Streamlined CEO

Overcoming Overwhelm: Strategies for Regaining Control and Preventing Burnout

October 03, 2023 Karalee Gault Episode 20
Streamlined CEO
Overcoming Overwhelm: Strategies for Regaining Control and Preventing Burnout
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Have you ever felt paralyzed by the sheer amount of tasks in front of you, or felt your mind spinning in circles as it processes everything you have to do but somehow can't get started? That, my friend, is the state of overwhelm, and it's a beast we all grapple with. In today's riveting discussion, we're peeling back the layers of this daunting phenomena, examining its various forms and the triggers that set it off. We'll be confronting the obstacles that tech, time, and money often present, and breaking down our mindset, instant gratification desires, fear of being salesy, and our habit to overthink - all factors contributing to the overwhelming sensation. 

We're not just identifying the problem, though. We're providing viable solutions to help you regain control and find footing on solid ground again. Later in our chat, we shift gears to understand and manage overwhelm, sharing ways to catch early signs and harness simple tools like deep breaths, meditation apps, and to-do list pads. We delve into the cathartic power of journaling as a way to process overwhelm. For the neurodivergent entrepreneurs among us, we've got insightful advice and handy resources on managing overwhelm while navigating the sea of entrepreneurship. By the time we wrap up, you'll have a toolbox full of strategies to identify and manage overwhelm, and even prevent it from spiralling into burnout. So, let's lock overwhelm in a box and throw away the key, together!


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Karalee:

Hello, hello, amazing human. Welcome back to neurodivergent bites. I am your Karalee, and today we are going to be talking about overwhelm. We're going to be talking about what overwhelm is and then my personal tried and true strategy as to how to get out of overwhelm quick.

Karalee:

So what is overwhelm? Overwhelm is your body's way of saying there's too much going on and is forcing a stop. This can come in many different shapes and form. This can be you sabotaging something unintentionally. This could be you getting ill. This could be just someone, like every little thing agitating you. This could become in the form of a massive headache or migraine.

Karalee:

There are so many things that, when your body is just saying we need to stop, there's so many things that can happen. Now, as an entrepreneur and as just a human in general, we don't really want to stop, like we know we should at times, but we don't really want to. So we have to have a way to get through the overwhelm because, as humans, like we want to be able to move forward, period. And so I want you to kind of think about what do you do when you get overwhelmed. What happens in your body? What happens in your mind? Okay, I want you to take it even a step further. What is contributing to you getting overwhelmed? Like what happens Every time? I think back to when I'm overwhelmed or when I've been overwhelmed, like in that state. And I think back to the past, like the recent past, of course, like within the last couple of weeks or months, like what have I done that could have contributed to my overwhelm state now? Because the one thing we know about overwhelm is it doesn't just happen overnight, like there is a very clear timeline of events that led up to your overwhelm. So take that moment and just think back, especially if you're in an overwhelmed state now, if it's a prolonged overwhelmed state as well, like we've definitely got to address this long term, otherwise this overwhelmed state is actually going to turn into burnout and exhaustion and like to 0.2 seconds. Okay, we don't want that, because that takes even longer to recover from. We can get out of overwhelm if we recognize it and take quick action to get out of it, but not when we just let it be prolonged. And it makes you know what I mean, like I said, all those ways that it can present itself okay and that can learn to lead to burnout. So if you're a journaling type. Journal some of that out as to what you believe is causing overwhelm, how your body feels when you get overwhelmed. See if there's any connections.

Karalee:

Okay, so that is your action step number one that's what I encourage you to do from this podcast today is that you actually do the work and you sit down and you become aware of how you got to right here in this overwhelmed state. Or if you're not currently overwhelmed, I'm very happy for you and I want you to think back to a time when you were overwhelmed and what you did and things like that. Okay, so I want to go over a few things that might be stopping you from moving forward, and then I'm going to go into a few ways that we can move past this. Okay, so just a quick list here of seven things We've got tech, time, money, mindset, not having instant gratification, afraid of being salesy and overthinking all the things. Okay, so that's my quick seven things that could be preventing you from moving forward, but I'm going to go back here and elaborate on each one of these as well. So the first one here is tech. Okay, tech. Especially if you're not a techie person and tech really frustrates you, this can really get you into an overwhelm state really fast, and so, especially if you're like I really just want to get this done and implemented, but the tech is messing you up there, right, it's messing up that timeline and it's making you super frustrated, all right. So some solutions if tech is the thing that's making you overwhelmed especially consistently is either really amassing the skills that you need to be able to learn this tech stuff, whether that's courses, you know, talking with a coach or someone that actually, like, teaches this, you know, so taking classes, or maybe hiring a virtual assistant that's going to be able to implement these tech things for you. Really getting those humans and those resources into your life will help you not get overwhelmed every time a tech thing comes up.

