How to Deal with Feeling Overwhelmed

how to relax

One of the things that my generation tends to complain about most is how stressed or overwhelmed they feel. I’m not saying I’m not guilty of it myself, because I certainly am. I work 40 hours a week, run this blog where I post 5 + times a week, write freelance articles and try to make time for a social life as well- so I’m busy, too. Over time,I’ve learned how to effectively deal with this feeling of stress and being overwhelmed (in addition to a few doctor visits and medication). Here are a few of my personal tips.

Learn to say “no”

As a writer and blogger, I get tons of opportunities for new side jobs, projects and collaborations. If I said “yes” to everything that was thrown at me, I wouldn’t have time for sleep, so I learn which opportunities to take and which ones to simply say “no thanks” to. Whether it’s saying “no” to something like helping out on an extra project at work or even going out on a Friday night when you’re exhausted, it needs to be done. If you feel that you are too overwhelmed at work, then maybe it’s time to assess your job. This means you should prioritize tasks, ask for help, meet with your supervisor or boss about your workload, or change jobs. No one should have to work a 10+ hour day, in my opinion.

Write things down

As cheesy as it sounds, having a notebook or planner has helped me immensely. As soon as you find out about appointments, due dates of big projects or upcoming weddings, write them down in your planner or calendar. Write to-do lists and check things off as you get them done- the feeling will be amazing when you’ve crossed off all the items.

Give yourself a break

Taking time to just relax, breathe and watch some trashy TV can reduce stress greatly. When I feel overwhelmed, sometimes I just listen to music and shut out the world. Unless it’s something that needs to be addressed this second, try not to worry about it. I have so many friends who can’t sleep at night because their minds race with thoughts of tomorrow’s workday. Leave work at the office! Clear your thoughts and focus on relaxing and spending time with friends or family while you can.

How do you deal with feeling overwhelmed? 

27 Comments

  1. These are great tips and saying no, even though it is hard, is one of the best things I’ve learned to do. I HATE saying no to friends and family, but if it makes a healthier, happier me, I can only believe that’s what they want!

  2. Learning to take breaks when you need them is such an important skill. It’s so easy to run around from one thing to another, when all you really need is to take a night in or have a few hours to yourself. Taking a break, even for just 15 minutes during a project, makes me feel more relaxed, more energized, and more productive when I have to go back to whatever it is.

  3. This is perfect. I love the part about people not needing to work 10+ hour days. I completely agree and think life is WAY to short to be wasting away time being a chaotic crazy person at work.

  4. yeah I agree with saying no! I had a hard time saying no for a while but I’m learning to do that more so I don’t feel overwhelmed, and haha trashy shows are fun for leisure activities 😀

  5. Giving yourself a break is key. I also think it’s really important to manage expectations (your and others). You don’t need to respond to every text that comes in the second you get it, or return every e-mail the same day. Especially if you’ve got projects and deadlines you’re trying to meet.

  6. love this list. i agree — our generation is so overloaded with stuff to do! i really like to unplug when i’m feeling overwhelmed. getting outside with my dog is always an awesome stress reliever.

  7. Love this! I generally start feeling overwhelmed at the beginning of each week, and it definitely helps to write things down. When I give myself a little time to plan, I end up feeling a lot better about my week.

  8. Feeling overwhelmed is like my neutral state… Haha I need to learn to relax a bit more. At the expense of sounding like an alcoholic, I definitely lean on wine a little when I’m overwhelmed. 🙂

  9. I feel like I’m a walking mess of overwhelemed these days, so these are fabulous tips! I always need to write things down to feel a little more in control. xx

  10. It seems like I feel overwhelmed on a regular basis these days. Like you said between work, other commitments, a social life and running our blogs, it’s difficult not to feel that way sometimes. I love your tip about learning to say no; that’s something I’ve been working on the last little while and I’ve noticed it’s made a big difference. I know that I’m not someone who usually turns down an opportunity but I’m proud of myself for saying no when I simply can’t handle any more on my plate. Great tips Rachel!

  11. Great tips! As I’ve gotten older/busier it’s become easier for me to say no to things. Life is too short to participate in things that aren’t of value to you and/or things that you are doing out of guilt/not wanting to make someone feel bad. Scheduling time for yourself to do fun things is definitely important too!

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