5 things to do when life is Overwhelming

5 things to do when life is Overwhelming

We all have experienced overwhelm in our lives. In this day and age of technology, we are bombarded with so many productivity apps to keep us focused on our tasks, there are digital and print planners that help us be aware of the upcoming events, multiple tech tools to create mile-long to-do lists; yet in spite of all the help, sometimes we still feel exhausted and overwhelmed! It clearly shows that we are trying to bite more than what we can chew.

Let me tell you about myself. I’m an avid planner and advocate of planning things ahead. Planning gives me a secure feeling of what can I expect and what I need to be doing. Some days I feel like a superwoman being productive and checking off my to-do lists. But there are days when I feel suffocated.

When you keep functioning at high speed without taking the necessary breaks, then you are going to experience the total crash of both your body and soul.

5 Things to do when life seems to overwhelm you –

Feeling overwhelmed is quite normal. It means that this is the correct time for us to do an audit of our calendar and planners. Here are 5 simple ways to tackle the overwhelm in your life and bounce back feeling refreshed.

Picture of a unhappy dog. What to do when life seems over whelming

1. Slow down by Prioritizing your tasks:

Life is not a sprint; It is a marathon. Pace yourself instead of running at full speed at all the times. Slowing down may differ from person to person. For me slowing down is choosing 3 priority tasks each day and tackling them first.

As high achievers, we try to over-estimate what can be done in a day. We need to remind and re-remind ourselves to prioritize and slow down. Remember – Rome was not built in a day.

2. Leave more white spaces in your calendar by saying NO:

Have you used this powerful two-letter word? I learned to say NO after the emotional hardships that I experienced last year and have said NO to 3 commitments so far that didn’t align with my values and priorities. I finally broke the people pleasing habit in me and said NO to what I didn’t want to do. Surprisingly, people didn’t take it that bad at all. Looks like it was me that was worrying about other’s opinion.

Background image of a not so busy road with few cars. The words written on it - I wasn't saying no because I was so busy, I was saying no because I didn't want to be so busy. This quote is from Courtney Carver

Ruthlessly audit your calendar and to-do lists. Make sure if the task needs to be done immediately or if it can be moved to a later date. All tasks and events do not carry the same priority. You need to determine the priority level depending on things that matter to you the most. For me, it would be family, work, friends, volunteering and then the rest, in that order.

3. Take mindful breaks:

When life gets overwhelming, I feel taking a sabbatical from work and parenthood. Running away from parenthood, Who am I kidding? I love my kids to the moon and back and I’m forever grateful being their mom. While my financial status won’t allow me to take a break from work, I definitely can take mindful breaks throughout the day πŸ™‚

Pause, breathe, check your body posture, relax your neck and brows. Take a mindful sip of water/coffee and get back to work. Mindful breaks relax your body and rejuvenate your mind.

4. Becoming fully present in what you do:

Single-task more. Instead of juggling more than one task at a time, give your 100% to the task that you are currently focusing on.

When we go through a difficult situation, We should concentrate even more on our breathing, being mindful of our every move

Alexandra Stoddard

5. Accept that things may not work as planned:

Life happens. How much ever we plan and schedule events, maintain to-do lists and aim for a smooth run, unexpected things always show up. Things do not go as planned. We need to come to terms with it. Always expect the unexpected.

Have you heard of the saying – Don’t just plan your future, Live it now! Instead of scheduling our calendars with events, we need to fill in our days with rest, rejuvenating breaks, play, and fun activities.

When you are well rested and your soul well nourished, then you will not feel the overwhelm anymore. Do you agree with me? How do you cope with the overwhelm in your life?

14 thoughts on “5 things to do when life is Overwhelming”

  • Amazing tips! I especially love #1. I once heard an illustration that the things that fill our life are like rocks. The biggest rocks are dedicated to family, faith, work, health, etc. The gravel are the things that are important but not crucial in our lives, and the sand is things that we should accomplish but aren’t that important. If we try to put the sand and gravel in a bowl first, we won’t have space for the big rocksβ€”the most important things. But if we prioritize the most important things, there will be room for everything else!

    • Wow, Alyssa, That’s a brilliant example to explain how to prioritize! It is so unfortunate that we keep giving more importance to the unwanted items that fill our brain and drain us out. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful piece of wisdom with us πŸ™‚

  • Love this post especially the part about saying NO. I am guilty of this myself, but you just made me realize that I am the one who cares what others will think of me if I say no. Thanks for the advice.

  • Thank you so much for writing this article! I am a photographer and have a very hard time saying no. I try to take Sundays off to spend time at church and with my husband but there are many Sundays that I end up having a photoshoot on due to being SUCH a people pleaser and I know I have to stop being that way.

    • Totally get it! We, women, tend to overdo our people pleasing habit and end up burnt out. I hope you get your time off on Sundays to enjoy with your family. Thank you for stopping by!

  • Love this post! The last one is fits me oh so well. Im learning that everything not going as planned should always be expected in any situation. Also gifting myself with more “NO DAYS” we all need more of those days!

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