How To Decrease The Overwhelm

Overwhelm, the big word we’ve all felt at some time or another in motherhood. Usually brought on my high demands either from ourselves or those around us, or seasons of life we didn’t know were coming. No matter the cause, overwhelm doesn’t feel good. And because of this, it’s important we learn how to alleviate the feeling of overwhelm as much as possible so we can continue to create thriving homes and lives.

In this episode of the Routine and Things Podcast, I’m helping you learn how to lessen the overwhelm in your life through various practical actions. Through using the advice given, you’ll be well on your way to having less overwhelm and more joy within your home and life.

Word For Word

Ashley Brown  00:00

[Intro] Routines, my absolute favorite word, but you either love them or you hate them, and either way, I strongly believe that routines can be a springboard for improving your home yourself and your life. I'm Ashley Brown, and this is a routine and things podcast. In each episode we'll dive into a specific routine or point of view that will move you closer to enjoying life more and more each day. Trust me, you're going to want to keep listening because you're well on your way to getting and staying happy.


Ashley Brown  00:47

Hey, hey, welcome to the routine and things podcast! As you saw by the title we are going to be discussing how to decrease the overwhelm, that big word, overwhelm, which I know too much about, to be perfectly honest. But there are ways that we can decrease the overwhelm in our lives and can move towards feeling more peaceful. So I want to share with you today, the ways that I help to decrease the overwhelm and my life. And I think that they can be really helpful for you as well because overwhelm is real, like it's something that we go through. I remember a time in my life where overwhelm was to the max degree. You talking about overwhelm, like o-ver-whelmed . And I think at that time, I didn't really register it as overwhelm, because I'm really good at pushing through. I'm really good at just kind of keep moving in order to get through things. And sometimes that's prevented me from actually feeling what I need to feel in being in tune with how I felt, so I've worked hard to try to be more aware of how I feel just in terms of my body and my mind in order to decrease overwhelm in my life.


Ashley Brown  02:08

I think the time in my life where I felt the most overwhelmed that I can think back to because there's been multiple situations and times I felt very overwhelmed. The situation that I can recall where I felt the most overwhelmed was, I remember like transitioning from being a working mom to a primarily stay at home mom. And I was running a business and I was taking care of my oldest daughter now. I didn't have my youngest at the time. I'm taking care of my oldest daughter. And I just felt like I could not keep things together. I felt as if I was not meeting my home goals. I felt as if I was honestly neglecting my home. I felt like I was doing everything, like doing all the things and I didn't really have a rhyme or reason for why I was doing certain things. It was just, I was just moving just to move. Just kind of going with the, going with the motions, I guess, and that did'nt feel good. I got extremely overwhelmed at a certain point. And at that time, I didn't really know I was overwhelmed until I look back now and I'm like, girl, you are extremely overwhelmed and it was just not a happy point in my life, like, just trying to do everything, not really any order, rhyme, or reason to anything I was doing. Not really accomplishing the things in my home that I wanted to accomplish, because at that time, I was like extremely focused on my business. And yeah, just overwhelm set in. And I didn't have really strong or effective routines at the time. I wasn't even thinking about that to a certain extent,  routines. As far as certain things, yes, I had my daughter on somewhat of a routine but I didn't feel like it was as effective and I didn't feel like it was really a great routine for her. So routines were not present, strong routines were not there. And yeah, that overwhelm was real for me. There's still times where I'll get overwhelmed, but I've definitely come far from where I've come from, as far as overwhelm. And so I have to make sure that I stay in tune with myself and the same for you. Stay in tune with how you feel. Know that you're not alone and there's ways to actually decrease overwhelming your life. So let's jump into that.


Ashley Brown  04:34

So overwhelm can come from so many different places, it can come in so many different forms and fashions, like what brings about overwhelm. It's no wonder that we at times may feel overwhelmed. Some things that could be causing overwhelm. I know for me personally, this has caused overwhelm for me and it could be causing overwhelm for you as well, is things like a messy home. Having a messy home just doesn't feel good. It does not feel good. I know that you know what I mean by that, like, it just doesn't feel good. Like if you look around your home, and you're like seeing things everywhere, and floors are not cleaned, beds are not made, toys are all over the place like yeah, it gets real so. So definitely that could be one thing that's producing overwhelm for you.


