Things To Do When Overwhelmed
We all feel overwhelmed at some point, either in our work life or home life. This is a natural way to feel when we have lots of demands placed on us with a short timeframe to achieve them all. If we dwell on these feelings of overwhelm then that will have a negative impact on our lives through our mental health and also our productivity. Too much of any stress can make us feel overwhelmed and it can sneak up on us without even realising. If you find yourself feeling this way and needing to take a break, then try our 15 things to do when feeling overwhelmed, and see if they help ease your feelings.
How To Deal With Overwhelm
by | Nov 25, 2020 | Productivity |
Overwhelm can make you feel stuck, trapped, and unsure of what action to take. When you dont know how to deal with overwhelm, everything feels complex and all-consuming. Overwhelm creates a level of complexity in our minds that makes it difficult to think clearly and take action.
As a time management coach, Im often asked how to deal with overwhelm. What is overwhelm? Overwhelm is a manifestation of stress. Overwhelm happens when you have too much going on and too many obligations, which causes you to feel overwhelmed.
The impact of feeling overwhelmed includes exhaustion, confusion, and forgetfulness. It also causes procrastination, lack of focus, and an inability to make decisions and take action.
Overwhelm causes distraction and lessens your ability to problem solve and be productive on your most important work.
Overwhelm is that in-the-moment sense that you cannot handle it all. To stop being overwhelmed, there are some simple strategies you can use to prevent overwhelm.
In this article, Ill share 11 tips on how to deal with overwhelm. They will help you feel clear, more focused and ensure you are ready to take action on your most important projects and goals.
Identify The Actions You Can Take No Matter How Small
The overwhelming feelings are often a result of not taking any action. You know the problem, you know what you want, yet you take no action to acquire it. That makes you feel small and inadequate. Nevertheless, you cannot expect results unless you do something about it. If you have a goal, then work towards it.
Do you want to be a published author? Write the book and seek publishers and agents.
Do you want to create an e-commerce business? Curate products and build the website.
The important thing is to get started and take action towards your goals. No matter how minuscule or insufficient they may seem, it is better than not doing anything.
Take small steps, act on what you want slowly but steadily. In time, you will see that you do get results, and you dont have to be overwhelmed by grief, inadequacy, and a lack of trying.
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Get Support From Previous Researches
Studies show that deprivation leads to frustrating actions and destructive behavior. For example, addiction is not a moral failure or a personality disorder. This results in a lack of social support and engaging activities.
Similarly, cheating and destructive behavior are often the results of not knowing how to deal with stress overwhelming or being unable to heal trauma. With the necessary support and training, you will be able to find a better way and move forward.
Emotional Signs And Symptoms Of Burnout
- Sense of failure and self-doubt.
- Feeling helpless, trapped, and defeated.
- Detachment, feeling alone in the world.
- Loss of motivation.
- Increasingly cynical and negative outlook.
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Find Your Best Stress Management Strategies
Stress looks different for everyone, and this means that stress management also varies from person to person. What works for you might not work for your friends or family. We recommend having a few different coping methods that you can turn to when you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed.
You can try taking a walk or getting exercise. Not only can doing this remove yourself from a stressful situation and give you new perspective, exercise releases endorphins that counter your bodys stress response. Have a trusted friend come with you for extra emotional support.
Breathing exercises are also a great way to refocus your mind and help you calm down by getting extra oxygen to your brain. Having a few go-to breathing exercises is best for stress management because you can do them anywhere.
Another great coping mechanism is taking a mental break. Pick up a new or old hobby, have a positive image you can bring up in times of stress, or spend some time journaling. Try to be intentional about your mental breaks and use them often to find peace and joy in your life.
What Is Caregiver Burnout
While caring for a loved one can be very rewarding, it also involves many stressors. And since caregiving is often a long-term challenge, the emotional impact can snowball over time. You may face years or even decades of caregiving responsibilities. It can be particularly disheartening if you feel that youre in over your head, if theres no hope that your family member will get better, or if, despite your best efforts, their condition is gradually deteriorating.
If the stress of caregiving is left unchecked, it can take a toll on your health, relationships, and state of mindeventually leading to burnout, a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion. And when you get to that point, both you and the person youre caring for suffer.
