Overwhelmed? Try these 8 Strategies
Okay, I am going to level with you—these past few weeks, I have felt overwhelmed by all I want to do. Even though I am a time coach, sometimes I will get caught up in a mistaken belief that I need to do it all. So what did I do for relief?
The first thing I did: Scheduled a massage on my day off.
Next, I promised myself I would not schedule anything else in my busy week. I told my husband, so he would keep me accountable. This is the second big tip: do not take on any new projects or training. Delay them until next week (or later) whenever possible. This is NOT the time to learn new things, when you are barely keeping your head above water.
Remember, if you are feeling overwhelmed: start where you are. See what is causing that feeling. Is it because you have too much to do? Or Is it because you don’t know what you have to do? Both cause anxiety. The answers will guide your next action.
I found it immensely helpful to plan my week and see just what I needed to do to get ready for my clients, meeting, and speaking engagement. I wrote it all down. When you see it there on paper and it is no longer an unknown, you can experience some relief.
But sometimes just seeing it written doesn’t help and you are still overwhelmed. At this point, I find it helpful to get some perspective. Take a step back, look at the bigger picture. What are your main goals? Are there any items on your to-do list that do not fit or that seem less important now? So you are reevaluating, asking yourself: What do I really have to do? The key is not working longer hours, spending more time away from home and slogging through your work. Instead, pare down your tasks to the essentials.
If things are really getting to you, a breath of fresh air and a 15 minute walk will help. Getting outdoors, preferably in nature, will relax and rejuvenate you. Your perspective will shift, and your problems seem smaller when compared with the grandeur of the great outdoors. I particularly find the sound of water to be soothing.
My last tip: Make sure to take time to exercise. This time investment will make a huge difference. The endorphins will help relieve your stress, you will have more energy and be healthier. It is a win-win-win. And I personally believe your productivity increases when you exercise. A morning walk will wake up your brain and get you ready to start your day. You really can’t afford to skip exercise.
Reward yourself on the weekend by getting out on a hike, gathering with friends, or having a massage. Take the time to refresh yourself and try not to think about work. On Monday morning, you will be fresh and ready to tackle the week.
To recap: when you are overwhelmed, start where you are. Don’t take on projects or training, take a step back for perspective, re-evaluate what you must do, pare down your tasks, take a restorative break, take time to exercise, and truly take the weekend off. These 8 tips will be a lifeline to pull yourself back up onto solid footing.