Have you ever had those days, or weeks, when it just feels so hard? You have a never-ending to-do list for work, plus personal commitments on top of that. Or maybe it all begins when you wake up in the morning and see all the emails that came in overnight. Instead of tackling it head on with confidence and purpose though, you just kind of freeze up, turn to your old friend procrastination, and become increasingly overwhelmed as the minutes pass.
Feeling overwhelmed can be debilitating at times. While it’s a natural feeling and part of being human, it’s not natural to have those feelings linger longer than they should. If you’re attentive to it though, there is a beauty to be found in the state of overwhelm. Instead of sinking under its weight, see it as a signpost for change.
Here are a few ways you can empower yourself out of the overwhelm and lead your life well again:
1 | Breathe
We do it automatically, but don’t underestimate the power it has when done with intention or by waiting until you’re stressed. Implement short breaks into your day to simply focus on breathing in and out. Check in on yourself regularly and clear the thoughts that aren’t nourishing your wellbeing.
Need a little inspiration? Think on this quote: “Breathe it all in. Love it all out.”
2 | Put Pen To Paper
Grab a pen and paper and write down what’s on your mind. Seeing your thoughts on paper helps bring clarity and allows you to prioritise accordingly. Multi-tasking can more often become an efficiency-killer or tool for procrastination. By focusing on one thing at a time though, you are able to streamline your energy and increase your productivity.
It’s much easier to get clear on what needs to be done when you can see it. After you do this, take a step back and ask yourself the following: Is this urgent? Can it wait until tomorrow? Can this be outsourced or delegated to someone else?
3 | Find the why
Ever thought, “Why am I doing this again?” Yes, me too!
Take a moment to remind yourself of the purpose of the task/s at hand. Is it helping you get one step closer to ticking off that goal? Is it building a new habit into your lifestyle or perhaps a stronger character trait? Will it breathe a sense of ease and relief financially?
Refocusing on the purpose could be just the reset you need to put the meaning back in your path.
4 | Let go
Don’t believe everything you think! The first thing to let go of is your thoughts. Let go of any thoughts that aren’t building your confidence. Be mindful of what you’re saying to yourself because they are seeds that will be reaped through your actions.
The second thing to let go of is tasks that can be outsourced. So often we attempt to do everything ourselves, but it can often come at the expense of other things such as time, energy, and money. Focus on the areas that sing to your strengths, then consider how you might delegate those tasks that are adding unnecessary overwhelm to your life.
5 | Move the body
Sweat it out. Take a stroll outside. Whatever you do, get offline, get some air, and get your body moving. We all know that moving your body releases endorphins, otherwise known as the ‘feel-good’ hormones, but have you actually felt it? Getting a little extra physical activity in your day is not only good for your physical health, but it also clears the mind and helps get your thoughts back on the right track.
6 | Speak it out
The fastest way to remove overwhelm is to speak it out. So often we can bottle up thoughts, only to have them multiply and turn into a full blown monster in our mind. Or is that just me?
Verbalising the thoughts and fears disempowers the impact it has on us. Depending on the source of the overwhelm, speaking to a trusted friend or mentor might be a great place to go for some extra perspective and truth. When you feel like you’re sinking under the weight of it all, having someone there to pull you out of it is invaluable.
If you find yourself overwhelmed on a consistent basis and it’s affecting your work, family and social life, it might be incredibly beneficial and valuable to see a psychologist or counsellor. Becoming equipped by professionals in how to effectively manage your stress is key to not only surviving, but thriving in life.
Remember that things only change if we make a change. So start today.
What are some things you do when feeling overwhelmed? Share below!
– image credit: Beauty, Cocktails & Girltalk