Overwhelm is real.

Here’s what to do when you feel overwhelmed.

How would you describe overwhelm? Does it feel like stress? Anxiety? The general feeling that you’re unable to move forward?

Overwhelm feels different for everyone. Not only that, it’s happens for different reasons. Often, it’s because we feel that we have too much to do and it feels like there’s not enough time to do it. Other times it’s because we’re facing major life changes.

Overwhelm can be intense, and it makes us feel like we aren’t in control of our lives. Or, maybe, we just don’t know how to manage it all.

How does overwhelm show up for you? Exhaustion? Inability to sleep? Disinterest in eating? Irritability? Mind racing? Worried all the time? Feel like crying? These are all things that someone with overwhelm might experience.

A few ways to regain balance

If you recognize that you’re feeling overwhelmed, the best thing to do is NOT just continue on as-is. Here are a few things you can consider:

  • Set boundaries until you’re feeling better
    Make an effort to say “no” to anything that’s adding to your level of stress, from additional social events . (If you’d like to explore boundaries, check out our ebook, full of questions to help you reflect on your current boundaries and set new boundaries.)
  • Mindfulness exercises or mindfulness meditation
    Breathing meditations and bringing awareness to your current emotions can help your mind slow down and differentiate between what’s going in in your mind and what’s actually happening around you.
  • Switch off, literally and figuratively
    Give yourself some space away from whatever is making you feel overwhelmed. Do something you enjoy after work.
  • Exercise
    Exercise gives you a chance to put your mind on your body instead of other things, not to mention all the other health benefits you’ll get.
  • Make an achievement inventory.
    If you’re feeling really negative, stop and take a few minutes to think about what’s been going well now and in the past. Focusing on successes for a few minutes can help you move from a negative mindset to a positive one.
  • Self-care!
    Think about some other relaxation techniques that have helped you in the past. Now is a great time to try them again.

Choose something that doesn’t feel like an extra task on your already-busy list. Instead, try something that you get enjoyment and value out of.

Whatever you do choose, taking action should feel empowering. By taking steps to manage your overwhelm, you can begin to feel more in control and regain a sense of balance. Every little bit helps. Next time you feel that stressful sensation creeping in again, you’ll know what to do when you feel overwhelmed.

Looking for other ways to improve engagement and skills at your workplace? Check out our upcoming events and speaking topics to see how you can bring professional and personal development to your organization.