What to do when you’re feeling overwhelmed

The worst time to make a decision is when you’re overwhelmed. This can be annoying and make things harder because I know that when I feel overwhelmed, it’s usually because a decision has to be made, making this situation a lose-lose right?


Nope.


Feeling overwhelmed is a completely natural and normal part of our lives. Everybody feels overwhelmed at one stage or another and I really want you to know that it’s okay to feel overwhelmed every now and again.


If you feel like the overwhelm is taking over your life, then please seek professional help.


I know those days can be tough so I wanted to share a few of the things I do when I’m feeling overwhelmed, I hope they help!


Acknowledge it

I find that when I try to avoid feeling overwhelmed, I’m actually stressing myself out even more which then leads to… More overwhelm.


When you feel overwhelmed next, take a few moments and ask yourself the following questions:

1. Am I fighting this?

2. What is the emotion I’m feeling?

3. How can I take a time-out right now? (more on this next)


Take a time-out

The first thing I do when I’m feeling overwhelmed after acknowledging it is to take a time-out. I step back from the conversation, decision or situation and take some time to myself.


This usually means heading outside in the fresh air and sunshine for 10-15 minutes but sometimes, depending upon the day, I also head to the bathroom and have a shower (to hide from my family). Both of these techniques work equally as well as each other.


You may find having a tea or coffee is the perfect time-out for you, or maybe you just need to have a quick phone call to your friend. Whatever it is that helps you calm down, is exactly what you should do during your time-out.


Journal

I love a good-old brain-dump session. It doesn’t matter what I’m experiencing, it always helps me.


If the overwhelm is starting to affect my day, I grab out my journal and write down anything and everything that comes to mind. It can be big or small. It simply gets the words out of my head and onto paper.


I find this particularly helpful if I’m overwhelmed with work because I usually end up with a to-do list which ultimately solves my overwhelm (because I then have a plan!).


End the day

I’ve had days where the overwhelm is honestly just too much. I get it. I really, really do.

On these days, I give myself permission to finish the day early. I shut down the computer, watch some TV, have a warm bath, go on a calming walk and have an early night.


Sometimes, you just need to give yourself a night to relax and then start over tomorrow with a clear mind.


In the past, I’ve let the overwhelm take control of my life. It causes even more stress, anxiety and problems in the long-term and these strategies have really helped me keep my cool and take control of the situations before they overtake. I hope they help you as well!


If you're still struggling with this, you can book a session to work with me! You don't need to do it alone.


With love

Shorina xo

Certified Counsellor & Mental Health Coach