How are you coping in your life at present? Are you constantly in a state of overwhelm and feel as though you have too much going on? You’re spending every day simply treading water and you feel that it’s not possible to catch up. This is the time that it’s most important to reset and recalibrate in order to get back to neutral, so you can manage your day, your week and your life in general. But, how do we get back that vibrancy when we’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed? In this episode, I’m going to talk you through three behaviours that may be causing you to spiral out of control and offer you some coping mechanisms around those habits. If you’re ready to move from chaos to calm, overwhelm to transforming your life, listen up!

In this episode

01:09 — 3 Coping Strategies

06:08 — #1. Learn to Prioritize 

07:19 — Take Control of Your Situation and Remain Positive

08:57 — Allow Yourself to Breathe

09:43 — #2. Distraction Detachment

11:59 — Focus On What You Are Doing

13:04 — Set Yourself Up for Success

14:04 — #3. Congruence

15:32 — Avoid spending time with negative people

16:20 — How Often Do You Make a Decision?

18:46 — Trust Your Intuition

19:34 — Conclusion


Dr Marisa Lee Naismith is excited to announce the release of her new book “Singing Contemporary Commercial Music Styles: A Pedagogical Framework” published by Compton Publications UK. Marisa offers this book as a starting point and as CCM markets continue to evolve, she encourages that we, as a voice community, continue to evolve, debate and communally add to this framework.



Visit the A Voice and Beyond Youtube channel to watch back the video replay of this guest interview or to see my welcome video.

Episode Transcription

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  00:02

It’s Marissa Lee here. And I’m so excited to be sharing today solo round episode with you. Whether you’re a member of the voice community, or beyond your voice is your unique gift. And my mission, which has been inspired by my own personal and professional journey is to empower you to share your gift with others. Now is the time for you to discover your voice in life, develop a positive mindset, and become the best and most authentic version of yourself to create greater impact. Ultimately, you can take charge, and you can become the director of your own life. It’s time for you to live your best live. It’s time now, for A Voice and Beyond. So, without further ado, let’s go to today’s episode. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  01:10

Are you constantly in a state of overwhelm and literally feel like you’re going insane, because you have so much going on? You feel as though you’re juggling all these different hats and spend every day simply treading water? There’s just way too much on your plate, and you feel that you can’t catch up? Do you find yourself constantly saying to people, you don’t understand how busy I am? You don’t understand all the things I’ve got to do. You feel this sense of overwhelm is like a dark cloud that seems to follow you everywhere. You’re simply not coping!

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  01:59

When you feel yourself not coping, getting stressed, getting angry, you can so easily lose connection, not only with others, but with self. This is the time that it’s important to reset and recalibrate and get back to neutral in order for you to cope in your day, in your week and in life. But how can we do that? How do we get back that vibrancy and that connection to self. When we’re so overwhelmed and so stressed? We are that busy that all we’re doing is simply going through the motions in life. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  02:46

If you noticed, I’m saying we and not just you because I too. I too am guilty of becoming overwhelmed and not coping. I have days when it all becomes too much. I start some days thinking to myself, I don’t know how I’m going to make it through the day, I start to feel anxious, I start to worry about things that haven’t even happened yet. Does this sound familiar to you? And it’s always in those moments that something else goes wrong. Just to add to your stress level. This happened to me last week, everything I touched seem to break down in a week where I was already running on empty my car, my washing machine, my travel card, my phone, the air conditioning in my house all came tumbling down around me. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  03:45

Don’t you hate when that happens? And then you have those people that say to you. Yeah, Murphy’s Law, it’s the way that it always happens. What Murphy’s Law? You know, I don’t know who Murphy is, but I sure wish Murphy would but out of my life. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  04:08

People think that I have it all together and that I’m very capable. And I have an unbelievable coping mechanism and I have an abundance of energy. Well, I hate to say that my capacity to coping with life is something that takes work, and it doesn’t magically happen. It’s an ongoing work in progress that starts with a daily ritual of meditation, exercise, journaling, good nutrition, and most importantly, good sleep. This is all physical, mental and emotional health stuff that can’t be overlooked. So you two, you’ve got to get your sleep and you’ve got to do your meditation, you must refresh your mind so it has the ability to To constantly meet life’s demands, if your body is fatigued, you’re not eating well, you don’t take care of yourself, then you don’t have the mental stamina required to be productive, efficient, or effective as you could be, and you will go into a state of overwhelm, your coping capacity will not be there in the times that it matters. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  05:25

My daily rituals have absolutely saved my sanity many a time, and I speak about this a lot. In other episodes, it’s something that I’m so passionate about. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  05:37

However, in this episode, though, I’m going to talk about three behaviors that may be causing you to spiral and offer you some coping mechanisms around those habits. So if you’re ready to move from chaos, to calm, overwhelmed to managing your life effectively, listen up!

