How to Deal with Being Overwhelmed

Feeling overwhelmed is part of life. Everyone goes through different experiences that feel overwhelming due to the huge amount of work to be done and the little time available to accomplish them. In moments like these, it is important to not dwell on this feeling and let it get in the way of school or work. Here are 5 things to keep in mind if you experience being burnt out and overwhelmed.

Identify your triggers

It is important to stay in touch with your emotions and thought process as you go through your day. What are the signs that you feel overwhelmed and stressed? This varies for everyone. It might be an increased heart rate, inability to concentrate, or a headache that refuses to go away.

When you do feel overwhelmed, identify the source where it came from. Was it something you saw, like the date for an exam, something someone said, or feeling out of control because your schedule is so disorganised?

Knowing your triggers helps to reduce the possibility of feeling overwhelmed in the future. You might try avoiding social situations that give you anxiety, or have a clear plan of what to do each day.

Define your priorities

A busy life is an unlived life – Francis Crick

A huge reason why a lot of people feel overwhelmed is because they have a lot on their plate. No, you do not have to be everywhere and do everything. Focus on the activities that are the most important to you. Two to three is a good number to be involved in without giving out a lot of your time.

Learn to say no. Anytime you say yes to something, you say no to something else, whether you are aware of it or not. Not everything has to be done at the same time. If you are a student, you might decide to focus fully on your academics in school and use your break to work on other things that are important to you.

Organize your schedule

You might be feeling very stressed out, because you are always in a hurry to get things done. Identify the important things you need to do and when you would do them. It does not matter what method you use to keep track of your schedule as long as you trust it and can allow yourself to forget, knowing you would be reminded to do it. This could be a calendar on your phone, or a sheet of paper where you write out your tasks to be done.

Plan daily. Do not just wait for things to happen to you. Plan when you would do them. A good rule of thumb is to only work on 3 important things everyday. It could be related to school, business, friends, or extracurricular activities.

Do not procrastinate. Do not plan to do something and convince yourself to do it later. There is no later. Other things would definitely come up leaving you with less time to work.

Talk to someone

You have to realise that you cannot do everything on your own. Talk to someone you trust who can help you out. This can be a friend or a family member. You would be surprised how a lot of people have gone through what you are going through and can give actionable tips.

Learn to delegate tasks and outsource jobs to people. Do not be the person that insists that you are the only one that can do something perfectly well. Ask yourself, “what one or two things, if taken off my plate, would alleviate 80% of the stress I feel right now?”

Schedule relaxing exercises

Do not get so caught up in day to day grinding that you forget that your body is not a machine. If you do not allow yourself to breathe, you would get to the edge which would leave you feeling burnout and unmotivated, and is a huge hole to get out from.

Give yourself breaks. If you work all through the day, when you are done with everything you need to do, relax by doing something you love. Watch an episode of your favourite show, talk to a friend. It does not matter. Relax, and remove all thoughts of school and work until the next day.

Remember that doing the things that make you feel relaxed and happy are essential. They shouldn’t make you feel guilty. Laugh everyday.

The most important thing is to enjoy your life – to be happy – it’s all that matters – Audrey Hepburn

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