7 Simple Remedies to Get Rid of Overwhelm (AND Bring Back Your Sanity)

photo_11.21.13_squareI’m enjoying the rain here in LA and now that it’s cooled off, I can make a fire which is one of my favorite things to do.

Lately, I’ve been hearing about overwhelm
and wanted to share some methods I use to
keep the “Big O” at bay.

Somehow, even when we feel like we have
a handle on the “Big O” we still find our way
back to it. Especially around the holidays.

A big part of feeling overwhelmed is the thought, “I can’t keep up.”

 We have so much happening in our lives today. We tend to be more overloaded with information, overstretched with our capacity to get things done, and just plain over-committed.

We might be moving through our day with an uncomfortable feeling in our gut, worry or a low undercurrent of panic because we can’t say, “No” or we don’t want to miss out. When deep inside we know what we have to do but are afraid to do it.

I understand. I used to be in a constant state of overwhelm, filled with anxiety, urgency and burning the candle at both ends doing a million things all at once. In a funny way, it made me feel alive even though many things were never completed.

The “shiny new thing” would get my attention and I’d go for it only to have one more thing to do and adding to the “Big O”. I wanted to pull my hair out!

What made it even harder was I had other people’s ideas swirling in my head of what to do and was constantly second guessing myself. This noise drowned out my inner voice, shutting down my intuition.

It’s surprising how this was still happening for me even with a meditation and yoga practice.

I basically figured if I was doing EVERYTHING I’d get ahead and it would just work out. But all I got was a lot of loose ends to deal with, extreme feelings of inadequacy and a big box filled with distractions. Can you relate?

On the outside it seemed like I had it all together but secretly it sucked!

This began to change when I put the remedies below into action. What made all the difference with the “Big O” was sticking with something to the end, scaling back and being honest with myself.

Loving Reminder: Make this a way to get rid of the “Big O”, not create more of it. You can use all of the remedies below or just put one into action to see what happens. Notice what you notice.

7 Simple Remedies to Get Rid of Overwhelm (AND Bring Back Your Sanity)

Ahem, they are simple and you do have to do it. Meaning it will take some time and it will be worth it, for sure. Change your behavior and you’ll see new results. Ok, let’s do this!

1. Give yourself space to be.

Take 5-7 minutes daily to just be. Set a timer and be! Keep your eyes open and be the observer. Do nothing. Watch the clouds, sit on the floor of your living room, or stand barefoot in the dirt.

This one made the biggest difference in my life and in the lives of my clients. I want to acknowledge one of my coaches, Chela Davison, for this awesome practice. It works.

2. Get real about where you put your attention.

What are the thoughts swirling in your head? Is it on how overwhelmed you are? Is it on what you are not getting done? Is it I have so much to do?

If you’re focused on overwhelm then you will be overwhelmed. Choose wisely what you focus on throughout your day.  Click to tweet…

Put your full attention on what you are doing. Try it and see what happens.

3. Do a brain dump.

List out everything in your head you want to get done personally, in your work or business, life and in your relationships. I do this a few times a week to get my head clear.

Use a separate sheet of paper for each one. Use color pens, markers and make it as fun as you want. By getting it out of your head you will feel less pressure and reduce urgency.

4. Gain Clarity.

Now, go through each of those lists and you may see you are putting way too much on your plate. Congrats on being ambitious. I’m right there with you. :)

Time to PRIORITIZE based on what feels good to you to get done first and feels like the sensible next step. Huh? Yes feeling and sensible, bringing the body + mind together.

Circle the things you feel good about doing and are sensible. Put those on a new piece of paper.  This is a way of scaling back to get stuff done.

Note: If you still have to pay your taxes for this year that would be a sensible next step to prioritize.

5. Identify where you need to say, NO.

Wherever you are overcommitted or overstretched, you may be experiencing an unsettling feeling in your gut. Honey, it’s time to say no, with love.

Share how it does not feel right for you or how you overstretched/overcommitted yourself and you can’t do it. People will understand when you are honest. And if they don’t – note to self, they are not the right people for you.

6. Identify where you need to ask for help.

Where could you use some help to take the load off? This one is a biggie when you are capable, kick-ass and ambitious. YOU ARE STRONGER WHEN YOU ASK FOR HELP.

Go through the list, write down who can help you and ask away. Own how this may not be easy for you and let yourself be vulnerable. It won’t kill you. Promise!

7. Get Focused + Simplify.

Look at your calendar and mark off where you have blocks of time to get stuff done. Be honest here and understand you may not complete it in one sitting. Get back on it where you have time. You are in charge here.

I know it may seem crazy, but give yourself ONLY 3 things per day for your life, business, and relationships. Don’t multi-task. Do the one you have resistance to do first.

Personally, what helps me focus is the app Focus@will when I have to get work done – like writing this blog.

Then as a bonus kick the “Big O” in the keister, take a 48-hour Information Cleanse.

This will help you clear up mental and energetic clutter. Stay off Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, etc…
Set one or two times you check email only or what works for you.

Cut back from consuming information from outside sources like books, audios, videos and connect with yourself.

Take time to take care of you. Make friends with your intuition, your inner self and your brilliance. Do things that make you happy, create a feeling of peace and fill your tank.

Now it’s your turn gorgeous!

Tell me in the comments below exactly what you are going to do to handle the “Big O.”

I’m curious to know.

If you already have a handle on the “Big O” then how did you do it? Please share what you did that worked for you. You never know who may read your comment and be shifted by it too!

Thank you for playing, commenting and being part of this community!

Your Angel of Fire,






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  1. I am going to follow every step here…absolutely…and be grateful for its perfect timing. The only additions I’ll make is to talk to friends, esp. those I’ve been out of touch or only virtual with… plus I will add some humor like listening to wait wait don’t tell me and standup That helps no matter what else is going on. And give thanks…including thanks to you for The Art of Being a Coach and for being you.

  2. Hillary Rubin says:

    Hey Ruth! I love that you are going to follow every step and your adds. You are so welcome for the program. Thank you for being part of it. xo H

  3. Hillary,
    Perfect timing & brilliance! While I love all of these methods, doing a brain dump has been most helpful and also taking space for myself to just be. I am in a space where taking care of myself is not only good practice, it’s mandatory! I’ve found a lot of peace in asking for help and accepting my capacity:)

  4. Jill Barber says:

    For me the 5 – 7 minutes of “just being” time has completely transformed my mindset. I still get things done, but with a calm, grounded energy. After taking that bit of time to simply connect with me, I seem to naturally move through my day with an inner knowing of what to do next. Love it! Thanks Hillary (and Chela!)

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