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Natural Awakenings Twin Cities

3 Strategies to Conquer Overwhelm

Jun 30, 2020 12:00AM ● By Nea Dalla Valle

Since March, nearly every person in this nation has experienced the impacts of the Novel Corona Virus (COVID-19), as schools shut their doors, stores and businesses closed and we were all forced to shutter in our homes until further notice. There was no preparing for the impacts this would have, and what was worse, there was no real clear end date or way to escape it. Everyone experienced pressures that four months ago, we could not have imagined.

While there have never been situations like we have experienced recently, the feeling of overwhelm is nothing new to the human experience. The definition of being overwhelmed is to be given too much of something (burdened), to be defeated completely (powerless) and to be buried beneath a huge mass (helpless). Burdened, powerless and helpless convey more accurately the experience of overwhelm and provide more accurate clues to help you navigate the experience and regain your sense of freedom, power and capability.

Developing personal strategies before getting to the state of overwhelm is always preferred. However, as we have already discussed, planning ahead for what we cannot yet imagine makes that a challenge. Over the last several years I have found three consistent strategies that can be used, even in the middle of a personal meltdown, that will pull you out of a tailspin. These strategies work under all conditions:

1.     Honor Yourself. Often one of the first things we do when we feel overwhelmed is try to fix it by seeking to feel better, to get busier or even to ignore the problem. The challenge is that ignored and neglected pain (sadness, disappointment, frustration) comes out sideways in our thoughts, feelings, actions and reactions. It will show up as resentment, righteousness, lashing out, blaming and self-pity. The alternative is to pay attention to your emotions as they are, without judgement or resistance. Getting clear (on your emotions) helps to reduce the swirl of thoughts and emotions, because you have a place to focus. You can begin to see clearly what is being stirred up in you. Take a moment and consider the following questions:

  • What am I really feeling right now?
  • What is not currently being honored? 
  • What part of me is feeling neglected?

2.     Take a Break. It is hard to believe that taking a break for 15 minutes can be helpful. Taking a pause from the spin is a great way to connect to something enjoyable. Taking a walk, going for a run, doing yoga, drawing, reading, cooking dinner or playing with your child are all wonderfully restorative to you on all levels: physical, emotional and mental.   In the spaciousness, these are the moments where you have access to ideas, inspiration and new possibilities that can resolve the stresses that were keeping you blocked. The key is do not make the break more work–do what you can, with what you have, where you are. Consider the following to get started:

  • Take a minute to brainstorm four or five actions you can take right now, that you enjoy.  
    Of these five actions, pick the one you find most enjoyable and do it for a minimum of 15 minutes.
  • After your break, check in and see how you are feeling.

3.     Pick One Thing. The core experience of overwhelm is a feeling of powerlessness, that life is happening to you, not through you. When your attention is pulled in multiple directions, trying to find a channel for action can be part of the stress. The key is to pick one thing–any one action you can take right now that will make a difference in your emotional state. The key is to pick one thing that will get your full attention and do it. Achievement releases dopamine into our body, which gives a sense of pleasure and creates drive or motivation to want to do more. Focusing on one thing increases your desire to want to achieve even more. Use the following to help guide you:

  • What would I most love to give my attention to right now?
  • When will I know I have reached the goal or completed the task? Afterwards, check in on how you are feeling.

One of the greatest lessons we can learn is that being stuck and overwhelmed is not a necessary part of our life–it is always optional. We cannot control the feelings that arise, but we can choose how we respond. Practicing these three strategies will help you to develop a new response to stress, and help you experience freedom, power and capability in all that you are.

Nea Clare is a channel of divine wisdom, spiritual intuitive and transformational life coach who works directly with the Archangels and Ascended Masters in sharing messages, developing workshops and providing clarity for her clients. She helps her clients to awaken to their own divine nature by removing emotional, mental, spiritual and karmic blocks. For more information, visit