Her notebook was bursting with papers, contracts, and sticky notes. She timidly pulled out her To Do List, which covered an entire paper front to back. My amazing new client was drowning in the avalanche of expectations–ones that she gathered from her new position, ones that she placed on herself, and ones that she had no idea where they came from–old identities, societal expectations, false beliefs.

“Selena, I don’t know what to do. I have time to work and I just spin because I can’t figure out what’s the most important thing for me to work on. It all feels important! So, I just find the easiest thing to do. Or, I just ignore the list altogether and go do something else.”

My current season of overwhelm can be measured by how many sticky notes are scattered around my work areas. 

1-5 = manageable stress levels. I just need a little bit of time to sort my brain.

6-10 = getting to the danger zone. I better make time to organize my priorities before we reach the point of no return

11+ = FREAK OUT/STRESS ZONE. I’m now officially in a stress spin-out and need to have an intervention!!

Luckily, since hiring a Project Manager several months ago I have transitioned from FREAK OUT to manageable stress levels! 😂LOL!! Thanks, Allison! 😉

Where are you with your list these days? Is it raging out of control? How many items are swirling in your brain that you “should” be able to accomplish in the near future? Are you able to stay present with the ones you love and joyful with your work?

One thing I know, if you are reading this blog, you are an amazing woman!! You are a leader in business, family, and the community. And you have such heart!! You have a desire to love, serve, lead, and care for others!!

Let me ask you this–how many leadership positions do you have? I bet the list is longer than you think. Let’s break it down…

In your career? Are you a mentor? Team lead? Admin?

How about in your church and community? Do you teach a Sunday school class? Or host a small group? Are you  the one organizing your friend group? Or taking a casserole to the family with a newborn? 

In your family? Are you the soccer mom? On the PTO? Planning the birthday parties? Checking in with your aging parents and siblings?

My friend, this information is for you.

I know why you’re reading this blog to get Strategies for Overcoming Overwhelm.

Well, I got you!!! I’m going to give you some real, practical steps that you can put into practice RIGHT NOW. Then, you’ll be able to sort all of the wonderful items on your To Do List into a reasonable expectation for yourself.

Here’s why…You’re too important. You have too many people relying on you. You have too big of a calling to work, love, lead, and serve to be treating yourself this way. Stop de-valuing your time and your contribution. Stop spending your time “flying by the seat of your pants”

Let this be your wake up call to place a greater value on your time, priorities, and contribution.

And, friends, you are not alone.

Yes, there are bright sides to this life of leadership, business, and family, and many times I’m happy to point them out, celebrate them, and bring them to light. Right now, however, I want to make sure we talk about the very real and very prevalent fact that countless business women are drowning in tasks, expectations, and fast food dinners. To put it simply, there is a mass crisis of OVERWHELM.

With my personal experience and training as a coach I’ve learned how to look at the big picture, connect that vision to our day-to-day activities, and time block for both productivity and rest. And, I’d like to help you do the same! 

Throughout the next couple of months, I’m going to take you on a journey called, “Dear Burnt Out Businesswoman.” I’ll show you the precise steps you need to take to:

  1. Kick Distractions to the Curb; (we already covered this one here!)
  2. Set Boundaries;
  3. Learn to Delegate; and
  4. Integrate Think Time.

When unchecked, the beginnings of burnout can lead to more serious cases. Extreme isolation and depression are places we want to avoid! (If you’re already there, I encourage you to seek out a mental health professional. I have excellent references if you need one.)

So, I encourage you to follow closely! See if the tips I share start to make a positive difference in your energy levels and daily choices.

If you participate with me, I believe that you will begin to experience healing. You’ll find yourself managing your life and expectations more reasonably. Reaching your goals will become a joy again and you’ll feel more fulfilled.

Are you ready?? This is going to be practical, realistic, and focused. You’re going to feel empowered to take some control here.

Boundaries & Breakthroughs

You deserve to place a higher value on your time, priorities, and contribution. And, one of the best ways to do that is to set boundaries–both for yourself and for those around you.

Coach Selena

Boundaries..the thing we love to hate!! We all know that we need them, but no one really likes to take a close look and assess how their current boundaries are (or are not!) working in their favor.

