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5 Ways To Clear Your Mind When There Is Way Too Much To Do

"I feel all 6s and 7s today!"

My grandmother looked normal to me; what the heck did she mean by that?

Cat got your tongue?

As a kid, I was still struggling to understand why adults said such odd things. Like the time I was too shy to speak up, and someone asked me if a cat had my tongue. What cat? My tongue? Gross.

Plus, we didn't have a cat. We had a beagle with awful breath.

Or when one adult disagreed with another, the proper exclamation seemed to describe male cattle droppings. (Email me if you can’t figure it out.)

What she meant by her centuries-old saying about being at 6s and 7s was that she was feeling scattered and overwhelmed. Too much to do, and everything a priority.

When too many demands come at you, it can feel like you can't get your head on straight long enough to think.

From exhaustion or low blood sugar to mentally-hijacking generalized irritability, as if your skin is on too tight, everyone has those days—everyone.

Listen, you're not failing. It's your brain telling you to slow down while it catches up with what's going on around you.

But instead of paying attention to your body, self-castigation and procrastination step in, making you feel as if you're in control of your focus. But they make things worse by distracting your focus away from the path out of your dither.

Standard advice says it can help to ask yourself a few questions to decode the confusion.

  • Is it humanly possible to do what you're doing in the time you have?

  • Is this typical and possibly ADD-based overwhelm?

  • Is someone really dying, or are they just making you feel like they are?

  • Do you need help, instruction, or tools?

While the questions above are helpful, starting with them can destroy whatever focus you had left. Instead, let's simplify it with five steps that start by listening to your body.

First, rescue your brain with oxygen.

Drop your tense shoulders. Take a breath. And another. They’re free. It’s surprising how often we hold our breath when stressed. Try it.

Second, are you hangry?

Do you feel hungry, emotional, or tired? There is little that can't wait 5-10 minutes while you recharge your body with something to eat or drink. That break also gives your mind a chance to be creative and push overwhelm out of your way so you can problem solve. Plus, it is much more pleasurable than beati