I feel like these days we have glamorised having a busy life. We are always on the go, always trying to be busy and do as much as possible all at once. We work our day jobs, have multiple ‘side-hustles’ and keep a home running day-to-day, and this is considered an average life. On top of that there’s social lives, family commitments and trying to do things you enjoy in your spare time. Don’t get me wrong, it can be enjoyable to be on the go all the time and have lots going on. But sometimes it can be hard to tell yourself to stop and take a break.
In my experience, and I know a lot of people are the same, I keep going and going and eventually crash. I’ve been trying to work on this lately, but I still feel the guilt of having a relaxing evening or weekend where I do nothing. I feel incredibly guilty that I’m not working on my next project or doing something constructive with my time, and this can be exhausting.
Sometimes we take on so much at a time that we can start to feel overwhelmed with it all. We can start to shut down, which causes more stress and it’s a never-ending cycle. I’ve spoken to a few bloggers who have shared their tips and tricks with me to help with the feeling of being overwhelmed. If you find you get overwhelmed often and need some , keep reading!
“I’ve been overwhelmed in regards to work before – both in my job & in blogging. Sometimes it can feel like you’re lost at sea + are getting more hopeless of being rescued. But then you spot a life ring & perhaps there is a little bit of hope after all. It might take a little while to make it back to shore, but you can use that boat ride to get your thoughts organised & see that, perhaps you can get your head above water & see clearly again.”
First and foremost, you need to accept that you are overwhelmed. It’s so easy to say you’re fine and continue down the path you are on, but this will only end in disaster. Admitting to yourself that you need to take a break is such an important first step.
One thing I find really helps me is making a list. I know it sounds really basic, and you’re probably thinking ‘oh here we go’ but honestly, think of it as you’re plucking the thoughts out of your head and putting them onto the paper. I can sometimes feel like I’ve got so much swimming around in my head, so I write it out as a list and I instantly feel a bit better.
Once I’ve made my list, the next thing to do is prioritise them. I bet there are a fair few things on the list that really don’t need doing desperately. I try to get the quickest things done first, that way I can start ticking off the list which makes me feel calmer. Then you can start tackling the bigger things.
Once in a while you just need to stop. Stop, relax and start fresh tomorrow. I know it can be hard to switch off, and you feel like you’re wasting precious time, but trust me it helps. Try to turn your mind off for a night so you can wake up again and refocus.
“When I’m feeling overwhelmed, I try to take things back to basics. I’ll have a bit of me time, whether that’s a soak in the bath or going for a walk in the countryside or by the coast. Anything to take my mind off of what is stressing me out. Then once I’m more relaxed I can refocus on the tasks I need to do.”
Everyone has their own way of dealing with things. There is no textbook answer here. Everyone’s life experience is different and we all have our own things to become overwhelmed with. It’s important to try different things, find what works for you and adapt it to your situation.
Penny has put together 5 things you can do to help with feeling overwhelmed:
- The first and foremost step is to take a deep breath. Inhaling while counting to 4, holding the breath for 4 seconds, and then exhaling again, counting to 4.
- Examine this moment. What are you feeling? What is happening in your body? Relax your shoulders and release the tension you hold in your abdomen.
- Go for a walk. Leave everything on your desk and take a walk. Even going for a walk in your garden will change your whole mood.
- Close your eyes and imagine that you are by the sea. You are relaxed and you can feel the waves.
- Write down what you are feeling. Writing has therapeutic effects. You will feel very relieved afterwards.
It’s important to be present in the now and not the past or future. Really engage in how you are feeling at the current time, take deep breaths and try to block out thoughts of what’s next on your list. Living in the future all the time will just wish your life away, and lingering in the past will just waste your time.
Do you have any tips for dealing with overwhelm?
Until next time.