Thursday, February 21, 2008

Overwhelm! The Artist's Toolkit for Dealing With It All

So, before we get to the actual useful information...there have been a couple of changes around here! There's the new banner at the top. And I've put a link for you to join the Absolutely Small List up in the upper right hand corner. The Absolutely Small List is a short monthly email about where you can see my work in person, fun new developments, and general chickenful Absolutely Small news. It's different from the blog in that there will be coupons! It's the only place where I am releasing any sort of discount on my work. So, by all means, please sign up! Just shoot an email to, and you're in! (And of course, your info will be super duper double dog top secret, and you can unsubscribe any time, etc etc.) Now, onto the overwhelm!

Confession time: I often get completely overwhelmed! I loose sight of the big picture and get lost in the details on a fairly regular basis. Now, while my coping mechanisms for this do involve crawling into bed and trying to sleep it off (Eh, that's about 33% effective), I've also figured out some other ways to get back to the surface.
Here goes:

1. Make a list. Write down everything that must get done. Everything! From all parts of your life. I panic when I think I'm forgetting things. Writing it down gets it out of your head, out of the worry zone, and plus, then you have a list of things to do. And when you can cross things off, you get that tiny endorphin rush!
2. Clean up. Not shockingly, when I find myself overwhelmed, the environment around me has usually turned to utter chaos. Putting things back where they need to go helps me get my mind back in order, too.
3. Get out! Get out of the studio. Get out of the house if you can. Go for a walk. Take a bath/ shower. Try your best to do something completely unrelated to everything to clear the junk out of your mind. You'll come back refreshed, and able to see clearly.
4. Be grateful. It's easy to look at everything we don't have. And it doesn't matter if it's material goods, blog traffic, accomplishments...whatever. When I find myself doing this (all too often!), I get (surprise!) overwhelmed. Once you've stepped out of the panic zone, you can remind yourself to focus on what you do have. Appreciate even the small things, and it will make your life immediately so much nicer.

That's it. Anyone else have some tips they'd like to share? By all means, leave a comment.
(And sign up for the Absolutely Small List. Because it does not contribute to overwhelm AT ALL. Chickenpants are nature's own anti-overwhelm pills.)


mushroommeadows said...

Love your new banner.

And yes. Gratitude often times reduces the overwhelming feelings.

Felicia said...

Love your new banner. My biggest tip is to ignore the dust :)

Anonymous said...

Wonderful advice!! :) I especially appreciate the "make a list" part. Wow! I can't even say how many times this has saved me! :)

I have some exciting news on my blog if you want to come take a peek!

damselle said...

I think that's really good advice. I'm a super neurotic list maker, myself. Thanks so much for sharing, and it feels good to know that other people feel the "agh why is my life ruled by *chaos*?!" feeling, even though as artists and small business owners, we fight the Good Fight everyday and should be rewarded with flowers and chocolates and public gratitude and should be considered National Treasures.

erickia said...

haha~nice blog, keep the good work for it

Ricë said...

found your blog through vervearth--thought you'd like to know that. love your ideas about how to get out from under the stress of it all--same thing i've been thinking about and writing about lately. where are photos of your softies? gotta go look around and see if you've posted some. . . .


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