Thats why taking care of yourself isnt a luxury, its a necessity. Cultivating your own emotional and physical well-being is just as important as making sure your family member gets to their doctors appointment or takes their medication on time.
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Business Owners And Leaders Are Feeling Overwhelmed
In this ADD world that we live in we are bombarded with media many of the messages are negative. But even when the messages are positive, the massive amount of information that comes to us from social media, email, text messages, podcasts, television, marketing, spam and scammers is frequently overwhelming. Even that last sentence is overwhelming to write and read!
How Do You Know That You Are Feeling Overwhelmed
Feeling overwhelmed basically means that your emotions are overpowering your mental faculties. You are focused on your problems, and they may be snowballing, which instigates extreme stress and paranoia. Your mind starts overanalyzing everything, and it seems like the sky is falling. Eventually, you feel paralyzed by the emotional stress to an extent where you cannot think straight.
When you start to feel like your mind and body are being pushed to their extreme limits, when things feel dire and out of control, when you feel like nothing is going right, you feel overwhelmed.
Although this is a fairly common occurrence, there are various ways to overcome this feeling of desolation from being overwhelmed.
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How To Deal With Overwhelming Stress
Dont worry if you are completely overwhelmed and need an immediate way to relieve stress. There are some quick and easy things you can tackle. But the most important is how to deal with overwhelming stress?
Stress comes in different forms. It can happen slowly over time or it can happen in an instant and then disappear. There is also a beneficial type called Eustress, which is good for you unless it is more severe or chronic.
If you are dealing with chronic stress, it is important to take specific steps to overcome long-term stress.
Too much stress of any kind can be overwhelming and often affects us. If you urgently need to relax your mind and body, here are simple strategies to help you calm down at this moment so that you can deal with any situation.
Set Some Boundaries For Your Personal And Professional Life
You have heard, All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
This is precious advice when you want to overcome feelings of being constantly overwhelmed.
Hard work, long hours, and dedication is necessary to build a successful career. Even more so if you are a business owner. However, you need time to relax your mind and regain your mental abilities.
The best way to do this is to draw boundaries between your work and personal life. Dont take your work home, dont spend nights stressing about your job or your business, and definitely dont work when youre enjoying a serene vacation with your family.
You need these small windows for your brain to recoup. If you do not get the required rest, your brain loses its capacity to perform at optimum levels. You will tend to get easily frustrated and overwhelmed, which only decreases your productivity which causes more stress.
Hence, set aside some personal time after work to allow your mind and body to cope with the daily schedule with ease.
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Accept The Anxious Feelings
Fighting off all-consuming emotions likely doesnt do much to ease them in a particularly anxious moment. Try to remember that anxiety, to a certain degree, is a normal part of the human experience and use acceptance as a tool to work through those uncomfortable feelings .
It is important to remember that you have the capacity to ride these waves of feelings they have a beginning, a middle and an end, and fighting our feelings will not help. I like to talk with my clients about picturing riding the waves at the beach while you might not end up right in front of your beach chair and towel, once you ride the wave of that feeling, you will end up back on the beach.
Join A Caregiver Support Group
A caregiver support group is a great way to share your troubles and find people who are going through similar experiences each day. If you cant leave the house, many online groups are also available.
In most support groups, youll talk about your problems and listen to others talk youll not only get help, but youll also be able to help others. Most importantly, youll find out that youre not alone. Youll feel better knowing that other people are in the same situation, and their knowledge can be invaluable, especially if theyre caring for someone with the same illness as your loved one.
|Local vs. Online Support Groups for Caregivers|
|Local support groups:|
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Catch Up And Plan The Next Day
Its easy to feel overwhelmed at the end of the day if you havent finished everything on your to-do list. The best way to overcome that is to have fewer items on your to-do list.
If you have so many things going on during the day, and youre just jumping from one thing to the next, its difficult to get a clear handle on what you achieved, what didnt get done, and what needs to happen tomorrow.
To stop this overwhelm, carve out 30 minutes at the end of the day to celebrate what you achieved. Take time to identify what important things didnt get done that day and get clear on your priorities for the following day.
This way youll end the day feeling good about what you achieved, rather than overwhelmed, and be clear and focused about your plans for tomorrow.