Ashley Brown  05:32

Also lack of order and just the unknown. Like we as humans, we do not like the unknown. I have to say I've gotten more comfortable with the unknown because at one point I'm like, I need to know, I need to know, I need to know. But like lack of order, and just the unknown can really spark overwhelm for you and spark the anxiety and so that could definitely be something that you're dealing with, if you don't have much order in your home or in your life, or if a lot of things in your life are in the dark, and you don't really know where you're going, that could be sparking a little bit of overwhelm for you as well. And not getting things done can definitely be a part of producing overwhelm, like not getting things done, not accomplishing the goals that you want to accomplish when it comes to home and life, because all these things can apply, like decreasing overwhelm is not just decreasing overwhelm of your home, it's like decreasing overwhelm in your life in general, but your home is a huge part of your life. And so if you are overwhelmed by your home, you're probably going to be overwhelmed in life more than likely and so that can be definitely what is occurring. And so, not getting things done in your home, not getting things done in your life could definitely be producing that overwhelm for you.


Ashley Brown  06:50

And also just a lack of a positive perspective. Perspective is huge. You're going to be hearing me talk about that all the time, is it's about the perspective. Like the way you think about the world, the way you think about life, the way you think about situations that happen, relationships, all of it, your home. Perspective is so huge because you have the power to look at things with the glass half full, or the glass half empty, like it's your choice. You have the power to look at things from a negative perspective or a positive perspective, from a place of lack, or a space of abundance, like it is your choice how you view life. So definitely a lack of a positive perspective could be really throwing you and causing you to get into that space of overwhelm. So I just want to throw out some things to you because sometimes we don't know where the overwhelm is coming from.


Ashley Brown  07:45

So I said before, it took me a while to really understand and recognize that I was getting overwhelmed. I don't know why. Like I said, I think it's because I'm so good. Like Okay, just keep moving. And that wasn't really healthy for me to just keep moving, because I wasn't processing my emotions of how I was feeling. And I've come to recognize when I'm starting to get overwhelmed so that I can just nip it in the bud, and be like we're not going there today, Ashley. So what comes up for me and this is from my experience of how overwhelmed feels, is like I get a true like gut response, like my stomach will start to like, be like in knots. I sort've just feel like not well, like it's very, like I start to feel like I'm sick, it's very interesting. And so maybe if you have felt this way and you're contributing to something else, it could be that you're feeling overwhelmed, and like I said, overwhelmed feels different from person to person. I know some people sweat when they feel overwhelmed. I know some people, like I said, we keep moving, when we feel overwhelmed. That we start like lashing out on others when we feel overwhelmed. And so that was definitely my case as well. I would just be lashing out,  like, they didn't do nothing. Well, they didn't do much to deserve that response. And so those are ways that you can act when you're feeling overwhelmed, or you can ways that you can feel when you're overwhelmed. And so I just wanted to throw that out there to you.


Ashley Brown  09:18

Check in with yourself to see like, do you even know, when you're getting overwhelmed, because if you don't even recognize when you're getting overwhelmed, it's going to just continue to be this cycle of just chaos within yourself. That doesn't feel good. So get in tune with how you feel when you feel overwhelmed, and try to recognize that pattern. And it took me a while to really recognize that, dang, like, you're just overwhelmed, that's why you're feeling sick to the stomach because you just worked yourself up. It's like basically you're working yourself up. And yeah, I think it's important that we know how we specifically feel when we are getting overwhelmed so that we can mix it and be like, not today. So what can we do differently? And so I want to move into that.


Ashley Brown  10:07

What can we do differently? What can you start today in order to decrease the overwhelm in your home and in your life? Like, what can you do? Because we do have the power, I want you to know that. You have the power to change how you feel. In every situation, you have the power to change how you feel. So when it comes to being overwhelmed, you have the power to not be overwhelmed. And so I want to give you some things that can help with this, things that can help decrease the overwhelm in your life.


Ashley Brown  10:38

So first, cleaning and decluttering is huge. That is just a very tangible thing that you can do in order to decrease overwhelm, because an unkept home sparks anxiety.  It causes you to start to feel overwhelmed because especially when things start to build up and compile and now you have to clean a house that has'nt been touched in like a week or two, right.  That can really cause overwhelm because you look at it and you feel defeated before you even begin. And so definitely cleaning on a consistent basis,  decluttering on a consistent basis can definitely help you in decreasing overwhelm. And so as you know, cleaning routine is huge. That's why I say is one routine that you should have in your home, is because it's going to help you be consistent with cleaning, and also decluttering. And so I do have a tip for you when it comes to decluttering. I want to share this tip with you. So I like to declutter an area in my home like every other month because I've gotten to that place. I remember at a certain point, I was trying to declutter things like every month, but every other month, I like to try to declutter an area of my house. And that just helps me to keep it up. So that's like a tip for you. If you're feeling like you're getting behind on decluttering try to schedule out times that you are going to declutter and actually think about ahead of time. What am I going to declutter next month? What am I going to declutter two months down the road?  If you have to do every month, do every month right?


