Kick Overwhelm To the Curb by Taking a Breather

We lead busy lives and some days it feels like things are starting to spiral out of control. There’s just too much to do and not enough hours in the day to get it all done. I can relate! Running the wellness business, speaking business, being a mom and teaching a fitness class can be pretty overwhelming.

Overwhelm can be paralyzing and it creates a lot of stress. That, in turn, takes a toll on your health and wellbeing. And truth be told, feeling completely overwhelmed doesn’t exactly help your productivity either. Thankfully there’s a simple thing you can do to kick overwhelm to the curb so you can get to work.

All it takes is slowing down and taking a breather, quite literally!

When you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed out, the first thing you need to do is calm down with breathing exercises.

My 11-year old daughter helped me with breathing exercises when my hair started falling out two weeks after my first chemotherapy treatment and that same morning I had a speaking engagement! She is my rock.

Every morning, before I start my day and or even look at my To-do list, I sit down at my favourite spot in the living room with the lights turned off. I turn on my essential oil diffuser and start meditating by concentrating on my breathing.

How to breathe – whether you’re at work or home

  • ‍Sit or stand comfortably.
  • Close your eyes and take long, slow breaths. Focus your mind on breathing in and out.
  • Breathe in through your nose for 4 counts, holding your breath for 3 counts, then slowly breathing out through your mouth for a count of 6. Continue for a few minutes until you start to feel your heart rate slow down.

It only takes a few minutes and after you’ve practiced these breathing exercises for a while you can tune out and focus on your breath even in the craziest and most stressful situations. Not only do they calm you down, they are also great at clearing your head.

When you’re done with your breathing exercise, think about what you want to tackle and in what order. My favourite mantra when I’m feeling overwhelmed is, “What can I let go right now and what’s the one thing that’s important to do right now?”

A plan will emerge from the chaos and once you know what steps you need to take next to make progress, you stop being overwhelmed and go into productive mode. Before you know it, you’ll have made it through this challenging day or project.

Anytime you find yourself overwhelmed again, or you start to stress about work, family, or life in general, stop and go back to your breathing exercises. Before long taking a breather will become a daily habit and a tool you reach for whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressed out.

Zaheen Nanji is a Resilience Champion and trains people and organizations on how to build their resilience muscle so it becomes a first reflex in times of change and challenge.

You were very easy to deal with. Pleasant manner, tone of voice and easy to speak to.  You kind of have the voice and demeanor that make people "want" to talk with you. Once people know your story, they want to talk to you more, perhaps to grab a bit of your strength and positive attitude in their own lives.  I find you to have a caring way about you. Concerned for others and how you can help them be better at being them.

Leanne Carpenter

Office of the Chief Administrative Officer - Town of Stony Plain

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Prove you're human. Select the odd one out.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

You were very easy to deal with. Pleasant manner, tone of voice and easy to speak to.  You kind of have the voice and demeanor that make people "want" to talk with you. Once people know your story, they want to talk to you more, perhaps to grab a bit of your strength and positive attitude in their own lives.  I find you to have a caring way about you. Concerned for others and how you can help them be better at being them.

Leanne Carpenter

Office of the Chief Administrative Officer - Town of Stony Plain

Zaheen Nanji is a Resilience Champion and trains people and organizations on how to build their resilience muscle so it becomes a first reflex in times of change and challenge.

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