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  06:08

Number one, we must all learn to prioritize our time, how often do you find that everything just seems to happen all at once, all those opportunities, all those tasks, all those meetings, all those emails, and all those who are demanding of your time. And it’s simply not possible to give 100% to everything all at once. Too often, we have so much on our plates with our careers, our relationships, our friends, our families, our hobbies, and just life in general.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  06:47

Life can be really overwhelming at times. And it doesn’t take much to tip us over the edge. We feel we’re being pulled in so many different directions. When we’re already feeling fragmented, then we end up feeling wiped out stressed out and burnt out all the time. Being those things is simply not helpful for conquering your days, or even on a more basic level, allowing you to enjoy life. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  07:19

However, with a little bit of effort, you can take control of your situation and remain positive. This is by planning and that word prioritizing, you must prioritize your to dues in order to cope, you’ve got to ask yourself, What’s most important here, learn to set goals and priorities for your day, your week and your month ahead. And I promise you that by narrowing your view of what is most important, we’ll help you feel more in control, not just of the here and now. But also when it comes to those long term tasks. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  08:03

We put so much pressure on ourselves. And we think we have to do all these different things. And we have to do them all perfectly. Right now. Well, I hate to say that it’s not always going to be perfect. And you don’t have to do it all right now. So you can allow yourself to let go of that pressure. We can’t do a million things all at once. So literally, do yourself the favor. Relax your mind. Take a breath, embrace the opportunities in front of you and prioritize. And this is the hard one. It’s okay to let go of all those things that aren’t important or urgent. Move them off your To Do lists. Give them the flick. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  08:57

Give yourself permission to eliminate, to delegate to prioritize, to breathe, and to work hard in the moment when it’s necessary. And really be grateful and embrace those opportunities that are important to you. You know, you may never ever have them again. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  09:16

I know this all sounds so basic and it is but I promise you that it will help you manage your stress your overall health and well being and in turn, this will help you in your everyday peak performance. You know you deserve to live your best life.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  09:43

Number two, once you know what you have on your plate for that day, and you have clarity, all around those things that must be done. The next step is distraction removal. You have to become an app salute ninja at distraction removal, otherwise, you will begin to spiral and not cope once again. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  10:08

So let’s address that elephant in the room when it comes to distraction, tech nology. We all love technology, and our lives are overwhelmed with technology. But at what cost? Please, I’m not anti technology here, I don’t think technology hurts in business or in life, as long as it’s used when necessary. And this means getting off it and not allowing it to distract you. So stop checking your phone every three seconds. It’s not necessary. You think I’m kidding, people do this. And here’s some really cool stats to prove this. The average person lives for 75 years. And in that 75 year lifespan, we currently spend six years on social media or online. And we all know this is the truth. And there are many that spend way more time than that. And they’re probably the ones saying that their time poor, and they’re not coping have figured it out people. The other distraction is TV, and we spend 11 of those 75 years watching television. And that includes Netflix. Imagine if people use that time productively what they could do, how would that help them cope? 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  11:37

I’ve had to learn to become really good at this distraction removal. The second I see distraction. Now my mind recognizes that distraction. And I say to myself, hey, bye, go down this path, I may never get back to the place I’m meant to be at. I may never get that time back. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  11:59

I admit that I text message and email friends and colleagues. You know, it’s a quick way to get in touch with people. And I can do it at a time that suits me. However, if I’m working on a particular task, and I have to stay task orientated to get the job done, and I’m in that creative flow, I have to be really disciplined and ignore phone calls, texts, emails, social media, in fact, all technology. Otherwise, instead of staying true to what I need to focus on, it becomes about everybody else. And then I end up feeling like I’m not coping because I haven’t done what I was setting out to do. My area of lack of discipline, I have to be honest here is in returning people’s calls or responding to text messages or emails. I’m so bad at it. Sometimes it takes me days. I don’t enjoy doing this at all. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  13:04

My message here is you can set yourself up for success by ditching all those distractions and temptations. If you want to quit feeling overwhelmed, you must eliminate temptations and distractions. Yep, you heard me, you need to spend less time indulging in behaviors and activities that don’t align with your values or your goals. Don’t let impulses or distractions dictate your choices. You need to be the architect of your own life, and stay focused on what you need to do to achieve a desired outcome. And this takes discipline, become the role model for your friends and your family when it comes to distraction and see what happens.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  14:04

Number three, Congruence. Congruence is that psychological need that we have to live in alignment with who we think we are. It means that if I think I’m a good person, but I don’t act like a good person, or I’m not doing those things that bring me joy, then I’m going to have a dissonance inside and I begin to feel frustrated and stressed, upset with myself and disconnected from myself. And alternatively, things don’t go how I want from that point on, then I just don’t cope. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  14:47

