How to Get Out of Holiday Overwhelm Mode

I can’t believe the 50 degree weather we’re having! It’s been so nice to enjoy an extended outdoor hoop season. It’s been so unseasonably warm that I keep forgetting the holidays are just around the corner. With just 10 days left until Christmas, I can feel the “busyness” setting in already.

I put “busyness” in quotes because for me, busyness usually equates to a lack of priorities. It’s not that there’s too much to do, it’s that I don’t have a plan to do it…or I do have a plan but it’s all in my head and feels a lot bigger than it actually is.

I do two things to get out of overwhelm mode. Both of them feel counter-intuitive at first but are the only things I’ve found that can “override my system” when I’m stuck in the cyclical feeling of busy, stressed, and overwhelmed.

Take A Break

631_get-out-of-your-own-headThis isn’t just any break. It’s time to reflect and to work out my feelings of tension and stress. For me, that requires a combination of quiet reflection and exercise. I’ve tried many different types of reflection (meditation, journaling, quiet thought) as well as exercise (walking, running, biking, swimming, yoga, hooping).

Right now my favorite combination is to spend 10-15 minutes thinking quietly or reading on a topic I’m concerned about, and then I hoop it out. I put on music that matches my mood and flow. I don’t try to learn new or drill old tricks. I just let the music flow through me and hoop until I feel calm or inspired by a new idea or understanding.

You might think you don’t have time to stop and reflect or exercise. But, it doesn’t have to be a long or drawn out process. It can be a few moments of quiet thought, a single lap around your building, or a few stretches at your desk. You’ll be amazed at how much more focused you are. It more than makes up for the time spent relieving brain fog through simple reflection and quick exercises.

East Lansing Hoop Dance ClassIf your regular exercise class is canceled due to the holidays, I’d love for you to join us for adult hoop class on Tuesday nights. Classes are running as regularly scheduled throughout the holidays and drop-in students are welcome. Your first class is free, so grab a friend (or not) and come see what hooping is all about!

Don’t worry if you don’t know how or don’t own a hoop. Hoop dance is for everyone, extra hoops are provided, and you will have a blast no matter your skill level.


Write It Down

The second thing I do to get out of overwhelm mode is to write everything down that I’m stressing about. Then I organize my list into categories like order of importance, deadline, etc. Once I see everything written out, with a plan of action, it never seems as bad as it did in my head.

When things are really chaotic, I use an additional technique where I classify my list into urgent, necessary, and pending. Since I can’t do everything now, there is no choice but to prioritize. Urgent items get moved to the front of the to-do list, necessary gets moved to tomorrow, and pending gets moved further down the line. I don’t like putting anything off, but sometimes that’s just how it goes. It’s easier to accept it, make a plan, than to spin my wheels worrying that I don’t have enough time.

How about you? What do you do to get out of overwhelm? Have you tried these techniques? Comment and let me know what works for you.