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Episode 50: Tips to Overcome the Feeling of Overwhelm with Natalie Tysdal

Brief summary of show:

Do you often feel overwhelmed? In a world that has been continuously chaotic, how do we navigate these deep feelings of overwhelm?

I know I’m not alone in feeling this. Between being a mom, my schedule, my kids’ schedules, and everything else that comes our way, there is always something going on that needs my attention.

In this episode, I’m sharing with you my best ways to stay on top of my overwhelm so that it doesn’t take over.

Listen in as we talk about:

  • [1:45] Why it’s okay to be busy

  • [2:45] How I divide my to-dos so they always get done

  • [3:40] Reasons we feel overwhelmed

  • [6:20] My tips for overcoming feeling overwhelmed

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Notes from Natalie:

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View Transcript for this Episode

[00:00:00] Natalie: Hi everyone. It's Natalie. I hope you're having a great start to your week. It has been a very busy beginning of the year for my family. We've been on the road a lot and thankful to be on the road as it's lacrosse season. And our oldest daughter plays lacrosse in college. It is such a joy to see the fruits of the hard work of our kids and to support them and all of their activities.

[00:00:21] Our high school daughter is in a musical right now, late night rehearsals. And she's also touring colleges along with auditioning for musical theater programs in college. So we have had a lot of pressure in our hustle lately. We're doing our best to keep up with work and three kids, different stages of life.

[00:00:39] It may sound strange. I actually feel like sometimes I'm better when I'm busy. Do you know what I mean? It's like, I can get off course if I'm not staying on the train and really busy, but I also know that things can get missed. And as soon as the train comes to a stop, I feel pressure to get right back on without stopping to [00:01:00] analyze where everyone is in the family.

[00:01:03] Natalie: So being. That's okay. But when that busy turns into overwhelm and frustration, well, then we can have a problem. So that's what I want to talk about today. Overwhelm as I think it affects us both mentally and physically and getting out of the pattern of overwhelm is really important. So before we get started, I want to remind you, you can find topics just like this one, along with past podcasts, blogs, and much more on my website, Natalie

[00:01:33] Okay. Topic of the day overwhelmed. Let me paint a picture for you. You make a list. And for me, I write things down. I do project planning online, but for my general to-do list, there's just something about pen and paper. It helps me. So I write things down. I need the focus of that paper and two pins, one for the name of my list and one for the things to do.

[00:01:56] I know it's weird, but it just has to be this way in my mind. [00:02:00] I enjoy it. It makes me happy to see different colors. So that's why I do that. So I divide that list into four categories home, which includes all things, kids, house and personal work, which includes podcast, website, social media, and then school.

[00:02:15] This is my list as what I need for my job as a teacher. And then on Sundays, I do. I updated every week. I make that list. And I feel like if I don't start on Sundays with that, my week won't be right. So let me tell you how I overcome the feelings of overwhelm. First of all, I've added a fourth list, as I mentioned, and I call this long-term to do, this is my bonus track.

[00:02:39] Instead of my must do track. These are the things I can carry to the next week without feeling like a failure. Top priority, but sometimes if I'm making calls or ordering things online, I can glance at that long-term list to see what I can do to get ahead while I'm already in that particular mode.

Natalie: Next let's talk about other [00:03:00] reasons you might be feeling overwhelmed. And all of my advice today comes from years of reflection. Trial and error. Also thousands of interviews with experts as a journalist. And that's how I've spent most of my career. So are you someone that is just always busy, even when you put your feet up, do you feel like I'm still busy or maybe when you put your feet up, you feel like you should be doing something else.

[00:03:26] Many people pride themselves. On being busy. And I think that is a mentality and a way of hiding from what you're afraid of or what you think you need to be the truth. We are all busy. We have kids to keep up with meals, to cook house, to clean relationships, to nurture a professional life volunteer work.

[00:03:46] Oh. And then of course there's exercise. And, and, and so are you tired of just looking at that list and feeling that sense of overwhelm? I want to challenge you to make the list, and [00:04:00] I think it helps to put the list on paper again in categories, and then stop saying you are so busy when someone asks. How are you doing?

[00:04:08] Do you say I'm so busy? Well, stop telling yourself that and stop saying that to other people. truth is everyone's busy. Life is busy and for each person it means something different. But by telling yourself this and everyone else you're actually causing yourself more stress and something else to consider for many people, being busy is an addiction.

