lending a hand, or an ear to your fellow humans will help to uncover how meaningless and small our problems really are in the scheme of things.

    Perspective Activities: Articulate your personal story: birth-now-death. Daily gratitude. World Travel. Reading. Conversation.

  3. Intention:

    Two feet in. Whatever you do, do it 100%. It’s impossible to chase two chickens at once, and if you try, you’ll lose both of them. Whatever you’re doing whether it be reading this blog or making sweet, sweet love, do it with everything you have.

    Intention Activities: Schedule time, Journalling, Projects, Deadlines, Articulate Intention.

  4. Vulnerability

    Courage personified. When you commit to opening yourself up, to being vulnerable to yourself and those around you, your capacity for everything is increased. It’s not easy, in fact, it’s one of the hardest things to do, but being vulnerable in the face of danger is the epitome of owning your world. And those around you will love you for it. Vulnerability leads to overwhelming kindness and connection. Read this to understand why.

    Vulnerability Activities: Conversation, Writing, Commitment, Cold Showers & honest open communication.

Overwhelm is inevitable, but you have a choice in how you deal with it when it comes knocking. Embrace the fear that comes with a lack of control, face the fear and do it anyway. We are all afraid in our own way. Take control of your mindset and you’ll feel safer than ever.

Wherever you are, be the soul of that place.