And much of today’s theme around coping is all about how we can improve the way we spend our time and energy. The one thing that we know about spending is that When you spend something, you never get it back, it doesn’t create anything. Whereas when you invest, it creates, and it has future value. So why would you spend your time doing things, being in a job, surrounding yourself with people who you know, are not aligning with you and your core values. This is not being congruent and not being congruent than me stresses me out immensely. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  15:32

I don’t cope when I’m spending my time and energy in areas of my life that are moving me away from and not in the direction of those things that are important to me. Don’t even get me started about spending time with those people who are negative, and have a real bad attitude towards life, they drive me insane. How often have you spent time with someone who absolutely sucks your energy dry, or you get some kind of weird vibe of them? Those kinds of people make me feel off in some kind of way. And sometimes they even make me feel physically unwell. They are not my people. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  16:20

The other thing is, how often do you make a decision? And you know very well, it is not the right decision for you? Do you make that decision out of fear and not congruency? Because you’re worried that if you don’t take that job, you’re not going to be offered another one? Look, whatever it is, you’re going against your core values, and what your intuition is telling you to do. Your gut is saying, don’t take this job, that you take it anyway. And then you live with regret. And do you get stuck in a place where you just don’t want to be at, you find that you’re so miserable. And all of a sudden, you find you’re not coping with life. This is what happens when we don’t follow our intuition. I know this for a fact, because it’s happened to me. Every time I don’t follow my gut feeling. Everything goes wrong. For me, it seems to trigger a whole lot of negativity in my life. And I don’t cope with negativity. And I don’t know anyone who does. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  17:32

Intuition is the way the subconscious mind communicates with the conscious mind. The information that informs that feeling is real. Whether you believe that or not. Our intuition is way smarter than our brain, it is a brilliant thing. And the sharper it is, the better off you’re going to be. So when you don’t listen to your intuition, you can make decisions that cause you to spiral out of control and to feel as though you’re not coping. It’s because you’re not living in alignment with who you think you are, how you want to interact with other people, your goals, and what you want to give to the world. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  18:17

Every person on the planet has intuition, but not every person listens or chooses to listen, I know learning to listen to your gut feeling has a lot to do with trust. And that can be really hard when fear is involved. So just start by checking in with yourself. Asking yourself how something makes you feel how this person makes you feel? Is this the direction you want to go in. So rather than allowing your head to take over, or only trying to understand things logically, trust your intuition. Believe it or not, your head isn’t always going to guide you in the right direction, not trusting your gut feeling or your intuition will always lead you to making the wrong decision. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  19:14

So it’s time to listen to your gut and learn to say no to those things, you know, are not in alignment with who you are or your core values.

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  19:34

Often when people say they’re not coping, and they’ve lost their enthusiasm, their vibrancy, they can’t focus. Sometimes it can simply be that they have not been focusing on themselves. If this is you and you’re not coping with life right now. Ask yourself, what would I have to do? What thinking patterns or behavior is what I have to adopt to start tapping into the best of who I am. Again, you need to create practices that keep you on track to your desired destination. And it’s okay to let go of those things that are not going to serve your mission, your family, your future, your goals, or you. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  20:23

This takes discipline. And you also have to know your limitations. You have to know your capacity, you have to value your time and energy because both of these are in limited supply people, you have to learn to say it’s about priorities. It’s about saying no to distraction. And it’s about listening to your intuition when it’s telling you that you’re not being congruent. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  20:51

I know that not every day is going to be comfortable or perfect. Life doesn’t work like that. Life is full of seasons, there’s going to be times when you have to work hard for you to reap the big rewards and the big benefits. So don’t beat yourself up in those moments. Enjoy the changing seasons. Take a moment to think about your accomplishments. And don’t focus on what you didn’t get done. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  21:21

I understand that changing habits, thoughts and behaviors is really challenging. But if I can do this, you certainly can. I’m nobody special. I’m human just like you. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  21:36

It’s time to visualize who you want to become. Take a look. And imagine what these changes can do for you. It’s time to step into a life where you are coping. It’s time now to live the life you dream of because you are worth the effort. Always have been and always will be. 

Dr Marisa Lee Naismith  22:03

Thank you so much for listening to this episode of A Voice and Beyond. I hope you enjoyed it as now is an important time for you to invest in your own self care, personal growth and education. Use every day as an opportunity to learn and to grow, so you can show up feeling empowered and ready to live your best life. If you know someone who will also be inspired by this episode, please be sure to copy and paste the link and share it with them. Or share it on social media and use the hashtag #AVoiceAndBeyond. I promise you I am committed to bringing you more inspiration and conversations just like this one every week. And if you’d like to help me, please rate and review this podcast and cheer me on by clicking the subscribe button on Apple Podcast right now. I would also love to know what it is that you most enjoyed about this episode and what was your biggest takeaway. Please take care and I look forward to your company next time on the next episode of A Voice and Beyond.

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