[Bogged] Down, But Not Out!

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Alrighty, I’m quite sure I am not alone when I say this, but for me it can be pretty easy to get bogged down.


😣 This, to me, is pretty much the same feeling as being overwhelmed. It’s when there are so many different tasks calling for your attention and pulling you in different directions that you feel fried just thinking about what to do, or what to do next. This, admittedly, is not only frustrating because you can’t focus and devote quality time to one specific thing, it can also be exhausting.


The unfortunate part for me is that this isn’t abrupt; it's a slow, gradual descent. Which certainly doesn’t help to prevent the bogged down blues from kicking in because oftentimes you can’t hear its roar until it’s too late.


Now, I get this feeling often with Helium Books as there are just so many hats to be worn 🎩.


Ian and I created an agenda a while back and go through a topic each weekday (i.e. Marketing, General Events, Finance, etc.) which helps us not only stay sane, but allows us to narrow our focus on what needs to be accomplished that day. While the agenda is beyond helpful, it, at times, can be quite discouraging. Seeing the sheer number of items on the list, or worse yet, crossing an item out only to have it be replaced by an item with even more to-dos, is exhausting. When you are only thinking of the agenda and only seeing the agenda, it can be crippling. All that work and effort to just delete this line item…


This is where I have learned to take a step back, take a breath, and look at what is being accomplished (easier said than done).


A couple weeks back I wrote about community and the different ways Helium Books attempts to meet people in certain spaces to provide that community for our Helium Family. A perfect example is The Helium Book Club. On the agenda, it’s one line item with a bunch of to-dos. But by taking a step back, our book club is an incredible opportunity for us to engage with and cultivate a community of readers right here in Milwaukee.


It can be difficult to reflect on this higher-level thinking when I am bogged down. Obviously, taking a step back isn’t helpful to combat the feeling of being overwhelmed as it’s a reactive strategy. So, what do I do to try to squash any potential bogged down feelings?


Great question. While it’s still a learning process for me, here are a couple different ways I handle it (“professionally” and personally).


Professionally, I am an external processor. I need meetings to interact with others, to talk things through, and to actually process what the agenda is “telling us” to do that day. By reviewing and talking through everything, details and all, I am able to lay everything out that is to be accomplished and at the end, it doesn’t seem too bad.


Now personally speaking, I have had one constant method of staying attentive while simultaneously relieving stress and that is by going on walks. Being able to pop on the headphones and go for a stroll allows me to process, think, and relax all at the same time. Not to mention, it offers a brief escape from reality. Walks add peace to my life, requiring me to slow down. To take a breath. And, to be where my feet are.


By combining my external processing with music-filled walks, I stay grounded and hear that “roar” before it's too late. But, even if that roar gets louder, I am beginning to equip myself with the tools I need to combat the feeling of being bogged down. I may be down, but I'm not out!


Is being bogged down scary, frustrating, and sometimes isolating? Yes, yes, and yes. But, little do the bogged down blues know, my roar is just as loud, and even scarier 😠.


How about you all? Any helpful methods that you employ to avoid feeling overwhelmed or to combat it after it arrives? I want to know! Comments are wide open...let's chat 👇


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