Today I’m sharing a special bonus episode of the podcast because my brand new audio course is now LIVE! And it’s all about overcoming overwhelm.
To give you a taste of what it’s all about, I’m sharing the first lesson on my podcast. Listen wherever you get your podcasts or here:
Links and further reading
- Learn more and access my How to overcome overwhelm course
- How to cope with overwhelm podcast episode
- Questions to ask yourself when you’re overwhelmed blog post
Hello everyone – well I am back behind the mic quicker than I thought I’d be and that’s because I’m bringing you a special bonus episode today. If you follow me on social media or subscribe to my newsletter you’ll know this already but… my audio course is now live! And it’s all about overcoming overwhelm.
So today I thought I’d share the first lesson with you so you get a taste for what it’s all about. So I’m going to hand over to past-Kat who recorded this lesson months ago and I will pop back at the end to share how you can access the full course.
Welcome to the course ‘how to overcome overwhelm’ on Listenable, my name is Kat Nicholls and I’m going to be your teacher and guide for this course. I’m a writer who works for mental health and wellbeing websites and publications such as Happiful magazine, a blogger, a podcast host and self-worth educator. I’ve been working in this industry for nearly 10 years and have had training in mental health first aid, neuro linguistic programming and coaching.
But aside from all this, I’m also a human who has dealt with mental health difficulties including anxiety. And as someone with anxiety, I know the feeling of overwhelm well. We’re old friends and over the years I’ve learnt ways to navigate and cope with it, and that’s what I want to teach you in this course.
Over the following lessons we’re going to learn how to identify overwhelm, what causes it to come up for you and what your red flags are. We’re going to learn about specific techniques to deal with overwhelm when it comes up and find ways of warding it off so it doesn’t come up so often. By the end of the course you’ll have your very own overwhelm action plan, tailored to you and ready for you to use whenever you need to.
So let’s get started by understanding more about overwhelm.
The two dictionary definitions I found for overwhelm are these: 1. bury or drown beneath a huge mass of something, especially water. And 2. have a strong emotional effect on. And both of these are honestly spot on.
Overwhelm can feel like we’re being crushed by the weight of something – perhaps the weight of many tasks we need to do, the weight of expectation or even the weight of the world as we witness traumatic and painful events happening.
And of course, by its very nature, overwhelm has a strong emotional effect. Perhaps we feel overwhelmed by a feeling of stress, or even love. Overwhelm isn’t always related to negative emotions. I like to think of it as feeling raw – like an exposed nerve. When we’re overwhelmed, everything has the power to tip us over the edge.
And this is a common state. In 2018 a study by the Mental Health Foundation found that 74% of people in the UK felt so stressed they have been overwhelmed or unable to cope. And after the events in 2020 I have a sneaky suspicion that this number will have increased.
When overwhelm happens very occasionally, we can be pretty good at coping with it and may not need to worry. But if it keeps happening, we have to recognise it for what it is – a warning sign.
Overwhelm is our body’s way of telling us it’s stressed and can’t cope. If we ignore it, push it down and try to march on regardless, we may harm our mental health further. It can lead to burnout and potentially other mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.
And with this in mind I want to highlight that I am not a mental health professional. This course is designed to help you become more aware of what triggers overwhelm for you and how to overcome it, but if you think it’s a symptom of a larger problem or you’re feeling so overwhelmed your daily life is being affected, please do speak to your doctor and get professional support.
There is no shame in asking for help.
So now we know a little more about overwhelm and what it is, I would love for you to take a moment and think about what overwhelm feels like for you. How does it feel in your body and your mind? Get a pen and paper and write ‘to me overwhelm feels like… ‘ and fill in the blank.
Try to get as specific as possible here. This will be really helpful as we dig into our next lesson which will be about identifying what causes overwhelm for you, I’ll speak to you then.
And there we have it, lesson one! There are 8 lessons altogether in the course and after this lesson we look at Identifying what causes overwhelm for you and Noticing your overwhelm red flags – because overwhelm can creep up on you and it’s so helpful to raise your awareness around this. Then I go into practical tools that can help like Chunking tasks, Delegating and asking for help, How to say ‘no’ and Identifying what tools help you decompress.
Then in the final lesson we put together everything we’ve learnt and create an overwhelm action plan you can turn to again and again. And the reason I’ve done this is because stress impairs our ability to focus and make decisions, so it becomes really easy to forget what helps. Having everything laid out in an action plan takes out the brain work and gives you clear suggestions on what to do.
If this sounds interesting to you, head to the link in the show notes or just go to listenable.io/ and search my name – you can sign up for a 7 day free trial to see what you think, then if you want to subscribe to access all the courses on there, it’s $7.50 a month (around £5.40) and you can cancel any time. The course will be available indefinitely, so if it’s not for you right now but you think it might be helpful another time, bookmark the link and come back to it later.
If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch, you can find me on Instagram @katbluejay or email me at [email protected]. And yeah – thank you for listening and supporting! I’ll be back with season 4 later this year, until then – take care.