Ashley Brown  12:13

Another tip for you when it comes to decluttering is to pair it with a task that you do already. So for example, when I go through our, so right now it's winter, and then we're going to go into spring. So when I'm doing like switching out our winter clothes for our spring clothes, what I like to do is declutter my closet at the same time. So I like to pair decluttering with a task that I already do that i know i will do without even thinking about it. So that it's not as much mental weight, if that makes any sense. So that could definitely be helpful for you. So those are just some tips for keeping a cleaning routine and decluttering routine as well. So, cleaning and decreasing clutter can definitely help with overwhelm. Creating effective routines. And of course, I'm the founder of routine and things for a reason because routines are amazing. Routines can really be super beneficial for your life. And having effective routines is the most important, not just having routines, you don't just want any old routine or just any routine, you want to have an effective routine because routines can help with overwhelm.


Ashley Brown  13:33

I think of routines as a tool, just like you have a tool to fix things around your house. Routines are a tool to fix the overwhelm to decrease the overwhelm. Routines is a tool that you can use in order to have more peace in your home. So whenever you need to pull out this tool, pull it out. Whenever you feel like your home is not where you want it to be. That you're not feeling great within your space, where you should be feeling great, routines can help fix that. So pull that tool out and start saying, You know what, I need to actually use this tool that I have in my back pocket. And when you think about routines, make sure that you are making sure that your routine is these four things. Your routine, in order for it to be effective, should be realistic, manageable, fun and flexible. Those are the four components of an effective routine. And if you want more on that, I speak about routines in another previous episode is Episode 003. So if you want to go back to listen to how to make your routines work, and feel good, that you have effective routines that you can use, in order to decrease overwhelm. Go back and listen to the episode, It's Episode 003.


Ashley Brown  14:51

And routines to help you get out of the unknown. And really get you out of that space where you feel as if you don't have order because routines provide stability, predictability and structure. And so that's a really, really great way for you to kind of know what's going to be coming ahead of time and have some predictability within your days and within your weeks. So routines are super duper helpful when it comes to decrease in overwhelm, because it decreases, like the mental load that you might be carrying. This is a tool that you have. If you're not using the tool, you can't blame anybody but yourself, like use the things that you have in order to get what you want. Period. And actually you can do as well to decrease overwhelm is plan. You know, I am all about the planning, planning, it's my jam. So you know, I had to throw this out there that planning can be really beneficial. Because if you are feeling like you're not getting things done that could be causing you overwhelmed. If you feel like your home just continues to get messy and messy and messy and you can't keep up. You are always playing catch up. You feel like you're home is in shambles, like you feel like a hot mess mama. Which I don't want you to feel like and you shouldn't feel like, then planning can really help you get stuff done.


Ashley Brown  16:16

Planning decreases the overwhelm by first getting what you want to do from your head to paper or from your head to like an electronic way or calendar. Like it gives you headspace like planning legitly gives you headspace because trying to keep everything in your head to do today, next day, the next week, like that's not effective for you. And it's like really weighing on you mentally. And when things weigh on you mentally, they weigh on you emotionally, spiritually, physically, all of that. So definitely planning can help you in clearing your head and getting headspace. It also helps to decrease overwhelm by reminding you to do the things that ultimately  lead to you getting things done. Planning also ensures that like tasks or things you want or need to get done, don't build up. So like I said, you're playing catch up planning can really help you to stay on track with actually getting your things done. And doing the things around your home and your life that you actually want to do or need to do. And planning also helps to get rid of that, like I let you down. Like I let my family down, I let myself down type of mentality, it can help with that because when you plan, you are more likely to actually accomplish your goals, you're twice as likely to accomplish your goals that you set out to do. So yeah, planning is really, really beneficial.


