Overwhelmed? Managing Stress is Pie….Literally

So one of my clients brought to my attention (and I’m able to tell you this because she gave me permission to blog about it) that she was feeling overwhelmed over the fact that she was getting married in a few months. Though this seems like a good thing on paper, I could tell by her distress that she was feeling overwhelmed by the stress and the pressure to get all the details squared away. She said she was getting pressure from all sides: mother, friends, family members, her fiancee. Everyone wanted her to manage the planning of the wedding, because after all, it was “her day.”

So we sat and discussed how we could make much of the planning of this easier, when it dawned on me: What if you broke the whole process up into pieces. After all, you don’t eat a whole pie at once, do you? You eat it a piece at a time, and even then, you eat each piece one forkfull at a time.

We laughed about the analogy, but it made sense, especially in this situation. So how could we apply it to her life? Well we had to divide the pie up into slices. So with the pie being her wedding planning, we separated the planning into 8 pieces, and named each piece. It looked something like the diagram below.

The idea behind it was she could take a piece a day, and “eat it.” Take one topic, and break it down in steps. Each step is a “bite.” I recommended actually having a piece of pie with each topic, but then I thought that probably wasn’t a good idea considering she probably wouldn’t fit into her dress. And how cool would that be, really?

Now I could have just sent her on her way, and gave myself an enormous pat on the back for being so smart. But then I realized I had to take my own advice yet again. Because there are times when I feel a bit overwhlemed (as I’ve stated here before), and when I do, having tools ready to manage them is not a bad idea.

So why didn’t I try this out on myself. So here’s what I came up with:

So for me, I have to consider taking a topic a day, breaking it down into edible bites, and then resolving each issue so that they’re not bugging me so much. Remember, there are some things you can change, and some things you can’t, so that makes a lot of difference with regard to how much you can “eat” and how much you can’t.

Sounds good, right? So here’s the thing, I’m not going to sit here and tell you about it and not give you the tools to do this yourself. So I’ve included a blank, really cheesy, done in Windows Paint style pie chart that you can use to manage your overwhelmed feelings. Give it a shot and let me know here if it works for you. Go ahead and tell me. I don’t bite.  🙂