How to Ditch Overwhelm for Good
This past month I felt a huge sense of overwhelm in just about every area of my life. My mindset started to shift several months ago, but I kept pushing those thoughts and ideas away, but when we went to Colorado and I had some time to decompress, they came flooding back in. That week of fresh air and lots extra hands to help with Owen, allowed me to get clear and finally start working on a few things I’d been dying to do.
I left our trip feeling great, but then we got home and reality set in. The house was a mess, there were mounds of laundry to be done, I had unfinished projects and no longer had both of my parents there to help out. Before I knew it, all those feelings of peace, calm and intention were gone.
My to-do list was out of control and self-doubt rolled in
Were those great ideas I had in Colorado actually dumb? Would anyone care? I was so overwhelmed with fear, self-doubt and an ever-growing to do list that I was paralyzed.
It seemed there were never enough hours in the day, and when I did find the time, I was struggling to figure out what to do first. I’d start something, and then stop before it was done, and then move onto something else. I was busy all damn day, but nothing was finished, which only led to more overwhelm.
When overwhelm sets in, other negative feeling also make their
way into my mind.
Self-doubt, fear and worry. I was second guessing the side project I’d been working on, I was scared to make changes even though I knew in my gut that they were right, and worried of what people would think of me. It’s a slippery slope—and a big reason that I knew I needed to eliminate overwhelm from my life to get back to being my happy, care-free self.
After putting these tips into practice, my sense of overwhelm has diminished greatly. My confidence has come back and I finally hit publish on my secret little project, made a few updates to my site (you’ll see more small things rolling out soon), and finally committed to what I felt in my heart.
I hope these tips can help you find some peace in your life too!
Make a List or Journal
Sometimes when I feel overwhelmed, it’s hard for to pinpoint exactly where the feeling is coming from. Nothing helps more than putting pen to paper and spilling out all my feelings and thoughts. You can simply make a list, or journal if that’s suits you better. Pouring out every thing that’s in your brain can make it easier to pin point the issue that’s the root of your overwhelm.
Plan your Week in Advance
When I start my days with no real plan in place, I end up getting very little done. When there’s no set goals for the day, it’s easy to jump from task to task and not actually complete anything. You might be busy all day, but not actually move the needle forward on anything. I’m guilty of this!
To give my weeks more intention and to make myself feel more productive and efficient, I like to spend a half hour to an hour on Sunday and plan out my week in advance. Everything doesn’t always go according to plan, but I’m much more productive and my days feel much calmer. I got the idea from this episode of Courage and Clarity—it’s a must-listen episode if you’re feeling like your weeks are chaotic!
Breathe & Let Go
Whenever I feel my anxiety or frustration rising, I stop, close my eyes and make several deep breathes. In my head, I breathe in the positive things in my life, and breathe out the negative things that are no longer serving me.
It might sound a little hippie, but just give it a few breathes and you’ll feel much better and more capable of handling the situation.
Who else is a bit of a control freak? I used to consider myself very laid back, but in my adult years, I find that when too many things feel out of my control, I get overwhelmed and stressed. I’ve been working hard to just let the those things go. It’s easier said than done, but the more I practice just letting it go, the easier it gets and the more peace surrounds me.
Prep Meals or Ingredients on Sunday
I’ve never been into meal prepping, mostly because I like deciding what to cook in the moment, but I do like to ingredient prep! Spend an hour or so over the weekend and either prep meals or ingredients for the week to make your evenings less hectic and more enjoyable.
Don’t Overbook Yourself
Learning to say “no” and not feel bad about it is truly a skill and comes with practice! But, once you’ve mastered it, it is so empowering. Putting less on your agenda gets rid of physical overwhelm, because you simply don’t have as much to do!
When you start to see how much better you feel when you’re only saying yes to the things you actually want to do, you’ll find so much more abundance and happiness in your life!
Make Time for Relaxation
I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not that great at relaxing. I thrive on being busy and checking things off my list, but as I get older I’m learning to appreciate doing less. I’ll grab a book, a magazine I’ve been wanting to read or do a face mask.
Taking the time to just sit and relax puts everything into perspective. When it’s time to get going again, you’ll feel recharged and more prepared to take on whatever comes your way.
Be Intentional with your Time
I’m guilty of not making the best use of my time. I’ll put Owen down for a nap and instead of taking that time to check a few items off of my list, I’ll putz around the house, doing a few dishes, folding half the laundry and writing half a blog post. Before I know it, he’s up again and I’m scratching my head wondering how nothing got done—know the feeling?!
This shouldn’t be confused with being constantly busy. As I get older, busy is no longer a term I glorify. Instead, be purposeful with your time. Whether that means getting work done, or taking an hour for self-care. Allow yourself to be present in that moment and enjoy every minute of it.
Remember your Why
Whether it’s work that’s overwhelming you or simply a hectic family life, when you start to reach your breaking point, take a moment and remember your ‘why’. Coming back to your ‘why’, or purpose, can easily shift your mindset and make you content with your situation, maybe even grateful for all the things you have going on, even if it often feels like too much.
Not sure what your ‘why’ or purpose is? It took me a while to figure it out for myself so I created a whole workbook to help you uncover yours— get it here !
Last, but not least, exercise is one of the best ways to help ditch overwhelm and clear your mind. Go for a quick jog or walk around your neighborhood and leave your phone at home. Sometimes all we need is a little nature to clear our minds.
Do you often feel overwhelmed? What tips do you have for getting rid of this feeling?!