Tuesday, 17 May 2011

How to tackle the overwhelming

If any regular readers have noticed my blog posts decreased from 2-3 per week to generally just one, it's because I'm pregnant with baby number two! Everything has been more of an effort lately and only now that I'm into the second trimester am I starting to have a bit more energy again. As many of you will understand, those first three months were just about making it through the day, keeping my two-year old happy and scraping together some dinner for my husband in the evenings.

Lots of things were neglected, much to my dismay but now I feel like I'm getting back on track a bit.  One particular thing I wasn't keeping up with was cleaning our flat as diligently as normal. I was aware of various cleaning jobs that needed doing but I just couldn't summon up the energy to do them and it soon felt an overwhelming task lay ahead of me to get on top of it.

The only way I felt like I could deal with it all was to start small. A lot of the cleaning that needed doing involved only 10 minutes (if that) working on a small but niggling area. If I did some of that in a morning when I was feeling somewhat refreshed after a night's sleep, it just got done and felt like a weight off my shoulders. A few small jobs could be easily accomplished in a day and made me feel much better for having got them out of the way, being in a cleaner environment and making everything feel more manageable again.

When you think about other possibly overwhelming situations, like hosting a dinner party for a large group, even putting on a child's birthday party or being faced with a long list of things 'to do asap' at work, the same logic can be applied. Think small, look at what you can do in a few minutes that will clear your list and immediately make it feel less daunting. Try to break down what seems like a big undertaking into several smaller tasks.

So, for a dinner party spend 10 minutes sitting down planning what you're going to cook and what ingredients you need to buy. That alone will help make you feel more organised. Similarly with a children's birthday party, consider how you want to divide up the time with activities, eating, games and then you can tackle each individual part separately. In a work scenario, there are often things to do that won't take you any time but you procrastinate because they seem tedious or are not enjoyable. When you make yourself do them, they are quickly over, leaving you to work on more involved projects.

It's easy to get yourself into a state where you feel overwhelmed, not knowing where to start. By simply taking small steps and doing a little at a time you can achieve more than you might imagine and get back to feeling in control of the situation.

When have you felt overwhelmed by certain circumstances and what was your approach in dealing with it?


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  1. Congratulations on your wonderful piece of news!! Prioritize is the key word here. Do what feels important and the rest will just have to wait for you. take good care of yourself! ?

  2. Thanks Maryse! You're definitely right about doing what feels important.


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