Sometimes you have one of those days. Your to-do list is longer than ever, you have no idea where to start and suddenly you feel overwhelmed. It is not a great feeling, which is an understatement. I’ve been there and I had no idea what to do. And eventually, I ended up doing nothing at all that day. Sure, sometimes that is fine. Sometimes you need a break, but what if you have to get things done? What if you have a demanding job or kids? How do you stay calm and not go crazy when everything becomes too much for you?
What to do when you feel overwhelmed
Take a nap. Sometimes you have to reset yourself. And there is one way to do that and that is to take a nap. After taking a short nap, I feel like a brand-new person and I feel a lot better (mentally). So if possible take that nap, but not too long. I am talking about 30 minutes or something, not three hours.
Exercise. But maybe the best way to feel a little bit better is to drop everything and walk or do a workout. Exercising is great because it releases feel-good hormones, which make you feel better. You can suddenly feel like you can handle everything again.
Breathing exercises. When you feel stressed and overwhelmed, it is possible you are breathing too fast. Sit down for a few minutes and take a few deep breaths in and out. And slowly, you will start to relax. And maybe everything does not feel overwhelming anymore.
Be mindful. When you live in the present moment and not thinking about the past or future, you will feel less stressed and overwhelmed. You focus on the task you are doing right now and nothing else. If you do this with everything, you will feel less overwhelmed. You feel relaxed and suddenly it is okay if you can’t do everything that day. You are more patient too.
Stop overthinking. You probably are feeling overwhelmed because you have a million thoughts and not the good ones. A lot of times we make everything worse in our minds, which isn’t helpful. But if you want to be productive and less overwhelmed by everything, you should stop overthinking. Overthinking is not useful in any situation. Thinking and coming up with a solution is a good kind of thinking. But overthinking about things that most likely happened in the past or you think it is going to happen in the future will kill your happiness.
Meditation. A good way to stop overthinking is meditation. I think meditation is great for a lot of things and it can definitely be a great practice to become aware of the thoughts you have and to let them go and stop dwelling on them.
Ask a friend for help. Or maybe a family member. Call someone you trust and who can help you. Sometimes all you need is a different perspective and a friend can give you that. Sometimes we think it is the end of the world when something happens. But when you start talking about it with someone, you suddenly realize isn’t that bad.
Journal. Maybe don’t want to bother someone with your problems or you prefer to write it all down. You can also buy a journal and write everything down. I did this sometimes when I was feeling overwhelmed when I was trying to fall asleep at night. I simply wrote everything down, started to feel a little bit better, fell asleep and the next day I laugh about the thing I was worrying about.
Take action. Other times I had those days when I started the day on the wrong foot and I was feeling down and overwhelmed. A lot of those times I decided to give myself a break. But the thing about me is that when I do that in the morning, I will not do anything at all that day. So I used a different tactic to feel less overwhelmed and that is to pick a task and just do it. A lot of the time, I just start cleaning something (while listening to a great song) and I started to feel better and motivated. Before I knew it, I did another task and another one. Less thinking, more doing. I always feel a lot better when I do things instead of doing nothing at all. Because that is when I start to overthink.
Take care of yourself. Make sure you drink enough water and eat healthy. You have to take care of yourself. Drinking enough water can improve your focus. And when you eat well, you will feel good. You will have more energy to do the things you have to do. But this also includes other types of self-care, like putting a facemask on or doing your nails.
No distractions. When you have things to do, you can’t use any distractions. But phones these days can really distract you and spending too much time on social media is not always great for your mental health. So put your phone far away from you. Don’t waste your time on social media if you have a long to-do list.
Clean things up. Messy room, the messy mind is something I always say. You can literally tell how I feel by just looking at how messy my house is. If I feel good, I get things done including cleaning my house. I feel so much better to when I feel down and just start cleaning (up). I can definitely recommend doing this before you do the other tasks on your to-do list.
These are ways that can make you feel a little bit better when you feel overwhelmed. What do you do when you feel overwhelmed?
Photo by Siora Photography on Unsplash