It’s that time of year when it’s very easy to become overwhelmed.
You know that slightly sick feeling when you’ve no idea how you’re going to get through everything.
And there’s a lot of everything.
Then, of course, there’s Overwhelm’s youngest sibling – Underwhelm.
What a pair.
Where’s Levelwhelm? The middle child. The one that’s chilled.
Fancy a bit more balance?
Here are four things you can do to find more Levelwhelm:
Get one thing over the line.
The very best way to tackle overwhelm is to finish one thing.
Here’s a tip, make the one thing, an easy one.
If people, places or things are underwhelming, lower your expectations. They will be more ‘whelming.’
Laugh at the ridiculousness of your underwhelm. This is the perfect follow on from lower your expectations.
Remember, no one cares.
One of my favourite people is the brilliant Patrick Kielty. When I interviewed him for TEAM17 he reminded me of something he said I taught him during one of our coaching sessions.
He uses it all the time.
No one cares.
– Burnt the sprouts – no one cares.
– Christmas card is late – no one cares.
– Present isn’t perfectly wrapped – no one cares.
– Tree doesn’t go up until Christmas Eve – no one cares.
What are your tips to find Levelwhelm?
I’ll send a copy of my Sunday Times No 1 Best selling Book Flip It – how to get the best out of everything and find Levelwhelm (revised edition 2022 😉) to our favourite.
Please leave your comment below.
When asked to do something by someone else, ask is it urgent? Most often it isn’t.
Let the five year old and 14 year old decorate the Christmsas tree.
Eat that frog – do the most difficult thing first, so that it gives you a sense of achievement and the day will become easier to manage.
Make a list, then put tasks in order of priority, then cross off all except the first 5. You can do this each day and it’s amazing how things get done.
Just take a deep breath, jump on the couch in your pj’s. Gin and tonic in hand, Christmas movies on and chillax.
Ask yourself if it will matter in ten years time. If the answer is no, let it go!
Associate with like minded people. Belonging to Michael’s groups HTBB and 17 pop up led me to Beth Kempton, author and writer of Calm Christmas as a free podcast with plenty of tips @Do what you love for life. Happy Christmas everyone.
Don’t stress the Xmas dinner. I have never cooked a full turkey, only a crown, so it just like a Sunday dinner but with a couple of extras and of course something for pudding.
Take some time just for you every day. Even if it’s half an hour.
Christmas is a time for giving and helping those that are in need. It’s time to stop thinking about yourself because nobody cares about your feelings. They are interested in themselves most of the time. Stopping someone from feeling overwhelmed about Christmas would be a good start. My wife always stresses over Christmas dinner, and as I help her prepare, she distresses immediately. Now we are at a levelwhelm—happy Christmas, you lovely people.
Disqualified driving drug addiction crashes into your car? Arrest him and DON’T get angry. Surprise everyone. Because tomorrow, no one cares.
I think you know mine, Michael… on a scale of 1-10, is this worse than being dead?
In which case, my world will keep spinning!
Take your 4 year old out of school (as he’s frazzled and being ramped up at school with constant Christmas activities). Go to the beach or somewhere in nature and Enjoy. Play, have a hot choc.
Leave the Christmas tree up all year. Provides a talking point “surely you haven’t still got your tree up?” and then saves all the hassle of getting it out again next year!
Prepare to be unprepared,
things aren’t important as you think.
Slow down… take time,
and pour yourself a drink.
If the job does not get finished,
the chores do not get done.
Accept your limitations,
imperfection can be fun.
Your friends and family love you,
they need you to be well.
Don’t make yourself unhappy,
it’s fine… no-one will tell!
DOes this really need to be done today? Is it more important than going and see Father Christmas?
Smile and look happy to see 3 random strangers.
Feeling frustrated/stressed? As my dear old Nanny used to say, ‘worst things happen at sea.’
Feeling disappointed/upset? As my old superintendent used to say ‘Has anyone died? No, then it’s ok.
Instead of running round like a headless chicken, make a list of what needs doing!
Add a ‘to do by’ date.
What needs doing now?
Work on that first.
When that’s done, pat yourself on your back and relax with a glass of your favourite tipple!
Then move on to job 2!
This is so very true. I was getting myself worked up because I have lots to do before Christmas, I want to fit in a trip to England to see my granddaughter but the weather warnings are popping up all over the map. So, today, I did the best I could and packed a bag for the boot of the car with winter essentials and somehow I feel reassured that I’ve done my bit.
Step away, go for a walk or lock yourself in the bathroom with a good book…rarely do people disturb you there! I say lock as somehow the dog does not understand the ‘do not disturb’ moment!
Xmas looms, and with it so many of the traditions that hold you hostage and create monstrous overwhelm! Did you buy a carrot for each reindeer? Where is great great great Aunt Maud’s recipe for Xmas pud? Have you bought every possible variation of mince pie for the ‘mince pie’ display that was started by your husbands grandfather after the Boer War? (Every supermarket has sold out of iced mince pies so now you have to do a 374 mile round trip to buy the last box of 6 possibly in the U.K.!) Are you doing these traditions out of expectation? because you truly love them? because it’s always been done? Or you have no idea anymore? Just stop. Who cares what other people think? Make new traditions…. That you love! Like if we are home alone at Xmas we order Indian takeaway! No turkey, stuffing, or piglets in duvets for us! And even better, no fight to the death at the nut display for that last bag of walnuts that you and a 85 year old man spot at the same time! And guess what? Nobody died, nobody cared and we loved it 😍. I lie when I say nobody cared- when I tell people they often say they wish they could do the same! Well you can- Santa 🎅🏻 gives permission! 🥳🙌🏻🤪
I’ve been feeling very overwhelmed lately, I have so many things on at the moment, it was stressing me out. Then I sat down and took a few deep breaths, cleared my mind and zoned out for a few minutes. When I came back, I thought of the most important task and the first thing that came to mind was to stay healthy for my family. (I have underlying health problems) That was when I decided to put things into two categories:
1. Is it urgent
2. Can it wait
Once I did that, I actually found I had more in the can it wait list than in the urgent. I immediately felt more in control. So now I’ve decided to focus on just one task a day. If I can get that done then I’ll be happy.
So now I’m going to RELAX
Dont put up the Xmas tree,
Dont send Xmas cards – the Royal Mail is on strike,
Dont wrap presents – use those sparkly present bags
Dont do food shopping for Xmas and dont cook Xmas dinner,
Take yourself out to dinner and get someone else to treat you!
When I feel overwhelmed I take the dogs to the beach, the sounds and smells are always uplifting! If there’s a monsoon like there is today. I snuggle on the sofa with the dogs and watch a movie!