I am going to give you some of my best tips on how to not feel overwhelmed but first let me just say this.
It’s ok to feel like you are trying to herd cats and you just want to throw it all out for a fresh start.
But I want you to know it is possible to tame the beast of overwhelm and it’s not as hard as you might think.
You know why? Cause the crazy feelings are all in your mind and if you can find out what YOU NEED to not feel overwhelmed you can calm the crazies.
Believe it or not, you can handle a lot more than you think. You just have to manage it in a certain way that works with your mind.
It makes me laugh when people say to do all of these things like take a break. Meditate. Rest…. All of these things are impossible to do with the pile of stuff that is in your mind.
The Process Of How To Not Feel Overwhelmed
Learning how to not feel overwhelmed is a process. It takes practice and listening to your body. Doing the things that calm the overwhelm for you.
Here is my exact process that I go through when I start to feel like life is going a little crazy. Then I’ve got some tips at that end how to not feel overwhelmed that you can add to your every day life.
Write Down Everything That Is Overwhelming You
I prefer that you handwrite things down here is why. Your mind will clear itself out much better if you make the act of writing down your thoughts. But if there is a lot you get a pass on this one. Type it out or dictate it into a digital tool. One it will be faster but you will also be able to organize it better.
Your brain was created for thinking and coming up with ideas. Not holding them for long periods of time. If you don’t take away anything else from this post on how not to feel overwhelmed then let it be this.
Work Through Everything On Your List
Now you are going to go through every single thing and ask yourself “why is this on my mind”?
Do I need to:
- Do it?
- Throw it out?
- Write it on a later date in my calendar?
- Work through it emotionally so it doesn’t consume my thoughts?
Mark each task with one of the four options above. If you need to just flush the thought out of your mind like I said on number two. Cross it off. Scribble it out. Or do what you have to in order to get rid of that thought.
Look at all of the tasks with “Do It” next to them. Which ones take the shortest amount of time and how many of them could you do right now in the next 30 minutes.
Two, three, five?
Even if they don’t “need” to be done right now. Clearing all of those little tasks taking up your brain space will help a lot.
Knock out all of those little tasks in the next few minutes. It will help boost your motivation to knock out the bigger tasks.
If you need more help writing a purposeful to-do list read this post.
Break Down Your Big Projects
Look for anything that is a bigger project. Thinks like clean out the living room. Build this or make that.
Big projects that you can’t do in a few hours need a plan of action. Highlight those or set those off to the side.
If you need help learning how to plan a project read this post.
Projects can be a beast. But if you break them down right you won’t have as much trouble working through them. This post will help you out breaking down your projects.
Mark Your Calendar
Anything left that you don’t have time for today or is a date you need to remember, put it in your calendar or planner. (here is my favorite, click to get $10 off… make sure to check your email for the coupon code)
Work Through The Emotions
Sometimes there are things that come into your mind that you can’t do anything about. Feeling Overwhelmed is ok. But it’s letting that emotional overwhelm take over your control to handle the situation that will get you into trouble.
Take a deep breath and ask yourself what is causing these feelings.
If there is nothing you can do to make it better. Then it’s time to let them go. Past hurts and stresses that can’t be fixed don’t do you any good to hold on to. You are only hurting yourself. (A little tough love but it’s true)
Now if it is a big thing like a bill you didn’t see coming. You can’t just throw it out of your mind. SO how are you going to attack that bill like nobody’s business? (If you need help with working through dept here is a good blogger friend who is a GREAT resource for paying off debt and living on a low income. Like less than 20k a year low.)
Make a plan of how you can work through it and work the plan.
Most times when it’s something really stressful like that. We stress about a bill or some surprise because we don’t see how we are going to deal with that stressful thing… so freak out happens and overwhelm is sure to follow.
Here Are Some Great Tips To Help With The Feelings Of Overwhelm Before It Gets To Bad
We are all wired differently and you have to try different things to see what works for you. For me, I have to solve the problem or make a plan to do so before I can relax. But there are some instances where I need to walk away and come back.
It all depends on the scenario. Learn to pause and listen to what your body is telling you.
Take An Emotional Time Out
Taking a break from the task is great if you are working on a big project and you have been working on it for hours. Just be careful that your break doesn’t lead to avoidance or procrastination. Leaving your work to the last minute won’t help you at all.
Read an engrossing book that has nothing to do with work. Go to a movie if you can swing it (seriously).
The point is to take an hour or two away from your problems–physically somewhere else, if possible. You’ll remember that there’s a vast world out there, and maybe put yourself back in perspective.
One of my favorite things to do is go into town and walk the store Ilse even if I don’t intend to buy anything. If I have a little spending money then you know my first stop will be Hobby Lobby.
I hate exercise but I do notice a difference in the days (or weeks) that I make an effort to move my body. Even it’s just for 15 minutes and taking Toby (my saint bernard) on a lap around the field behind the house.
It doesn’t have to be a lot. Just enough to get the blood flowing.
Pray, Read You Bible, And Journal
There is something about feeding your faith that will help you with the daily stresses and overwhelming moments. Sure they will still come but you have the confidence to handle them without letting the struggles throw you off track for the whole day.
There is something about handwriting your prayers that opens you up to be real. Totaly pouring your heart out to God. It’s so easy to just throw up a few requests and hope for the best. But when you are open with God and share how you’re feeling. It will free your soul.
Track Your Progress
I am not so good with this in my business because it kind of seems like a waste of time. I can go into an account and see my current stats and where I am now.
The problem with that is it is hard to see how far you’ve come. It’s easy to forget the mountains we have claimed.
Whether it’s a tasks list or a project list of things you need to get done around the house keep it in front of your face so you can see how far you have come. And when your spouse asks “what did you do today” you have something to say instead of “oh the usual”.
Turn Stuff Down
Did you know it’s ok to say no. Or slowly pull yourself out of a situation that is taking too much of your time?
You can’t be there for everyone. But there are those people you do want to be there for right? SO you have to have some margin so you can be there for the people who need your help.
Clean Things Up
Sometimes there is just too much in front of us and the stress of visual chaos is enough to cause major overwhelm. Take the time to clear the clutter and make the space around you a calm place to be.
It takes time to know how to not feel overwhelmed in a way that works for YOU. But its worth trying things out to see what works. Keep at it friend.