Ashley Brown  17:45

And also having a positive perspective. As I said before having a positive perspective or just have a perspective that is not negative or of lack can be really, really beneficial. So you might be asking, like, what is having a positive perspective, have to do a decreasing overwhelm?  It has to do a lot with decreasing overwhelm, because when we think about things in a really negative or just poor light that is registering in our brain as something that's not good and when something registers in your brain as something that's not good instinctually you feel not good about it. Does that make sense? So like you don't feel good about it. But when we register in our brain, things that are positive and of love and joy and happiness, and peace and just all positive vibes, like we feel better internally. If you are looking at things from this lens of like this like foggy lens that can only see but so far, can only see what's wrong with the situation, that can only see the negative in a situation. That can spark so much internal overwhelm, it's ridiculous. Like it really can because I've been there. Trust me. So having a different perspective that is more clear and positive is important. Like when you're looking through a clear lens, like, when you're looking from a positive perspective, you're able to see the good in a situation no matter what the situation is. And this takes practice having a positive perspective. Like, I'm not gonna say this happens overnight. But it can take place like you can have a better perspective in life. Because your better perspective is going to lead you feeling better internally. It's going to decrease that overwhelm.


Ashley Brown  19:36

Like right now, okay, I want to, I want to do something with you like a little exercise. So when I see toys on the floor, like when I used to see toys on the floor. When my perspective was all off, I would just be like these freakin messy toys, getting on my nerves like for real. That's how I will look at it. Now when I see toys on the floor, I'm like, Yes, toys on the floor like I can pick them up. Like that's my positive perspective. Like, I have the power and the ability to go over to the toys and pick them up if I want to. So why am I like, why would I continue to get aggravated by toys? Being on the floor if I can go pick them up? Right? So like, that is how small of like seeing the good in a situation can be so impactful for your mentality in decreasing the overwhelm for you. So perspective is so so vital. So in any situation at home, let's say right now, you're thinking about your home and you're like, Girl, but my home looks crazy. I wouldn't even be in my home if it wasn't my home. If you're thinking like that, mama, you gotta change that girl. You guys started thinking, yes, my home is messy right now but I have the power to cleaned up especially if you have the power and ability to do it or the power and ability to pay somebody else to do it, or have someone else do it. Like, that's a positive thing. That's the positive in the situation that you had the ability to do it yourself. Or you had the ability to have someone else do it or pay someone else to do it. Like that's the positive, like it's not outside of your reach is basically what I'm saying. So, put that positive perspective head on when you're thinking about your home. And that can really help to decrease overwhelm, and even in your life. If you just put on that positive perspective hat. I'm telling you find the good in situations that you feel like are not so good. And that can just change your whole perspective.


Ashley Brown  21:40

Another quick exercise I always do when things are starting to like when I feel like I'm getting overwhelmed or getting to that point. I will just stop and be like, what are three things you're grateful for, Ashley?  I'll ask myself that like, what are three things you're grateful for right now go, and that just pulls my attention from being overwhelmed to a space of positivity and love and gratefulness. And that changes my perspective. So that's just a quick thing that you can do, if you feel like you're getting to that point. Three things you're grateful for, 1-2-3. So yeah, just want to throw that out there to you and share that with you. Because that can be really beneficial, helping to change your perspective, because like I say, it takes practice, but you can do it. And I want to say this one last time, before we wrap things up. We have the power you, right now listen to me have the power to change your life, change your home, decrease the overwhelm, you have that power. So I want you to know that and to understand that and to believe that and to actually start acting on that, by the things that I gave you today and the ways I say that you can actually help decrease the overwhelm in your life and in your home.


Ashley Brown  22:51

So I hope that this was really beneficial for you. You can also grab the revamp your routine workbook, if you feel like your routines are off. You need to have better routines or to have more predictability and not be in the dark and to have some structure to your days and weeks. You can go grab the revamp your routine workbook it's going to be linked in the show notes as well. So in next week's episode, we're going to be going into or talking about how to go from doing all the things to actually minimizing your to do lists, and doing what actually matters most to you. So that's going to be a really, really good episode. I'm going to be diving into some good things and give you some good tips. So join me next week for that. And thank you so much again, for listening. Make sure you subscribe to the podcast. Also rate and review and share this podcast too with a friend, with a family member, with a mom that you run across. And get this out to those who you love and that you know need what this podcast offers. But I hope that you enjoyed this episode today. I hope that you have a great week. So yeah, so until next time, I hope that you're enjoying wherever you are and wherever you're doing. I'll talk to you later girl.


Ashley Brown  24:09

[Outro] Thanks for listening. If you enjoyed today's episode, could you do me a huge favor and take a screenshot and share it on social and for more routine goodness, be sure to visit Here's to staying happy!

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