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Five ways for freelance parents to deal with overwhelm during lock down

Whether you’ve lost clients or you’re overwhelmed with work and kids, these tips to overcome overwhelm can help you to feel better.

When my coaching clients come to me right now, they seem be at one of two extremes.

They have either lost clients, or have so much work they feel overwhelmed – this is all made more challenging because children are likely to be at home and people feel they haven’t got much mental space and don’t really get a break.

Don’t think you are alone – the overwhelm is real and we all feel it. I know because I’m working with lots of freelance parents who are all feeling it.

We can’t change what’s going on in the world and the fact that many people are suffering right now, but we can change how we think.

Here are my top five tips that may help you to cope with overwhelm just that little bit better.

1. Go to space

This is a cute little NLP style exercise from Positive Psychology.com which helps give you context when you are feeling overwhelmed and coping with a challenge.

Take a couple minutes, put your phone down and see if this works –

Imagine the place you currently exist and slowly zoom out of yourself. Slowly zoom out of the building you’re in, out of the place, out of the state, country and even continent. Then zoom out further—all the way through the ozone layer—until you reach the moon and you can see the whole earth.

Now think about your problem again: how big is it really? What does it look like from outer space?

2. Flip It

I learnt this tip from my own fantastic coach.

This basically means taking the thing that sucks and flipping it so we can see the positive side – it also rolls in a bit of gratitude which you KNOW is awesome.

Here’s an example of how to flip a negative thought:

Example – My washing machine has died … (insert appropriate expletive.)

Flip it to – I am so lucky that I have a washing machine – so many people in the world wash things by hand – and I know I can fix it or order a new one – an opportunity not afforded to many people. I am blessed!

Example – I am feeling bad because I have to do home ed with the Hulk

Flip it to – I am so lucky that we normally get schooling for free – imagine how many people in the world don’t. Plus – he’s getting more one to one time right now than he usually does . I’ll try and make it fun!

3. Pick three things

Don’t try and do all the things – However long your to-do list is, pick just three things you will do today and celebrate yourself if you get them done.

4. Create Space and cut the caffeine

How can you best create space to mentally re-calibrate? I’m not talking about time on your phone / ipad either, I’m talking about space to properly get present and be with yourself.

For me this is best done either through mediation (I love Eckhart Tolle meditations available in Audible) or walking in nature. I have also learned that just one coffee a day (as opposed to three) stops the frazzle in it’s tracks.

5. Be more like a bird

Today I was watching the birds outside when it started to rain. Humans usually stay in when it starts to rain as they don’t want to get wet. But birds, on the other hand, see it as a huge opportunity. While we are all huddling up inside they are out there having a bath, having a drink and gobbling up the worms who all come out when it rains.

My point here is that what seems like a negative for many humans is a positive for birds.

How can you be more like a bird and see the worms where others only see a soggy patch of wet grass?

You aren’t working from home, you are working at home during a global crisis which is a different thing altogether.

Be kind to yourself and it will all come good.

Natasha

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