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Woman being overwhelmed with tasks at the workplace

7 Ways to Stop Feeling So Overwhelmed

Are you currently feeling overwhelmed with life, or certain aspects of it? Let’s face it, life can sometimes feel very stressful. Between responsibilities, relationships, jobs, school, children, current world events, and families, we all can quickly start to feel like there is a lot going on.

Feeling overwhelmed is a very common stress response that all humans experience at different points in their lives. As women, we carry increased responsibility and role obligations that often cause us to feel overwhelmed for much longer than we’d like.

Signs You’re Overwhelmed:

  • Feeling stressed and/or on edge frequently
  • Trouble meeting all responsibilities and role obligations
  • Feeling it is hard to “get it all done”
  • Wondering how others make specific roles and tasks “look easy”
  • Struggling to find time for self
  • Feeling easily irritated and/or annoyed
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Forgetting to eat or overeating
  • Feeling you need something “to take the edge off”
  • Arriving late to, cancelling, or forgetting about important events/appointments/etc.
  • Difficulty coping with stressors
  • Not feeling relationships are as enjoyable as you’d like them to be
  • Poor concentration and difficulty focusing on things
  • Lack of enjoyment or pleasure in doing things you have previously enjoyed

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, it could be related to the stress and overwhelm you feel in your life.

Tips to Manage Stress

  1. Set Realistic Expectations
    Part of feeling overwhelmed comes from the immense pressure we can place on ourselves to get as much done as we can without enough time to do it all. It is important to set realistic expectations of your time and energy each day. If you find yourself trying to do more than is feasible for you, scaling back on some of those expectations and setting realistic, achievable goals each day/week can help you feel more accomplished and less overwhelmed.
  2. Prioritize
    If you have a lot of tasks to do, and not enough time to get it all done, try prioritizing what needs to be done in order of importance. Ask yourself, “What do I need to do first?” or “What has to get done today?” Try making a to-do list in order of priority, and then allow yourself to only focus on the things that must get done today, and let the others go. They will still be there tomorrow when you come back to your list.
  3. Ask for Help
    A very effective strategy to quickly reduce feelings of overwhelm is to ask for help. This can allow you more time and energy to focus on the other tasks you have prioritized. Asking for help can immediately relieve some of the stress you are facing.
  4. Make Time for You
    It may sound initially more overwhelming to take time for yourself when you’re already overwhelmed and have a lot going on, but the benefits are worth it. During periods of high stress, we often times stop taking the best care of our needs, which causes the stress to actually increase more. Taking even 10-15 minutes to do something you enjoy, just for you, can drastically help you feel less overwhelmed and in a better space to manage your stress.
  5. Stop Comparing
    Do you ever look at someone else and think, “I wish I had it as easy as you do” or “It must be nice that you have ____ when I don’t”? Comparisons are very hurtful to our mood and mindset. If you are trying to manage stress and feelings of overwhelm, it is essential that you do not compare yourself or your situation to someone else.
  6. Minimize Distractions
    Life is full of distractions, and the more distractions you face, the harder it is to stay focused and get things accomplished. Minimizing these distractions can be very helpful in allowing you to get more done and feel less overwhelmed. Try limiting time on social media, closing your office door at work, or waiting until the kids go to bed to finish that task.
  7. Give Yourself Grace
    You’re doing a lot, and you have a lot on your shoulders, so give yourself some grace. No one gets it all done every day and everyone struggles with juggling responsibilities from time to time. Beating yourself up about it is going to make you feel more overwhelmed, and never makes us feel any better.

Remember, take it one day at a time, don’t overload yourself, and give yourself credit. We all can get overwhelmed, and it does get better.