Karalee:

Number two here is your time. A lot of times people are like I don't have, I don't have enough time. I've got a backlog, or I've got projects, I got a plan out, or I have a really long to do list, like. So time in itself, especially when we get overwhelmed, becomes so massive and we shut down Like at least that's what happens to me when it comes to time. I'm like oh my gosh, I can't have more time. We only have 24 hours in a day and also my list and my things that I need to do are not getting any smaller. So what do we do? Okay, here are some things. I want you to evaluate your schedule. I want you to look at it from a perspective of is what feels good to me and what doesn't? We need to take the things off that don't feel good and they're not necessary, all right. We need to evaluate how many times we say yes because that's it. Those are demands on our time. What is our capacity for these things? All right, and if it's a backlog or if you have a really long to do, this, right like these are things that are taking away your time is. Do we have the resources to be able to bring someone a virtual assistant or someone in to be able to support you to get some of that time back? Okay, there is solutions for everything. We just need to figure out what works best for you specifically, okay.

Karalee:

Number three here money. Okay, maybe you don't have the resources to be able to hire in that virtual assistant. Maybe you only have the resources to maybe grab that course or whatever you need to do to teach yourself how to do these things in business. Okay, or maybe you just need to. Maybe you need the money to pay for your business expenses, things like that. So money can get you into an overwhelmed state, especially if you're not really sure how you're going to bring in more money. Okay, and that's going to actually go right back into our mindset stuff, which is number four. But before I move on to mindset, I want you to start thinking about what are ways that you're bringing in money right now. What are things that people are asking you for that you could charge for? Okay, so that way you can get some quick wins there and actually start supporting your own yourself and bringing in some more money. So that way it's not quite as overwhelming. Okay, if you have ADHD, you're neurodivergent, you're obviously probably listening to this because of those reasons, and so money is a sticking point for us because we want to spend it immediately. So if that is your impulse, let's go ahead and make sure we're spending it on things that are going to help us move forward in our business and not paralyze us. Okay. So for that virtual assistant, for that course, you know, invest those things in yourself and maybe it's even in a book. All right, so many things. We can switch it, and that comes from switching your mindset, which is number four.

Karalee:

When you do not have a positive, uplifting mindset, you are going to have a harder time with everything. Okay. So I need you need to believe in yourself that things will indeed actually change and that what you are doing is going to impact someone. And it helps with clarity on what you actually want to do. And it helps you stay positive. And when you're able to actually be around people and have a community, that is very uplifting, it helps you keep in that forward motion, positive, affirming mindset that you need to be able to stay out of or get out of quick. And when it comes to being overwhelmed, okay.

Karalee:

Number five here is not having instant gratification. This one is so hard. Okay. Instagratification means you posted on Facebook, for example, and you just wanted everyone to level in that post and it just didn't happen. Or you launched that course and you were so excited about it and you put in all this work and then no one buys it. Okay, well, for one, we need to evaluate what we've done leading up to those posts, right, leading up to that course.

Karalee:

Offering that part is not my forte, however, you know you can journal about that, right, in order to kind of support this instant gratification, this need for just something. Is surrounding yourself with people that support you, right, so that could be loving on that post, sharing that post, you know, maybe if it's an offering is not for them, but they can see the value in it and they know it's a perfect offering for you and your audience. Like they can tell you that I do that with people all the time like, oh my gosh, this is an amazing offer. Like I wish you had this offer. Or you were around and I knew you two years ago when I actually really needed this and, from what I can see, this is exactly what I needed and I would have loved to have it all in one spot. Like you can help someone else with that instant gratification just by telling them that what they're offering or what they're doing resonates. But maybe that course just isn't what you need right now, or maybe that offering just isn't what you need. But remember, the instant gratification is normally things that are not in our control. Okay, so if you need instant gratification, we just need to sit down and be like well, I did the thing and I'm super proud of myself and you could talk to your bestie or a community that you're a part of and you can share that with them and I almost guarantee you they're gonna be like this is like really, really good, okay, and they can even help you, maybe even give some input on how to make it better or maybe why it's not sticking with the audience, things like that. So being in a community can help you with instant gratification, like so much.

