THE BLOG

Beating Stress: How To Cope With Feeling Overwhelmed

30/06/2014 09:22 BST | Updated 29/08/2014 10:59 BST

One of my clients asked me if I would raise awareness for Drowning Prevention Week and I was delighted to help promote such a good cause. Accidental drowning causes more than 400 UK deaths every year, is the third highest cause of death in children and claims the lives of at least 360,000 people worldwide each year.

Drowning Prevention Week is the national campaign of the Royal Life Saving Society UK (the UK's drowning prevention charity) which aims to cut down the number of drowning incidents in the UK by promoting water safety on mass. It also aims to raise money for the RLSS UK's drowning prevention projects and to support families who have been affected by drowning or near drowning. It is a very worthwhile cause.

You can find more on http://drowningpreventionweek.org.uk/

Although Drowning Prevention Week officially finishes today on 29th June,myself and my associates are still offering our free 90 min session to our listeners/readers for the entirety of July to help with either grief due to loss of a loved one due to drowning or conquering a fear of water. For more information or to help a loved one, see my video on YouTube or listen to my Podcast on Combating Stress, alternatively contact me directly through my website.

Emotional drowning: How do we combat it?

Those of you who have listened to my Negative Emotions: Friend or Foe podcast, know that I see emotions such as being overwhelmed as an action signal to change our behaviour, expectations and focus. If you haven't listened to it, put that on your to-do list now.

There are obviously loads of little tricks that I'm sure you are all aware of such as deep breathing, getting a good night's rest, prioritising and improving your time management skills and of course shifting your focus onto the now and what you can achieve, but I'd like to share with you my top 3 tips for combatting the feeling of being overwhelmed.

Time

Feeling overwhelmed can happen to us all. You often hear people say that they can't see past their current stresses or they need to take a step back to get objectivity. It's the big picture that gives you focus. See my Huffington Post article on Pomegranates. My article explains how often what we need is space and time to sort through situations and processing of information. We need to learn to be kind to ourselves and give ourselves that luxury, in modern day, time is a precious commodity. There is a good film called In Time with Justin Timberlake and Amanda Siegfried that works on the premise that time is a currency in the future. I would go as far as to say it is also a currency for a healthy mind in the present day. So my first piece of advice to you is to take the time and space you need to see the bigger picture.

Ask for help

Other things you can do to help ease the feeling of being overwhelmed is to ask for help. It seems like I am on a movie reference carousel today but I also love the film 28 days with Sandra Bulloch. The main character learns part way through the film to ask for help after being made to wear a sign around her neck saying as much. I watched this film when I was in my 20's and I found advising clients to watch the film and to ask for help or delegating tasks really helped them feel much less overwhelmed. You see this all the time when we outsource work such as cleaning the house or asking a plumber to come and fix a leak. We readily realise we don't have the time or experience to deal with such tasks and do not feel guilty or less than by outsourcing them. This can be useful on a much larger scale to. So the next time you look at your to-do list, just see how many tasks you can delegate out and still get the same results if not better.

Learn to say NO

It is important to learn to say "no" when you feel overwhelmed and to do so without feeling any guilt. This goes in tangent with taking time out for yourself and learning to delegate. If you accept less responsibility and allow others to keep personal responsibility for tasks that inevitably would lie with them anyway then your load will be lighter. Often we just want to help others, or get that promotion at work or aim that little bit higher or perhaps control a situation around us, but learning to say no to others and to yourself when you are contemplating taking on that extra task that may tip you over the edge will be one of the most useful lessons you will learn in how to combat feeling overwhelmed.

If you'd like to connect with Sloan directly you can do so via her website or via email at huffpost@sloansw.com or on YouTube.

To hear more podcasts in the series subscribe to Get In The Zone With Sloan on iTunes.