How to overcome overwhelm (or not get there at all)

Here we are again. The fall is upon us and the real life slaps us in the face an angry ex. The summer was so fun, but now we are back to the reality of everything. School started, or a new project at work. On top of that you have to do a billion of other things. Go to yoga, update blog, and with work or school (or worse yet both) you have more than just one obligation. And now you wake up at night with a feeling of a constrictor cobra squeezing your insides. Yay!

But what if we don’t have to feel overwhelmed? How to make sure, that you can enjoy almost every-single task you do, and not feel like it is sucking out the juices of life from within your soul?

First make sure you know that this isn’t something more serious like a burnout. If your overwhelm has already jumped over the edge and became a burnout I would highly suggest you check out my post about relaxing, why we should and how to do it. The link is here: https://balancedlife365.wordpress.com/2017/06/03/how-to-relax-and-why/

Now to the topic at hand

  1. Figure out why are you feeling like all the walls are falling on you? List all of the things you are “supposed” to do. Now from that list see if there is anything you can disregard. Do not take tasks on your plate that will make your energy bank get depleted. If you have extra things you just can’t do, then make sure you organize it so that you don’t offend anyone. If it is already promised, make a mental note not to promise things that make you feel like shit. As a side note, do not take away those things that bring you happiness in the long run or are there for your health. So, I think yoga should stay. But proofreading your friends essay for the next day, when you still have to write yours… well that can go.
  2. Now that your list looks more realistic. (Hopefully) figure out what the task monster is. A task monster is one task that seems so big and time consuming you feel like someone punched you in the gut right after reading that task. Now think of ways to make it smaller; more manageable. Make an action plan. All the tasks that are bigger than just 15 minutes of work, can be made into bite sized prices. You don’t eat a full pizza in one bite, so why should you do a huge project/essay that way?
  3. Make sure you haven’t got too much to do on one day. Make a to-do list that you know you can complete. Prioritize. If you have an essay in two days and a project in three weeks you could still work on both but definitely the essay is a priority. Even if the project is supper important. I think a smart to-do list would be: Finnish essay, do project for 30 minutes, activity you like. Or something similar.
  4. Do not do everything in one sitting. No matter who you are, people don’t concentrate well for more than 45 minutes and several studies show that even less. So don’t just sit on your butt for hours on end. Take pauses. But make them count. I can make a post about this later in detail. But if you sit in the same space with the same computer and that vacant look in your eyes, after your pause you won’t feel rejuvenated. Do anything at all but not computer or phone. Make that pause count. Stretch, meditate, visualize your dream life.
  5. Do not beat yourself over things not always being 100% perfect. Chances are that they never are. You can get an A+ on a paper and still have a couple comma mistakes. It isn’t the end. Done is better than perfect. And with every mistake you learn. So don’t beat yourself up. Make sure that every task you do is the  best that you can give at the moment, and then be proud you completed it.
  6. After you have finished the things you had time for that day. Stop. Do not do an all nighter. Do not sit for hours just to get that list less long. You will hate yourself next day and feel more overwhelmed. Make sure your evening has some time for yourself. Take a long shower. Read a book you love. Re-charge for tomorrow. You may wake up a bit earlier if you feel you need the extra time. But do not forget to take care of yourself. Sleep and food and exercise, meditation all of that is like fuel to a car. You can’t disregard it no matter how you have to get from place A to B.
  7. In order to not get overwhelmed or god forbid burnout, have one day a week with at least one afternoon just for you. It can be going out with friends. Reading a book. Making a bath. Going for a longer relaxed gym session (not the squat and go type) doing your nails or anything that will make you feel like yourself.
  8. I think this might be the most important. Do not let your negativity and self pity take you to the path of inflating the issue to be more big than it is. You can’t just not do the things you are obligated to do. So just sitting and crying for days over how unlucky you are and how life isn’t fair won’t help. I mean crying a bit can be helpful, to let out the feeling of frustration but then you have to wipe your face and get to business. No one else will do your work for you. So remember to make your health a priority but do not make it an excuse why you can’t do things.

I just had this feeling of overwhelm and just self pity to be honest. Felt like no matter what I did I was banging my head against the wall. That is why I wrote this post. I hope it helped and I hope everyone will feel energized and productive this fall.

A lot of inspiration for this post I got from this video, it is great, check it out! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDixLnjgRrw

As always, thanks for reading

-Alisa

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