Guest blog from the Suzanne Mountain where she is examining the ways that you can take yourself from completely overwhelmed into definitive action. Suzanne is the master of change and helps people to navigate the seas of change with ease and grace – whether the change was welcomed at the outset or not!
From Overwhelm to Action in 7 Steps!
Change is part of life. Life does it to us all but some of cope us better than others. So what should you do if you are not coping well? Maybe you feel like you are falling apart and unable to function normally or perhaps you are feeling stuck or overwhelmed? If this is the case, then here’s some things you could do.
- Accept that change happens and can be challenging.
It pushes us out of comfort zone and can makes us feel anxious and lost.
You may be a creature of habit and like to have everything in your control but you need to recognise that change is a constant.
As we and the world continues on our journey so things need to change, even things we do not want to change. Nothing stays the same. Recognising this helps us to come to terms with what is happening.
However, it is important to recognise that you have been dealing with change all your life.
You’ve coped before and you will be able to cope again.
It may make you anxious but you will learn a lot about yourself. You will probably end up realising that you are stronger that you knew!
- Be kind to yourself and take time to check in with how you are feeling
Taking it one day or even one hour at a time. Go somewhere peaceful and concentrate on the simple things like breathing. Maybe even meditate.
Often when big or unexpected transitions are upon us, we feel numb. This is natures way of protecting us from stress or pain. However, when you find yourself wondering, “What’s next?” in the midst of change, often the first question to ask yourself is, “How do I feel?”
It might be that you feel frightened but there may also be a bit of excitement in there. Maybe you are angry? Or perhaps vulnerable? These are all perfectly normal reactions to change.
Once you can pinpoint what you are feeling, in your body as well as in your emotions, you can better understand what you need to do next.
- Nourish your body and soul.
And by this, I don’t just mean with food. If healthy food or comfort food is where you feel you need to go during this time, that’s OK. But there are other ways to nourish yourself too.
You need to look after yourself during this time. You need good healthy food. You need to get out in the sunshine. You need exercise, whether it’s yoga, swimming, or a walk. You might be soothing music or even to play your favourite rock music at full blast! It may be that you simply need to drink more water.
- Talk to others about what you are going through.
Sometimes we feel that we have to put a brave face on it all the time. We bottle up our feelings and try to keep going. However, it can be useful and comforting to talk to others who have been through what we are going through.
One of the ways that we process change is to talk about it.
Sharing with friends and family you trust and who you know have your best interests at heart will make you feel better and stop you feeling isolated.
If someone else is driving the change then talk to them to understand the agenda, the timescales. Knowing what the map looks like will enable you to make decisions about what you need to happen
- Create a vision of the future
Try to imagine how life might look in the future. It is healthy to begin to create a new vision of the future.
To do this you will need to start to let go of your previous view of how things ’should be’ or how life was.
- Ask yourself ‘what if questions’
Asking yourself ‘what if?’ can be useful, as long as you focus on the future. Do not allow yourself to get caught in the trap of wasting time focusing on ‘what if this hadn’t happened?’ or ’what if I hadn’t said ….?’ As these focus on the past and keep you stuck.
Good examples of what if questions might be …. “What if I go along with it?’ or “What if I say how I feel?
- When you’re ready: Be Proactive.
Give yourself time to get used to what you now know.
Then, as generally, we feel better when we have some control over what is happening, start to make steps towards gaining some control.
You may not have chosen to face this challenge but you can start to work out what needs to happen for it to be work out ok for you. This may be as simple as making a list of things you need to know and who might be able to help you with them.
Start to experiment with new ways of being, working and living.
It is likely that you will have more and more moments of excitement and optimism. You might start to have new ideas about options for creating a new future.
If you follow these seven steps you will soon start to feel better about the change. Look after yourself during this period and if you need more support then get in contact. You don’t have to do this alone.