9 Easy Ways to Stop Feeling Overwhelmed!
We are very lucky to live in a world where everything is so easily accessible. There is so much readily available for us and our world is advancing all the time.
This may sound like a breeding ground for success, but in reality, it can often lead to the opposite. Overwhelm. Complete and utter stress and confusion about what we should be doing.
Last month, I talked about the quarter-year crisis and how to get back on top of your life, and then I realised, if you’re already feeling overwhelmed, then you might not be ready for some more ‘self-help’ advice.
So, let’s take it right back. Let’s actually deal with how to overcome the feelings of overwhelm, decide what YOU actually want and figure out a way to get you there.
Let’s face it, whilst we're feeling overwhelmed, we’re not going to be able to get any further. It’s like trying to refill a cup that’s already full, it will overflow, and you will end up with a big mess.
Let’s drain your cup full of unnecessary stress and overwhelm, and get you feeling back in control of your life.
9 Easy Ways to Stop Feeling Overwhelmed!
1) Choose carefully – With all of the choice our modern world has to offer, it can be very overwhelming to know what to work on. There is so much advice and self-help out there, that it’s no wonder we feel all over the place. It’s best to take it back to basics…
- No more than 3 things to work on at once – If you actioned every ‘habit you need in your life’ you wouldn’t actually be living. As much as all of these improved ways of doing things are helpful, too many at once, will have the opposite effect. If you're trying out new habits, don't work on more than 3 at once.
- One task at a time – Multitasking isn’t helpful. For anyone. Ever. Do one task at a time and break it down into smaller, more manageable steps. Pro-tip – Do your ‘worst’ task first. You will feel so much better.
- Think about what you want and break it down – Do a little mind map of the life you want. Put your name in the middle and write your goals coming off it. Underneath, write little steps you can take to get there. Getting a clear picture of what you are working towards, can really stop you feeling so overwhelmed. For example, you want to be a more mindful person, so you could write down ‘meditate once a week’ or ‘journal for 5 minutes each day’.
2) Be in the moment – Overwhelm often comes from feeling like life is passing you by. You blink and it’s a new week. A way to beat this, is by focusing on being more present and appreciating all of the little things in your life.
- Take one day at a time – Stop beating yourself up over the past, and stop worrying over the future. Take each day as a gift and focus only on the day you’re living. If your head is always somewhere else, you’re not really living, are you?
- No phone – Aimless scrolling is the most unhelpful thing you can do. Make an effort to have time away from your phone. Leave it in your glovebox when you go into a shop, or put it in a drawer when you get home from work. Just have set time each day away from it.
- Practice gratitude – Always look for the good in each day, appreciate it and be grateful for what you have. Once you have this mindset shift, you will start to see that there is more good in your life than bad.
3) Stop – If you’re feeling overwhelmed, I can guarantee you need time out to re-gather yourself.
- Take a mental health day – In the nicest way possible, the world won’t end if you take a day off. The ‘hustle’ culture we live in often means that time-off carries guilt. That’s not healthy. Time-off to clear your mind is so important.
- Improve your sleep – Sleep is when we recover. If you aren’t sleeping well, you aren’t recovering well. Start to establish a healthy evening routine, that means you are getting the right amount of sleep. If you’re stuck on where to start, see my evening routine here.
- Schedule breaks – Have time to step away and re-energise yourself, both throughout your work life, and your personal one. We need time to recharge.
4) Have fun – If you’re feeling overwhelmed, I think it’s fair to say that life is getting you down. Life is for living, please don’t forget that, so don’t be afraid to have a little fun.
- Every day is a party – Create a life you don’t need to escape from. You can do this by including fun in every day. Have nice breaks, reward yourself for hard work and celebrate each little win.
- Plan ahead – Make sure you always have awesome stuff in your diary. These don’t have to break the bank. Just do something you love each week.
