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Living without overwhelm

ease overwhelm Mar 24, 2024
it's not you - it's overwhelm

The opposite of overwhelm is ease

And by ease I mean:

  • clear head
  • relaxed body
  • gentle alertness
  • ability to focus
  • ability to prioritise
  • ability to switch from focused to laughter and dancing and relaxation
  • ability to sleep well
  • a feeling of spaciousness
  • a feeling of having time for yourself (without having to bargain for it or pay for it later or spend the whole time feeling guilty and distracted by all the things you should be doing instead)

Want some more of these in your life?

Here are 30 things you can quit judging yourself for and trying to solve:

  1. Your struggle to think straight

  2. Your frustration with never getting around to doing the things you really want to do

  3. The aches and pains in your body even though you’ve hardly moved it today

  4. You’re stuck in your head overthinking everything

  5. You’re overwhelmed by ‘shoulds’ and ‘oughts’

  6. You’ve been rehearsing the same conversation for days (or nights)

  7. You’re awake at 4 am being through-bombed by fake emergencies

  8. You know your life is great and that you should feel grateful but it doesn’t feel that way to you

  9. You put on a suit of armour to get through your day in the belief that you just need to toughen up

  10. You spend a lot of your time and energy coping with your life

  11. You push your poor brain to focus until it hurts - like it’s bruised

  12. You’re exhausted but can’t switch off

  13. You think there’s something wrong with you and compare yourself to others who seem to cope better and enjoy their life more than you

  14. You think you want too much and that if you could downsize your dreams you wouldn't feel overwhelmed

  15. Your day is focused on getting through your whack-a-mole to-do list

  16. You have an invisible and never-ending Get Better At List

  17. You’re stuck in Self Development Hell

  18. You’re clinging to the belief that when you achieve this next thing all your stress will magically disappear

  19. You believe that if only you were more organised everything would be magically ok

  20. You move so fast through your day that you bump into things and are surprised by how many bruises you have!

  21. You have inconvenient tear-leakage that takes you by surprise and threatens your hard-worked-for professional position

  22. You can’t hear your partner through the noise in your head

  23. You seem to have forgotten how to have fun

  24. You get stuck in cycles of procrastination even though you have no time

  25. When you get time to yourself you don’t know what to do with it

  26. You feel guilty for taking time off and spend the whole time thinking about all the things you should be doing

  27. You’re always waiting for a calmer time so you can do that thing and feel that way but it never happens, not really, or when it does you long for it to be longer or miss it because your mind is travelling through space and time faster than you can get it to stay with you in the calmer time and better feeling.

  28. You’ve created a life that is just really hard work to hold together

  29. You’ve created a life you don’t feel at home in

  30. This is not the life you intended to create

Plus, if you received, read and acted on last week’s Gently Rebellious Read, all the things you noticed overwhelm is causing in your life.

None of these are character flaws or signs of weakness.

They’re all signs and symptoms of chronic overwhelm.

It’s not you - it’s overwhelm. 

Dealing with the overwhelm is the fastest and most effective way to get more ease in your life.


1. Develop self-awareness.

Notice the signs and symptoms of overwhelm - which ones resonate with you the most? Use the overwhelm as valuable information to get to know yourself better. Notice what’s working for you and what isn’t. Things change all the time - become aware of where you are and what you’re up to in this season of your life.

2. Practice self-acceptance. 

Notice what’s going on for you NEUTRALLY - drop the self-judgement. Be on your own side. Drop the ‘shoulds’, ‘oughts’ and ‘musts’. Watch your negative self-talk - is it helpful? Really? Would you talk to someone else that way? 

3.  Develop love for yourself. 

Self-love matters. People who know and like themselves, who can advocate for themselves and who take good care of themselves are easier and nicer to be around. 

Notice I put the words ‘develop’ and ‘practice’ in front of those three steps. This is important - none of this is necessarily easy. Moving out of the normal way of doing things goes against the grain, against habits of a lifetime. Were you taught that self-awareness, self-acceptance and self-love matter? Were you taught how to practise and develop them?

I certainly wasn’t. I thought self-love was narcissistic and didn’t really understand until my 50s the importance of looking after myself properly.

If you want more than the normal push through overwhelm and exhaustion, skidding into every weekend as if you’ve won a survival game, you’re going to have to learn some new skills.

But before we slide into Self Development Hell by adding ‘learn more about self-awareness, practice mindfulness, get up at 5 am to meditate, practise self-acceptance, love myself better, exercise more, eat better, sleep better…’ to your to-do list and invisible Get Better At List - let's pause for a moment.

HOW you move through your day is more important than what you do.

How you shift from The Old Way matters.

So let’s do it in a Gently Rebellious Way.

Let’s make it into an adventure.

Because there's nothing wrong with you.

The overwhelm and exhaustion are just helpful course corrections for getting to know yourself better.

How can you use them in them to create more ease in your life in the most enjoyable way possible?

Well, I gave you a list of 30 things you can stop doing at the beginning of this newsletter. That might be a good place to start - with some NOT doing instead of more doing.

Letting go of the old overwhelm and exhaustion and letting more of that list of ease at the top of the page, is an ALLOWING, a shift in perspective and attention, more than a doing.

What can you let go of today?

If you’d like a really nice way to allow more ease into your life, check out my Overwhelm to Ease audio course. It goes deeper into this topic in the most effortless way possible by listening to soothing and perspective-shifting audios for a few minutes every day for one week. It’s available at a reduced price of £97 £37/$127 $47 for a limited time. You can learn more here.

Wishing you more ease so you can move through your world creating ripples of ease for everyone.



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