Just what is a boundary?

No, it’s not a list of all the things you’re no longer going to allow! Or, a list of all the areas where you need to say NO. Rather, boundaries are the fences we put up to protect what’s important to us.

Let’s make this a little more clear. Imagine your backyard with a lovely fence around it, along with a gate in the side yard for entry/exit. What is the purpose of the fence? 

  1. It protects the things that are important to you within your yard. Your little children are free to play. Your dog can go outside and stay close to home. Your pool stays secure from strangers. Your beautiful patio furniture does not wander from your yard.
  2. It keeps undesirable things out of your yard. Your neighbor’s dog can only bark through the slots. People cannot easily wander onto your property. In Florida, screens around the pool kept the alligators out (mostly!).
  3. With a gate, you can monitor your boundaries and invite people/items freely inside and outside of your fence as desired. Throwing a backyard BBQ? Open the gate! When the party’s over and everyone leaves, you can close it securely again. Time to get rid of the sun bleached patio furniture? Open the gate! Swap with your newly purchased set.

The fence with a gate is an important boundary that serves to help us protect what is most important. 

Now, let’s think about what resources we need to protect in our overwhelmed lives. There are four major areas where I’d like you to consider. 

Go ahead and rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 for each of these areas. One being totally tapped out, Ten being abundant.

Mental–Have you ever heard of Mental Fatigue? Or of the Mental Load? These are some fairly common terms we use to discuss the amount of mental resources we are using. When we reach the point where it’s difficult to make decisions or learn new things, we can safely say that our mental resources are nearing depletion. 

As leaders, we need a stable amount of mental resources available to us.  We are met with many decision-making opportunities throughout the day. We need to have the mental capacity to vision for the future, imagine new revenue streams or solutions, create new products, and problem solve issues, just to name a few! 

Physical–This relates to all of your physical needs. How is your sleep? Are you able to exercise, attend doctor appointments? How about nutrition? 

As a leader, you need your physical body to be as healthy as possible. Then, you can focus your energy on the leadership tasks you are called to and be better able to handle the stress of your position.

Emotional–Are you able to process your emotions? Or do you continually shove them down to put your attention on other “more important” matters? Can you name your top emotions every day? Or is numbing your go-to management strategy? How about handling the emotions of those you interact with on a daily basis? Can you help them manage or problem solve? Or does their emotional need collide with yours and take you over the edge?

In today’s world, emotional intelligence is one of the most sought-after qualities in a leader. We are called to help navigate the emotions of our customers, clients, and employees. That’s not even mentioning the emotional needs of our families and close relationships.

Financial–this relates to your money and physical resources, including your home, car, furnishings, etc. Do you feel as though you have enough to cover your basic needs? Do you have a little extra? Or, do you feel as though you can live/give as you freely desire?

When our financial resources are running low, we will have a difficult time making decisions that consider the best interest of everyone involved. Instead, we’ll be thinking of how to get our financial needs met. This is a recipe for an integrity slide.

So, now that you’ve done a quick assessment, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Where are the top 3 places where my resources feel the most limited?
  2. What are my priorities in each of these areas?
  3. What needs to be eliminated or decreased?

This should help point out to you where boundaries, or a protective fence, will be helpful. 

A visual might even be useful to you as a reminder. Draw a large square on a piece of paper. Inside, list the items you want to protect and keep safe (these are your priorities.) Outside of the square, list the distractions that threaten your priorities. These are the items that you want to eliminate or decrease. You can always use the gate to let things in temporarily, or completely make a switch! 

I know you can do it!! Begin with just one thing and you’ll discover:

  • That you don’t feel as exhausted at the end of each day
  • That you’re taking steps toward your goals
  • That you’re spending less time on things that deplete you.

Comment and share what you think will be the most helpful!

PSIf the ideas I’ve shared here still feel overwhelming and like it’s just scratching the surface of what you really need, then let’s schedule a time to chat. Just you and me. 30 mins on the phone to uncover what your obstacles might be and how coaching can help you step into your power. You need control over your life. Stop handing over the reins. 

You can get on my schedule here.

Stop the path toward burnout. Let’s Set Boundaries today!

Make an Impact.

Leave a Legacy.

Selena