How do you cope with overwhelm? 


I feel it’s almost inevitable given how busy life can get.  We end up feeling overwhelmed, over busy, over stressed, overtired and ready to drop. 

When you combine this with pre-menstrual stress or perimenopausal hormone change, it makes life even more ‘interesting’. 

I see it on a daily basis in my clients, friends and the women I encounter in everyday life.

I believe you need a strategy or a toolbox of things that stop you heading into overwhelm or that can (sometimes) help prevent you getting there in the first place. 

My top five are:

  1. To get outside in nature in the woods or an open space daily - it’s calming to the nervous system and reduces stress.

  2. Meditation is one of my favourite tools. When overwhelmed or anxious it can be easier to use a guided meditation such as those you find on the Insight Timer app or Headspace or Calm. Or, if that doesn’t work for you, just stop. Give yourself some space.

  3. Sometimes life doesn’t give you that opportunity for exercise or meditation and I find that simple act of three deep breaths can help. Slowly breathing in, holding the breath for a moment and then slowly exhaling three times can really help calm you down and bring you back into the here and now.

  4. Similar to the three deep breaths is the act of taking a mindful drink of water. Walking to the kitchen, paying attention as you fill a glass with water and sipping it slowly. It has the added benefit of improving hydration which helps with brain fog and energy. The act of just concentrating on one thing can really help you step back from overwhelm

  5. Connection. I think this is a big one. Reaching out to a good friend, a coach, counsellor or therapist. Somebody who gets you even on your bad days and doesn’t judge. Somebody who can remind you how awesome you are and that they’ve got your back. I’ve got a list of 5 friends and a coach who I know can help me with this. But one is all you need.

These are some of the things in my toolbox. I might add things like journalling, exercise, creative endeavours. It all depends on the time and place, energy levels and what the triggers have been. 

I know that I’m more likely to tip into feeling overwhelmed in the latter part of my menstrual cycle, so I will up the self care and lower my expectations for a day or so…and often that can help. Being able to see the signs, and manage life to stay in the zone of feeling as wildly well as I can.

What’s in your tool box? I’d love to know. 

Photo by Matteo Vistocco on Unsplash