Today, I'd like to talk about an issue I've struggled with and some solutions I've discovered. If you're like me, you may have experienced the same struggle, especially at this time of year.
The 21st century with all of its technological discoveries has engendered a new disorder called Overwhelm. Grammatically speaking, "overwhelm" is a verb, not a noun. But the case is strong for making it a noun as well.
If overwhelm were a noun, I would define it as an excessive amount of emotional and psychological input creating the feeling that one is being buried under it.
With that definition in mind, how can we authors deal with overwhelm, especially during this very busy Christmas season? Here are a few tips that have helpd me:
1) Spend time with God every day, seeking His will and direction for your life. Years ago, when I was struggling with overwhelm, I complained to God that I did not have enough time to do everything I needed to do. Expecting a bit of compassion, I received instead a gentle correction from the Lord: "MaryAnn," He said, "you always have enough time to do what I have called you to do." I realized that I was doing some good things that God had not called me to do. So, I eliminated those activities from my life and focused on what God had called me to do. If you have too much on your plate, you, too, may be doing some things that God has not called you to do. If so, eliminate them.
2) Streamline your environment. Get rid of everything that is contributing to your overwhelm. Recently, I cleared out hundreds of books from my library, books that I will never read again and that will provide benefit to others. Not only did I clear out my house, but I also cleared out my mind.
3) Take time to regroup each day. Sometimes we experience overwhelm simply because we do not take the time to nurture ourselves. Women are especially guilty of this. Give yourself the gift of ten minutes a day just for you to do something you love to do.
Remember that you can control overwhelm. By following the three simple steps above, you will find that overwhelm will become a thing of the past, and peace will become the joy of the present.
Copyright 2013 by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA. All rights reserved.
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