The past 2 years have been unprecedented in Australia. Australia's bushfires may feel like a distant past, but we thought that would define 2020. How wrong were we? That devastation was quickly replaced by COVID-19, and we experienced our 1st national 6-week lockdown. It wasn’t easy and while business and people suffered, we worked out ways to connect virtually and there was an element of novelty to it.
Once out of our first lockdown, most Australians went back to business semi-normal, apart from travel, and we all looked at those living in Melbourne and felt for them having to endure further lockdowns. For the most part though, we felt we had kept the virus at bay and had bucked the global trend. We watched the chaos and division from afar and congratulated ourselves for keeping it out of our country. Until mid 2021 that is.
NSW and VIC were hit again and this time by the dreaded Delta strain. This lockdown lasted much longer and had an even bigger impact on business, relationships, mental health, and politics. It exposed the fragility of human nature.
Now, here we are very close to easing restrictions and you would think there would be a lot more excitement. Yet, in talking to people and through many reports, it seems people are even more stressed, anxious, and scared. It feels like there is so much more division and uncertainty.
There are many unknown variables and factors that could go wrong. People are unsure of the road ahead. In speaking to so many women myself, the most common questions being asked right now include:
The challenges at work and home are on the rise this year unlike any other. Stress is a feeling of being under abnormal pressure. You may find that it has a cumulative effect, with each stress trigger building on top of one another.
During these situations you may feel threatened or upset and your body will create a stress response. You may even be living with the hormones of stress that have been accumulating for some time now, and so what is really happening is that you are just living in survival mode – “fight, hide, or fly”. This can cause a variety of physical symptoms, change the way you behave, and lead you to experience more intense emotions. When you live with the hormones of stress and survival mode for too long, creativity and your ability to find solutions are hindered. Creativity by its simple nature needs to have space, calmness, and flow.
The way you or any other person around you are feeling right now is expected. But you can reclaim your life back from this pressure, and change the way you think, feel, and act. The first step is to ask yourself these five questions:
Despite everything you are going through right now, take 30-minutes to an hour out of your day, shut all social media and other distractions off and ask yourself - “If it was all completely up to me, and I had all the resources and time in the world with no objections from anyone, what would I be doing? What do I want my life to look like? How would I be feeling?”
Spend time in deep thought or meditation, to discover what some of the answers are and then write them down.
What's keeping you stuck? Maybe you need to stop working 24 hours a day. Maybe you need to stop eating unhealthy food or give up a bad habit or toxic relationships. Maybe you need to turn the news off and get off social media for a while? Maybe you need to stop thinking or expecting someone else to make your problems go away.
Identify the things that aren't working, and challenge yourself to stop them. When you stop the meaningless tasks, the fruitless relationships, and the busyness, you make room for things that are more aligned with what you really want.
What improvements do you need to add to your life? Maybe you require more time for reflection, added time for friends or more time for pursuits that matter to you. Maybe you need to surround yourself with people who will help you focus more on what you want, rather than don’t want? The more you start giving yourself what you want and require, the less stress you'll feel. Start finding ways to give to yourself.
Identify the actions and priorities of those points that feed your vision. Then start implementing them today.
When you're already overwhelmed, more of anything may sound like the last thing you want. But there are things we all need more of: gratitude, love, respect, trust, connection, meaning.
The more you cultivate the things that make you feel good, the things that fulfill you, the less room you'll have for stress and feeling overwhelmed. It's that simple.
We know the impact people we surround ourselves with can have on our thinking, feeling, and behaviour. Find a group of like-minded people to mastermind with, to hold you accountable, and to learn from, step by step, to help you achieve everything that you want. Despite all the circumstances around you, it is possible to find calmness of mind and then speed of action and to create the life that you want by design. When you eliminate all the noise in your head and life, you will never again say, “I have no time” to do that which has been on your bucket list for a long time now”. Trust me, I see this time and time again.
Feeling overwhelmed is life's way of telling us it's time to slow down, to take stock. It’s time to change. To get a different result, you must do something different.
By following these simple steps when life starts spinning out of control, you'll be able to keep what truly matters to you in check. And when you hone in on what truly matters, you can handle anything that comes your way.
If you are interested in joining a customised 6 week workshop with a group of like-minded women who will help you understand the working of the mind like never before and cope through stressful times, have a look at this link https://www.dreem.com.au/sbs or Send an email to [email protected].