- Try something new – New hobby, new friends, new workout routine, new recipes. Don’t fall into a cycle of the same routine, shake it up and have some fun.
'Don’t live the same day over and over again and call it a life – Germany Kent
5) Simplify your life – Feeling overwhelmed can make your life seem very chaotic. The best way to stop feeling overwhelmed, is to make your life as simple and easy as possible.
- Declutter – As Marie Kondo would say, remove anything that doesn’t spark joy. Having a clean and clear space will also do wonders for your mental wellbeing.
- Prepare – Get rid of the silly decisions that take time and cause you stress. Plan outfits, meals and daily goals in advance, leaving room for more important thoughts.
- Have less – I’ve just finished reading The Year of Less (affiliate link) and it was incredible. Create a life that is full of experiences, not stuff. Happiness doesn’t come from matching cushions and the latest trends, it comes from experiencing the rawness of life. Make a conscious effort to buy less and experience more.
6) Remove unnecessary stress – Often, half of the stress that’s causing you to feel overwhelmed, isn’t even yours to carry. Break down everything that is causing you stress, and remove what isn’t yours to deal with.
- Sort - I recently read this awesome blog post. Suzie mentioned that she combats feeling overwhelmed by separating what is causing her stress into two categories; what she can control and what she can’t. Look at what is causing you stress, remove what you cannot control and take small steps to improve what you can.
- Brain dump – I’ve mentioned this before, but only because it’s sooo good. Emptying out what is clogging up your brain is a great way to stop overwhelm. You can see exactly what you need to do, and take steps to action it.
- Create a helpful routine – Have a routine that incorporates both what you need to do, and what you’d like to do. You’ll feel much less overwhelmed and will have a helpful, fun routine to follow.
7) Let people in – Feeling like you’re on your own can really increase feelings of overwhelm. Don’t be afraid to look to others for help and advice; you weren’t born to carry the world’s problems on your shoulders.
- Share – Simply sharing your thoughts and ideas with others can be helpful. Don’t complain, just simply explain what you are stressed about and ask for their perspective. They may be able to offer advice you hadn’t thought of.
- Ask for help – Don’t be afraid of this. It’s not weak, it’s human. We all experience feeling overwhelmed, let people help you. Whether that is through favours, advice, paid work, or a skill swap.
- Socialise – Just being around the people you love can stop you feeling overwhelmed. Be around good people and let it radiate through you. Don’t forget, laughter really is the best medicine!
8) Take care of you – If you’re feeling overwhelmed, then your mind, body and soul will feel the tension. Practice some TLC and make yourself feel better.
- Self-care – Do whatever relaxes you and makes you feel good. Stuck? Try this!
- Check in with yourself – You can do this by sitting with a cup of tea and relaxing your muscles, or by journaling, practising meditation or yoga etc. Just take some time each day to check in with yourself and see how you’re doing.
- Nourish yourself – Eat good, wholesome food and get active. Don’t be afraid to fall in love with your body by creating a healthy relationship with food and exercise. Don’t know where to start, try here...
9) Seek happiness – When we are feeling overwhelmed, we get into a negative cycle. We feel bad, so we look for the bad and then convince ourselves everything is bad. A way to stop this kind of overwhelm is by seeking happiness.
- Remove – Get rid of anything, and anyone, that doesn’t make you happy.
- Do good deeds – Do good and you’ll feel good. Intentionally living a life full of kindness and happiness, will give you a life full of those two things.
- Inspire yourself – I said in my last post, that you are the creative director of your own life, so create a life that is beautiful. Surround yourself with everything, and everyone, that sparks joy in your life.
I really hope this post has given you clear, easy ways to beat overwhelm and take control of your life again. You deserve to be so in love with your life, you don’t feel the need to run and hide from it.
If you have any other tips for beating overwhelm, please leave them in the comments below, I’d love to read them.
As always, tight squeezes! X
Question of the week: What’s your favourite down-time activity?