How to reduce overwhelm (part 2)

It’s Wednesday. Another day to share ways to help you better balance your life.

So we are continuing with our discussion on how I reduce overwhelm. If you missed part 1, you can read it here.

Here are some other ways I have reduced my feeling of overwhelm:

1)    I check myself: I have gotten to a point in which I am very in tune with my feelings, and I know how to notice them when they come up. Rather than pushing my feeling of overwhelm away, I notice it, give it a name and try to figure out why I’m feeling that way.

Once I’ve acknowledged “Ibi you are feeling overwhelmed,” I start to restructure my thoughts. Naturally when I’m feeling overwhelmed, my head starts to fill with irrational thoughts like “I’ll never be able to clean this entire house” or “My business is going to fail.”

Don’t give life to these negative thoughts. Once I notice these thoughts creeping in, I counter them with some positivity. I find a more realistic thought and use it to bring myself back to reality. The thought of my business failing becomes “I will have a successful business and one bad day won’t ruin me.” The thought of never being able to clean the house also becomes “If I focus, I’ll get the house clean in an hour.”

Our thoughts, actions and behavior are all directly linked. Negative thinking leads to fear and worry, which will give life to overwhelm.

But more realistic thoughts give rise to calm and optimism. Try it sometime.

2)    I pace myself: I’ve been known to have the spirit of perfectionism. Hey, I’m a work in

progress. But the constant drive for perfection will lead to overwhelm.


I’ve learned how to break tasks up into manageable pieces. Remember when I was stressing about cleaning the entire house? Well switching to getting one room clean is a lot more manageable than thinking about tackling an entire house.


This is where my to do list comes in handy. When I plan out my week, I make sure I’m not over scheduling myself. Yes, some weeks will be busier than others, but for the most part, I’m not trying to accomplish 12 things in 1 day. I’d stay stick to about 5 tasks for the entire day.


3)    I take mini breaks: My attention span is not the longest. Sometimes I wonder how I even

made it through grad school. All throughout the day I take stretch breaks. Sometimes I’ll walk out of my office to chat with someone or I’ll go outside to enjoy fresh air. Just the idea of taking a break from the task at hand keeps my mind fresh. But remember to return to the task or else you’ll get a case of procrastination.


But when I’m hammering away for 7 straight hours, I get frustrated. Spend 5 minutes dancing to your favorite song or watching a funny video online.


4)    I remind myself of my competence: So when my mind starts getting flooded with negativity, I remind myself that I’ve gone through worse and that I can get through this. Sometimes when we’re in the thick of it we forget our own strengths.

Throughout the day I speak to myself in my mind and constantly affirm myself. Sounds a bitbatty, but it really does work.

How do you stay sane when you feel overwhelm creeping in?

So there you have it. This is how I stay sane in this busy, fast paced world. If you know someone who’d benefit from this, share it with them.


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