Okay, I’ve got to remember to go to the dry cleaners, and call my health insurance about the EOB, and make sure I take my new vitamins this afternoon, and paint my nails for a photo shoot, and, and write a handful of emails, and… whew! I am overwhelmed!

So it really resonated when one of our fellow #ChronicBabes emailed me to ask about overwhelm. (Did you know you can request a video on specific topics or questions around chronic illness life?)

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when we have chronic illness, because there are so many things to juggle—and the world is just overwhelming all on its own! I hope you find some of my tips helpful.



*AWAP = As Well As Possible

Now it’s your turn:

What kinds of things help you get calm and tackle overwhelm? I want to know! Tell me all about it in the comments below.

Want more #AWAPwednesday? Check out our #AWAPwednesday video playlist, which has more than 130 videos packed with practical advice, lots of humor, and bloopers. Lots of bloopers.

Is there a question I can answer for YOU? Add it to the comments below, or shoot me an email.

Until we meet again: Be AWAP! Smooches!

(Rough) Transcript:

Hi! I’m Jenni Grover Prokopy of ChronicBabe.com and today is AWAP Wednesday (that stands for As Well As Possible).

Each week, I offer you my personal favorite tips and techniques to help you craft an incredible life beyond illness. Yes! I know you can.

Subscribe to the ChronicBabe YouTube channel today to make sure you never miss another video, OK?

One of our fellow #ChronicBabes wrote me recently with a question about overwhelm. She’s been feeling more and more of it since she got sick, and she wondered if I sometimes got overwhelmed, too—and what I do about it.

Girl, you KNOW I get overwhelmed sometimes! Not only do I have a handful of chronic illnesses to manage, but I also run my own business teaching women how to live full lives in spite of being sick chicks, and I’m finishing writing my first book, and I have a couple of time-consuming hobbies, and friendships and a husband to maintain, and… I am SO with you on the overwhelm thing.

I have a few tricks up my sleeve when it comes to handling overwhelm. Here we go:

Make a list. I know, it sounds obvious, but seriously: Make a list. Sometimes I use the reminders app that’s built into Apple computer products, so my lists are synced across all my devices. Sometimes I use the Evernote app if I want to make a list of things I share with my husband or a friend, so we can collaborate. And sometimes I just use good old-fashioned paper and markers.

Get it out of your brain, babe! That’s one of the biggest sources of overwhelm: Trying to keep it all in our head. Especially when we have cognitive issues from chronic illness, this can make it even harder. Make a list!

Schedule it to make it real. If you’ve got a bunch of tasks to tackle, but your days tend to drift by without completing them, it’s time to schedule those tasks. Sure, you may have to move things around if you have a flare-up or a surprise doctor appointment, but get them on the calendar. Wishing we could get stuff done doesn’t lead to success: committing the time to get things done does.

Make peace with imperfection. If you’re anything like me, you’ve got a little bit of Type-A personality going on, and you want things to be “just right.” The problem with this is, fear of imperfection can stop you from trying to accomplish something. It’s time to let go of imperfection and the desire to do things just like you used to, or perfectly, or “just right.” Sometimes, finished is better than perfect.

Give yourself a breather. If you experience times when overwhelm just takes over and you get anxious or sweaty or frustrated, take a breath. I mean, literally: Take a breath. Take a few minutes to do some relaxing breathing techniques, like diaphragmatic breathing. Or meditate for 10 minutes to quiet your mind. If you’re panicking about all you need to get done, you won’t complete it, and then you’ll be even more freaked out. Breathe…

Enlist help. Maybe there are chores you can hand off to your kids or spouse or roommate. Maybe you can hire someone to do housework or lawn care for you. (Use an app like TaskRabbit, or post a flier in your local cafe.) Maybe you have a friend who can take over your spot on the PTA for a few months so you can get more caught up. Maybe you can talk with your boss about sharing some responsibilities with another co-worker if your current workload is too much. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and delegate.

I’m just scratching the surface here, babe. There are many ways you can avoid overwhelm altogether, or alleviate overwhelm when it occurs — if you commit to trying a few of these tips.

Use your tools — and your personal network — to say bye-bye to overwhelm.

Thanks for watching today! I would love to hear how you conquer feelings of overwhelm. Here’s your assignment: Share one thing that really helps in the comments below, or head over to the blog at ChronicBabe.com to join the conversation—I want to hear what YOU have to say.

If you liked what you saw today, subscribe to my YouTube channel now. And while you’re at it, head over to ChronicBabe.com and sign up for my weekly #AWAPwednesday newsletter, where I share exclusive personal stories, advice, and insights that I don’t share anywhere else online.

Until we meet again, be AWAP! Smooches!