5 Things To Do When You Are Overwhelmed

Another project added to your already overwhelming list at work.

Child gets sick during your busiest time at work.

Forgot to pay a bill.

The list goes on and on. Recently, articles have come out about the invisible workload mothers carry. Our brains are busy working even when we appear to be relaxed. Someone has to remember to book doctor’s appointments, to feed the dog and to get toilet paper!  I am not complaining. My life is full which is why my brain is on constant go. However, even when life is full of the good things, it also has a potential to be overwhelming at some point. We have all been there and will be there again. You need to have a go-to self care regimen when life becomes a little too extra. Here are a few things that can make it better and even help you be more productive in the right way!

Stop working instead of working harder. I know that sounds counter intuitive but you really need to take stock and get an action plan. One hour of careful planning is not a waste of time. Planning is a much more effective use of time than spinning your wheels in stress without a clear direction. This same slow and focused approached is echoed in the book, Essentialism. I highly recommend reading and applying the principles in this book. It is a game changer!

Here are my top five actions I take when I am overwhelmed:

1. Get out a pad and paper. Don’t list everything you have to do but your top three major items that are the most pressing and most important. Focus on those until completion or until they are no longer the priority.

2. Make a list of other things that will get your attention later then put that aside. Now it is out of your brain, allowing you time to focus on the top three.

3. Block out a period of time. Completely focus on one thing at a time for approximately an hour. Set a timer. Sometimes when you are overwhelmed, it feels like a project will take forever but if you work on it in small chunks of time you will feel more motivated to start working on the project.

4. Go for a walk. Taking a walk break is another counter intuitive approach but one that helps you get a new perspective and is often a time where you find some creative ideas. We need to move. Ten minutes walking will not set you back but instead move you forward faster than if you had kept your butt in your chair.

5. Eat right. When I know a particular stressful and busy time is coming up at work (for example, a lot of events/career fair season), I eliminate all sugar and processed foods. I normally eat close to this way but I am extra careful to incorporate more fruits and vegetables during high stress times. I stay healthier and have more energy. Plus, sugar increases anxiety and stress so eliminating that toxin helps me face overwhelming periods feeling stronger.

Those are my top five. What is on your list for stress relief?

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