Getting Back to Busy - How to Manage Post-Pandemic Overwhelm

For my creative colleagues, the ease in restrictions is glorious, but now calendars are filling up.  I imagine it's not just the arts industry that's experiencing a sudden boom.  

Add to that the family and friends who are making summer plans to see you and the exhilaration of the season making you want to say yes to everyone and everything, and you may be finding yourself pretty exhausted.

You're brain just isn't used to that much stimulus anymore.  It's like a small-town girl's first day in the city.  Even if you're an extrovert, it all can be a bit much.  It's easy to crash and burn when you're moving faster than you have in years.

Here's how to stave off overwhelm and burnout:

  • Remember to say no.
    You can't do everything.  Pay attention to which events are giving you energy and which ones are taking it.  If you have trouble saying no, don't say yes in the moment.  Allow yourself to get back to people after you've given yourself some time to realize what you really want to do and what your energy limits are.
  • Prioritize self care.
    You'd think we'd have all learned this by now, but this new-found freedom is making it easy to fall back into old habits.  You can't be at your best if you're not taking care of your physical, emotional, and mental needs. 
  • Keep your goals achievable.
    You may feel superhuman because of the increased endorphins and dopamine of socializing in person.
    You're not.  Allow extra time in your schedule to catch up with loved ones and collaborate in new endeavors.  This is a time of hyper-creativity.  Take advantage of that and keep your goals manageable.

There are still plenty of stressors in the world.  Your brain may be compartmentalizing them to enjoy in-person socializing and collaborating that have been missing for so long.  That takes work.  Plus you're exercising networking and conversational skills that have been dormant.  Be kind to yourself.

Dr. Nancy Williams is a leadership life coach, musician, and educator who helps creatives build cultures of joy and empowerment.  Get weekly emails of inspiration and leadership tips sent directly to your inbox and receive the free list "50 Ways to Say No."

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