We all feel overwhelmed at times. It is that feeling of constantly being busy but not seeming to get anywhere. I felt that at the end of 2022. Sometimes a simple task could feel so big that I didn’t know where to start. Often when I felt overwhelmed I would start procrastinating and get even less done. I would put off phone calls I needed to do, chores, projects on the house or even simple things like meal planning. Here are some tips I use to stop myself feeling overwhelmed.
- Accept how I feel and take some deep breaths. It is a feeling and not a fact.
- Brain dump and write everything down that I feel that I have to do.
- I look at my list. I ask myself is it necessary? Am I having realistic expectations?
- I cross out all the things on m brain dump that I can get away with not doing or that realistically I am not going to have time to do.
- Prioritise. I write a list with what remains on my brain dump and put near the top all the things that are non negotiable or need doing first.
- I look at my list and do the task that seems the least daunting and tick it off my list. This help me see that I am making progress and increases my confidence. I then do a task near the top of my list and tick it off. I keep repeating this step.
- Stop distractions. I put my phone in another room or resist doing a job that is not a priority (like tidy out a drawer that no one is going to see). Some distractions are good, though, eg I put music on and sing dance when I am cleaning as it stops me being bored.
- I give myself breaks and rewards. Eg if I tick off 3 tasks or do 1 hr of work I can have 15 mins on social media or you can go for a walk. This might seem counter productive when time is short but it will replenish your enthusiasm and help you relax, especially if you do something you enjoy.
- Stick to my boundaries and, if some one wants my time, I put myself first and say ‘No”. Eg tell your friend that you will ring later when you are taking a break.
- I don’t compare myself to others. Everything does not have to be done perfectly or to some one else’s standard
- I am not too proud to ask for help. I used to rope the kids in to help, or ask my partner to contribute. I remind myself that everything isn’t always my responsibility. I delegate.
- If time is really getting short and a dead line is approaching fast then I re-look at my list and reprioritise.
Being overwhelmed is how you feel and not how you are. If find if I change my perspective I can change that feeling. As my deadline approaches I usually get this weird calmness after an initial panic as I just accept that it is what it is and I have done my best. That is all we can do. Do you have any tips that help stop you from feeling overwhelmed?