Do you ever feel like nothing ever gets done? Like there's constantly more and more to do - and less and less hours to do them?
Yup, I've been there - and there's a few reasons why that keeps happening whether it's because we overcommit ourselves to too much or we have trouble saying no.
So what can you do about it?
How can you stop the overwhelm?
Here are 7 reasons why you’re feeling overwhelmed and what you can do about it.
1. You’re setting unrealistic expectations for yourself.
You have wayyyyy too many things on your plate. It started out with a few things, but things just kept piling on and on - and suddenly there was more than you can handle.
The good news? You can take them off your plate, too.
Yes, it sucks having to tell someone you can no longer do something, but that's how we learn right? Next time, we won't overcommit ourselves. Learn to say no, so you can say yes to the things you actually want to do.
This is also why people suggest not trying to change too many habits and create too many goals at the same time, because it can quickly all feel like too much. But what if you did one thing at a time? Wouldn't it be more manageable and realistic?
2. You’re constantly bombarded with notifications and noise.
If you're constantly looking at your phone and/or checking notifications, you never have time to clear your head - which means it's always busy. Always filled with a bunch of thoughts and unproductive noise if we're being noise.
It feels like everything is important and needs your attention now, but you ask yourself: Do you really need to reply to that text message or email right now? Can it wait? Can you set certain times of the day when you check for notifications (so you're not pressing the power or home button every 5 seconds)?
Solution: Whenever I'm doing something that doesn't require any Internet or screen time, I hide my phone (even if it's just behind my laptop). Out of sight, out of mind. Admittedly, I'm still kind of attached to my phone (although it's definitely gotten a lot better). You'd be surprised at what a difference it can make to just put your phone out of your sight and immediate reach.
Also, turn off your notifications! Trust me, you'll end up checking your Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, email inbox, or whatever else you frequently go to, you won't be missing out on anything.
3. You’re not setting healthy boundaries for yourself.
I get it - you want to make everyone else happy and you can't stand the thought of someone not liking you. I was once a huge people pleaser too, and sometimes it can be hard to say no.
But what happens when you say yes to everyone and everything?
You leave no room for yourself.
When was the last time you truly did something just for yourself? ...where you felt free to do whatever you wanted without having to think about everyone else?
Don't overcommit yourself.
If you're tired of feeling overwhelmed, you have to learn to stop putting so many things on your plate. Ask yourself what your top priorities are (and your top priorities can always change). But let's be honest, we can not have 50 different top priorities.
You can do anything, but not everything all at once.
4. You’re lacking in the self-care department.
If you're constantly overcommitting and adding more onto your to do list, you're not leaving any room for yourself - which will lead to burn out and lead to even more overwhelm, stress, and anxiety.
Ask yourself why you aren't taking care of yourself.
Why don't you see yourself as a priority?
Taking time off and stepping away will actually help clear your mind and allow you to see what's actually important vs. what you think is important. (And if you're already feeling overwhelmed, you probably think everything is important. It's not.)
5. You're trying to run on an empty tank.
I can relate to this one all too much.
Have you ever tried driving your car on an empty tank? Of course not, right?
So why do we do that to ourselves?
Y'know what I'm talking about. Pulling a few all nighters here and there to get a project done, not taking any days off, constantly being plugged in and thinking about work.
Just a friendly reminder (in case you forgot): You're not a robot or a machine. You're not suppose to run on autopilot and be productive all the time.
So give yourself a break.
Take a few days (or at least a day) off every time you finish a big project. Get your 8 hours of sleep. Unplug from your phone and laptop; you do not need to be constantly plugged in. Journal and let your imagination roam free. Eat a snack. Refuel your tank.
6. You’re expecting yourself to be perfect.
Perfectionism will cause you to think that nothing you do will ever be good enough, which obviously leads to overwhelm - because you're constantly trying to be more, do more, have more, etc.
It's a pretty vicious cycle.
One thing to remember is that perfectionism does not exist, and people don't expect you to be perfect. And if there are people who do expect you to be perfect? Remember that they aren't perfect themselves.
Let perfectionism go. Check out this post on letting go of being good so you can be free.
I've never actively called myself a perfectionist, but I definitely acted like one. Once I started letting go of the idea of "needing to have it all together", I was able to get a lot more done. Like, a lot more and feel less anxiety as a result.
7. You’re lacking self-awareness and mindfulness.
Self-awareness is KEY. If you're lacking self-awareness, you're going to constantly push yourself over the edge.
Boundaries with other people? You won't have any boundaries with yourself, which will lead to you overcommitting and setting unrealistic expectations - which will later on lead to more guilt, anxiety, and send you in a downward spiral.
Ask yourself WHY this is important.
If you're doing things just for the sake of doing things, you're going to feel unfulfilled and empty.
Lately, I've started journaling on my why a lot more - which has helped me do things with a lot more purpose and a lot less anxiety and overwhelm. Because I know what I'm working towards, so it doesn't feel like I'm just trying to fill empty space.
Having clarity and doing things with purpose will make your life 10000x better.
I'd love to hear from you.
When was the last time you were feeling really overwhelmed? What caused it?