[00:04:30] They're running around with their hair on fire mentality. As I like to call it as a way to feel important. And in some cases, as a way to avoid difficult decisions or relationships, another reason you might be feeling overwhelmed is because you feel like that you have to do everything by yourself. And let me tell you.

[00:04:51] You don't. I just had this conversation with one of my students who was struggling with time management and intelligent kid, and also a [00:05:00] very involved student. And this person was late turning projects in, I had a feeling that a sense of perfection. Or a long to do list. And very little time after school with extracurricular activities was a problem for the student.

[00:05:14] And I wanted to know when he last asked for help, sure enough, he was afraid to ask for help or to admit that he was behind on projects. So this is something I've had to work on. Personally. I think growing up with a strong working mom gave me the notion. But I had to do it all, but being strong doesn't mean that we can't ask for help.

[00:05:36] Natalie: ,In fact, I have found so much can be learned by humbly going to someone and saying, I could use some help with this. And when people come to me with that same request, you had a friend who needs me to watch their kids, maybe a recommendation for something, a meal. When someone is sick. I think it feels really good to be able to help when people feel.

[00:05:59] I [00:06:00] am close enough to them that they can ask for that help. It just makes all the difference. Okay next, if you are feeling overwhelmed, make a change. I talk a lot about this on the podcast. Maybe you are in a job that is really causing problems for you. And the thought of leaving is great, but you're overwhelmed and you don't know how to do that. Maybe you can't get into a rhythm with that job and it's just not right.

[00:06:26] Maybe. Uh, relationship is exhausting to you or your kids are struggling in school and they needed a tutor or a new school breaking patterns. I know it's not easy and I've been there. I've struggled through it myself. I talk about this a lot on the podcast. I go in more depth about change in episode 47, which I will link to the show notes.

[00:06:48] I used to say, when I worked in TV, if you wake up feeling like you were off and day after day, that keeps happening. Go buy a new lipstick. And if that doesn't work, find a new job. I [00:07:00] knew long before I left my job that I wanted something new change is hard, but once you finally get out of the rut, you're going to feel a sense of relief that.

[00:07:11] Incredibly refreshing. You're going to sleep better. Your health will be better. Your attitude will improve. So if you're someone who is afraid of change, urge you to do some really deep work, a few other episodes of this podcast that might be able to help you. 33 on developing a resilient mindset with Dr. Robin Hanley Defoe and episode 10, titled how to get unstuck with my dear friend and author, Samantha Ettus. She is incredibly encouraging. So along the same lines of getting unstuck. My next tip is to find motivation. By getting motivated. Sounds ridiculous. Right? When was the last time you looked around your house and you said, I really need to do some cleaning, but I'm just not motivated to do it.

[00:07:55] Well then maybe you went to get the vacuum and before you know it, you maybe have put away [00:08:00] the dishes cleaned the countertops, scrubbed. The toilet started a load of laundry and you'd just get motivated by doing one thing. My mom used to say, action. Comes before motivation. And I say it to my kids now, too.

[00:08:13] They're tired of me saying it, but I hope they use it in my life. No one is motivated when just sitting around, take one step, get going. You're going to feel less overwhelmed. Another way to start something you were finding difficult to get going on is set an alarm, see how much you can do in a 20 to 30 minute block of time. You might actually surprise yourself on how much you can accomplish and how motivated you get. Okay. Lastly, when we're talking about feeling overwhelmed, I think it is super important that we keep focused on what matters happiness happens when we are settled in our lives.

[00:08:49] And grateful for all that we have overwhelm happens when we look at those around us, or maybe when we look at what people on social media are up to, and we feel like we are [00:09:00] not doing enough and maybe life could be better. I urge you to start your day with prayer and with gratefulness, put your mind, first of all, in a positive place, make this a habit.

[00:09:13] Absolutely. Don't negotiate on. If you have to get up even 10, 15 minutes earlier to start your day, that way it is so well worth it because the pressure of having too much to do will actually fade. When we focus on our blessings. I hope that all of this is helpful to you as always. I would love your feedback and your ideas.

[00:09:34] You are the reason I started the podcast and I'm so grateful for you. That's all for now. I'll talk to you next.

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