Every once in a while, I’ll find myself in a position when I’m stressed out, overwhelmed, and waking up every day with a headache because there are a million ideas in my head and I’m not doing any of them. In fact, when I’m in that state, I’m not doing anything at all because all my energy is spent on feeling overwhelmed.
Fortunately (or maybe not so fortunate depending on how you see it), I’ve been around the block a few times, so my stressed out times are definitely getting shorter and shorter.
When we’re feeling stressed out, the last thing we want to do is unplug and let go, because we might think of it as “wasting time”, which is ironic because we’re actually wasting time by continually to stress out and get absolutely nothing (or very minimal done) - which is why I want to share some tips with you on what to do when you feel yourself in a state of stress and overwhelm.
What To Do When You Feel Stressed Out And Overwhelmed -
1. Take a step back and allow yourself some breathing room.
Ironically, the last thing we want to do when we’re feeling stressed is to go outside or take a break or mini-vacation. Or is that just me?
Well, I’m definitely getting better at it, because I do not enjoy feeling stressed and like the days are just passing me by.
So when we allow ourselves to take a step back and give our brains some breathing room, we take the weight off and feel lighter as a result.
If you focus on feeling overwhelmed, you’re only going to focus more on feeling overwhelmed because that’s all you can think about. So allow yourself to think about and do something else for a while - hang out with your friends, go to the ocean, take the whole day off, get a massage, or even go sit outside or lay on the grass (without checking your phone).
Whenever I stop using Instagram, I just feel so much … better. I know, I’m a millennial who doesn’t like using Instagram (anymore). It kind of stresses me out. I don’t think I was suppose to tell you that, but they say honesty is the best policy.
2. Decide on one thing you want your focus on and be intentional about it.
Okay, so after you’ve gone out for your break and given yourself some time away from all the noise and overwhelm, it’s time to get intentional and get some clarity. I haven’t read the book Essentialism yet, but have heard really good things about it.
So if you haven’t read it yet either, the gist of it is getting only the right things done. So not all those other things that you think you should do or things other people have told you were important, and I think intuition plays a really big role here.
It’s a way of life and doing only the things are in essential and in alignment with our goals and beliefs, and forgoing all the other things.
Because the truth is… everyone will always have their own opinion about what you “should” be doing, but if you focus all your energy on pleasing everyone else, you’re setting yourself up for a very miserable and stressed out life. It's like getting a corporate job that you didn't want, but you did it to please others.
Moral of the story: Don't do things for other people.
3. Journal on why it’s important to you and what you’re going to get out of it.
When someone or something tries to lead you astray (i.e. shiny objective syndrome), go back to your why. Your vision and your goals. Why you even decided to start this in the first place.
In this past year alone, I’ve allowed myself to get sidetracked SO many times and recently, I started getting back to WHY I wanted to start Wholehearted Woman in the first place. Why I want to work for myself. Why I want the freedom to work for myself. Why I choose this lifestyle even though there are days when I question my own sanity.
So what’s your why? Focus on your why and not someone else’s why. Because if we focus on other people’s why, we get sucked into what they’re doing, which may not be the best for what we’re trying to do (and maybe the things they’re working on aren’t even the best for their own journey).
(Related: 7 Lessons I've Learned From Daily Journaling)
4. We all fall off sometimes, so it’s really important to not beat yourself up over this.
Self-awareness is key.
Once you start feeling the overwhelm and stress coming in, stop. Take a break. Give yourself time to rest and recharge, so you can come back with clarity, purpose, intention, and heart.
Don’t push yourself even more when you’re feeling really overwhelmed, because the only thing you’re pushing yourself is only a black hole of burnout. Trust me, this is a recipe for disaster.
It’s okay to take a break. It’s okay to take several breaks. It’s okay to put yourself first and take care of your health. Self-love isn't selfish; it's treating yourself right and also taking ownership of your actions. Both actions of doing the work and giving yourself time to rest and recover.
So often, I find myself in a state of stress and overwhelm because I've lost my way. I started doing the things other people weren't doing that weren't in alignment with my core beliefs, so it started wearing me out. I started listening to all the "should"'s and "supposed to"'s when I should've been listening to myself and following my intuition. So when you do find yourself stressed out and overwhelm, you need to find yourself and your path again. You need clarity, purpose, and a roadmap. Your own roadmap by the way. Not anyone else's.
Share with me in the comments below -
What do you once when you feel yourself starting to become stressed out and overwhelmed?