Karalee:

Now, number six here is afraid of being salesy. Okay, so do you have a service that you truly believe can change people's lives, or product or whatever it is that you do? Right, the way I look at this is it's a disservice not to share. Okay, we share our favorite restaurants because they're freaking amazing. Are you being salesy? No, I'm encouraging you to just be you. Those relationships with humans Invite them to things. Surely do you care? Basically, what I? What I have learned is, when I'm afraid of being salesy, it's because, like, I don't feel an alignment with what I'm talking about, with what I'm trying to quote, unquote, sell. I don't feel 100 behind it, and so I feel like, well, maybe other people won't either and they'll be mad that I'm trying to sell it to them. So what I've learned is feeling 100 in alignment with what you are selling. Allowing allows that mindset of being afraid of being salesy to kind of just disappear because you feel so good About what you're providing. So that has allowed me to not feel salesy when I'm launching something or when I'm talking about something, because I feel so good, it feels so good to me.

Karalee:

Okay, and seven here. This last one Is overthinking all the things. We think of, all the what ifs. What will people think of me? What if I sound too salesy? What if I didn't say it quite right? What if I don't get any engagement? Okay, so we're overthinking everything, like what if this wasn't even remotely the the best offer? Like you know, sometimes overthinking all the things prevents us from posting or launching or doing anything. Forward motion paralyzes us, overwhelms us to no end. And here we are. We're gonna throw away all the what ifs. We're gonna throw them out the window.

Karalee:

I actually used to be the what if queen. I used to be like overthink absolutely everything and be like well, what if this happens? And what if this happens? I literally had at least a to z. We might have actually started back over at a and had double a, you know, on the what ifs.

Karalee:

Okay, I am the queen of what ifs used to be. Okay, I am no longer the queen of what ifs, and that is super satisfying to me. That feels super in alignment to myself, because I threw all the what ifs out the window and I went what if it worked out, though, and all those other what ifs, which were negative, were now preventing me from actually doing what I felt in alignment to do, because that's just what felt good. That felt natural to me to just question everything and to overthink everything, right? So throw the what ifs out the window. I want you to think into how does that feel, because it probably feels very scary, but it also could feel a little empowering and real and you could feel relieved. So I want you to really feel into that.

Karalee:

Might be a little scary, and before I go into what I actually do To support myself and I'm in an overwhelm state to get out of it really quick I want to just take one moment and tell you how amazing you are Because you're here. You're an entrepreneur, or at least trying to do this entrepreneurial thing, or you haven't given up, and I want to acknowledge how hard. That is, and I want to acknowledge how amazing you are for still continuing to do this. Even if you're taking all these detours, even if it's not going as fast as you want it to, even if you find yourself overwhelmed all the time, you are still here, you are searching for answers and you will be successful Because you do not fail until you stop completely and give up. Okay, so, as long as you are still here and trying, we can get you out of this overwhelm state. We can get you moving forward in your business and we can have fun doing it. So we're not going to let tech time, money, mindset, not having Instagram vacation, afraid of being salesy or overthinking all the things Stop us From doing what we are here to do. Okay, we are going to acknowledge that those things are real and we are going to actually work through what is preventing us from moving forward and what is keeping us in this overwhelm state, and then we are going to actually get out of it. Okay, so if you're overwhelmed today, you're in the right place and I'm gonna give you what I do to get out of overwhelm every single time that it happens. It is my try and true method that I wanna share with you today, and this is how I unpack overwhelm in the exact same day and I get right back to work, all right. So we're gonna walk you through this really, really quickly.

Karalee:

The first thing I do when I realize I'm overwhelmed, I feel, in tune with my body, like what is actually happening. A lot of times I have a headache, I'm feeling really warm or my temperature feels all over the place. I'm feeling kind of constricted. I'm feeling like I don't know what to focus on. I'm looking at my list and I'm going. I don't even know what feels good to start with. And you know that's how I feel into things. A lot of times I'm feeling very discombobulated, very overwhelmed. So the first thing I do is I just I sit back and I take a few deep breaths, like very deep breaths, until I'm able to kind of calm my body. Okay, so my body feels very like anxiety ridden a lot of times. So I'm just, I'm breathing, I'm calming my body, I'm feeling into it, but I'm also slowing my mind with these deep breaths, okay. So, because normally my mind is running very wild, okay, and if it is, and these deep breaths don't quite do it for me, because this is real. This has happened many times. The overwhelm state is high. I feel like there's ranking for this overwhelm state. So you know, if we're like, okay, we started at the bottom and we have like we have steps that we can keep going until we're back to a good, regulated state, okay, so if my, if, after these deep breaths, my brain is like still going crazy, I'll then pop open my meditation app and I sit down with my eyes closed and I just settle down into focusing only on that meditation.