Use my daily planning guide to plan a productive day.
Stop Taking Drugs And Alcohol
Studies show that you should also avoid relying on substances such as alcohol and drugs to control your emotions. It may provide temporary relief, but the result can be stressful, overwhelming, and stressful. Plus, these substances can interfere with both your sleep and your diet, of no benefit to your brain.
Next time you want to sip a beer during a stressful moment, check out this list to see if you have any more.
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What To Do When Stress Is Overwhelming
Stress is a feeling that many people experience day to day when their lives dont go as easy as they would like. Its not uncommon for people to have moments where they feel unsure of how things are going in their lives or how to get things done, and as a result, people often feel discomfort. Not having control over what is happening in our lives can be overwhelming, and many people struggle with how to cope with these feelings without resorting to using unhealthy coping skills to manage them.
Often, when people are feeling stressed, they exhibit the following symptoms: fatigue, lack of motivation, excessive fears or worrying, irritability or being short-tempered, and avoiding or putting off the things that need to get done. As a result, people who are experiencing stress often put themselves in situations to experience more stress, because their ways of coping are actually compounding the problem!
While most people have experienced stress and know what it feels like, many people do not understand the purpose of stress from an evolutionary perspective. Stress is one of our main feelings or emotions that has been used throughout evolution to help a person notice a problem and work to fix it to improve their quality of life.
Here are some tips for how to manage stress when it feels overwhelming:
Stay in the Present
Pay Attention to What Your Body is Telling You
Positive Social Support
Feeling Overwhelmed Is A Common Anxiety Symptom
- Feeling overwhelmed easily is often one of the most common anxiety symptoms
- Anxiety itself is an overwhelming and powerful emotion
- Anxiety can also weaken your stress coping ability, making it easier to feel overwhelmed
- There are several simple techniques to feel less physically and mentally overwhelmed
- For longer term solutions, it will be important to learn to manage your anxiety
Also Check: Am I Stressed Or Do I Have Anxiety
What Are The Consequences Of Burnout
The effects of burnout may be psychological, physiological, behavioral, and organizational, according to a 2022International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health study.
“Burnout cuts across socioeconomic status and career types, and the cost is dire,” said Parneet Pal, chief science officer of Wisdom Labs, a consulting firm focused on mental, emotional, and social well-being in the workplace. “It not only undermines your sense of efficacy and engagement at work, but it also damages your health.”
Further, the APA study found that “nearly three in five employees reported negative impacts of work-related stress, including lack of interest, motivation, or energy and lack of effort at work . Meanwhile, 36% reported cognitive weariness, 32% reported emotional exhaustion, and an astounding 44% reported physical fatiguea 38% increase since 2019.”
In other words, burnout has more than a significant impact on working individuals. The good news is that there are things you can do that might help you feel happier at work.
Dont Make A Song And Dance About Nothing
In my opinion, the tendency to blow seemingly small things out of proportion is one of the most common causes of stress and anxiety.
Sometimes its just a silly argument with your spouse or your lunch buddy having a meal with someone else. Or sometimes, people create a drama out of thin air just for the sake of it, but after everything comes back to normal, it feels stupid.
Getting freaked out about nothing once in a while is okay, but if this behavior turns into a habit, it will be a catastrophic blow to your mental health.
The moment you feel the urge to blow something out of proportion, take a mental break and try to relax your mind. You can also engage in some other activity to distract yourself from that line of thought.
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Is It Stress Or Anxiety
Life can be stressfulyou may feel stressed about performance at school, traumatic events , or a life change. Everyone feels stress from time to time.
What is stress? Stress is the physical or mental response to an external cause, such as having a lot of homework or having an illness. A stressor may be a one-time or short-term occurrence, or it can happen repeatedly over a long time.
What is anxiety? Anxiety is your body’s reaction to stress and can occur even if there is no current threat.
If that anxiety doesnt go away and begins to interfere with your life, it could affect your health. You could experience problems with sleeping, or with your immune, digestive, cardiovascular, and reproductive systems. You also may be at higher risk for developing a mental illness such as an anxiety disorder or depression. Read more about anxiety disorders.
So, how do you know when to seek help?