Saturday, March 25, 2017

4 tips for managing those over-whelming times in your life


A couple of years ago I was going through a period where I couldn't see the woods for the trees. I was feeling so over-whelmed, I could barely put one foot in front of the other. In an attempt to sort myself out, I joined a free six week coaching program called NewAccess, delivered by Beyond Blue.

It was a really useful process. It wasn't that I learned anything new, and what the coach passed on wasn't rocket science. However, taking time out to consider what I do and how I do it was very beneficial, and helped me to get moving again. And in the eight weeks following the coaching program I was accepted onto a MBA program, gained my nurse registration in New Zealand and Australia, and applied for long term residency in Australia!

Here's four things that I found to be really beneficial in overcoming that feeling of being overwhelmed, and getting moving again.

1. Break down activities into small, individual tasks
At my worse, I could barely come up with a shopping list, let alone start anything as complicated as applying for my Australian residency. However, by breaking down all the tasks into manageable activities, and then ticking them off, I was able to work my way through what needed to be done. And each time I ticked off an activity, the satisfaction of completing something increased my confidence.

2. Put individual tasks into your calendar
Writing a list is one thing, but getting the tasks done on the list is another. I found that scheduling tasks in my calender's helped me to manage my time and incentivized me. I found it a lot more difficult to ignore pop-up calendar reminders than lists that may end up in the rubbish bin.

3. Give yourself small personal goals to achieve
The beauty of giving yourself small goals to achieve is that when you achieve them, they give you a real boost and build your confidence, making you to want to move on. The trick is not to give yourselves large, unrealistic goals because you can set yourself up to fail, and this only compounds your difficulties.

For example, you decide to go for an hour's walk every day of the week. But you might actually be better off setting yourself a goal of two walks a week, or a walk every day but for 10 minutes, rather than an hour.  Then you can build the size and commitment of your goals as you increase your confidence and capacity.

4. Live a healthier life
I know this has been said time and time again, but it does make a difference! Get rid of all the crap food, booze, smoking and other unhealthy stuff that physically impacts on your mental health.

Get regular exercise and eat healthy food.  My favorite thing is to go for a walk and listen to an audio book as I go. It gets me out into the fresh air, allows me to relax, and gives me space to collect my thoughts and re-group for the next few hours or days.

What are your top tips for overcoming those times when you feel unable to move forward? What works for you, and why?

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