Karalee:

I use brainfm. I did a podcast episode on this as well. If you want to check that out. It is not a free app but it is worth every penny. But I just turned this on for five, 15, 30 minutes, depending on, I feel like, my level of overwhelm and depending on my level of my brain going wild. Like depends on how long I really need to sit into it. Ordinarily, I turn on my meditation app for 30 minutes. It's just unguided meditation and I just sit and I try to focus and I let my brain wander, but I always try to bring it back into focusing on just the sound from the meditation app, okay, and as soon as my brain has settled down enough that I'm really just focused on it. I listen to it for a little bit longer and then either it's gone off, like it's stopped, or I just stop it myself because I'm in that state of like, I've settled down, I'm good, I'm feeling good. Then I take a few more deep breaths and just feel into it.

Karalee:

I open up my ClickUp and I look at my posts if I have any right, and I grab my to-do list pad and I only write down the absolute musts for the day. Okay, so I use ClickUp as my central hub for all of my projects and tasks and basically it runs my life. I have post-its if I just need to write down a quick thought sometimes and I just don't want to put it in ClickUp, but they're always on my desk. And then I have a to-do list pad and I use my to-do list pad for when I get overwhelmed, because it allows all of the things from all the places to be located into one and there's only 10 spaces on it and so I can only have 10 things on it and allows my brain to narrow down what I need to do. I try to put them in order of priority, but it's not absolutely necessary, but I have it written there and I just keep it right in front of me every single time.

Karalee:

I don't go back to my ClickUp unless it's to do an actual task. That's on that list and I focus in on what's on that list to get it done. Okay, because my brain can now focus. Right, I did the meditation, I've done the deep breaths. I'm working through what was overwhelming to begin with. I've journaled things out to make sure I'm not going to get myself back into this predicament again, at least in the same way, although it's inevitable, you probably will. But we're going to become more aware of it every single time, right, and we're going to put into place a long-term solution, okay.

Karalee:

So then I grab my coffee, my water, my snacks, and I normally put on comfy clothes, because when overwhelm decides to strike me on days that I don't have a whole lot going on and I feel like it's because my brain understands that we don't have a whole lot going on, like I don't have to be on zoom calls or leave the house or like other things. So if that's the case, like I just put on comfy clothes, okay, and then I get to work, working on the task that I feel I have the energy for, because now my brain has settled down, it can focus on what is the task on this list that I can focus on. When and if that task becomes overwhelming because sometimes it does right I take a breather, I evaluate my deadline requirements and I meditate again, or I take a break. Okay, I literally am using my awareness practices of feeling in tune with my body and going what does my body need right now? And then, if I do have to take a break because maybe I'm hangry, right, maybe my body just needs some food, I usually eat during these breaks and then hydrate while I watch TV. Again, if you're watching TV, something that's calming and entertaining or something that doesn't take a lot of brain power to be able to focus on, okay, and then I get back to work.

Karalee:

Now, I'm sure that there are other things that I do throughout this practice, but this is the overview and, to be honest with you, if you do not unpack what's causing your overwhelm to begin with, then all of these things that I've just shared with you to kind of get yourself back into a focused, not overwhelmed, state really quick is not going to work for you as well as you would hope, because you're not addressing the long term things that got you to where you are in this overwhelmed state.

Karalee:

Re-listen to this podcast, as I'm sure it will need to be heard more than once, because as I'm recording this, I'm like, oh my gosh, there's so much gold here and so much to unpack. But I want you to get out of this overwhelmed state quick, because when you are able to get out of this overwhelmed state quick and actually put into practice these things, that will help you not get into this overwhelmed state is easily next time. That's when it's super, super powerful. If you haven't subscribed to this podcast yet, go ahead and do so now, as I drop one new episode every single week to help you as a neurodivergent entrepreneur. If you have questions you want to reach out, or if you just want to chat, go ahead and follow me on some social media platforms and send me a DM. I'd be happy to connect with you and all of that stuff, along with other resources and things that you can check out or located in the show notes.

Overcoming Overwhelm and Moving Forward
Coping With Overwhelm and Finding Focus
Overcoming Overwhelm as a Neurodivergent Entrepreneur