Believe it or not, even the most organized people get overwhelmed. There is so much to keep track of from day to day. If you are married, have children, or work full time that just adds to it. There are bills to be paid, a home to clean, meals to cook, schedules, and paperwork to name a few.
Technology was supposed to make all of these tasks easier, but have you noticed they all seem more complicated and they have multiplied? It’s enough to drive you crazy. So how do you keep yourself from being completely overwhelmed by the day to day tasks required of you? How do you find a moment to breathe? Where do you begin when you feel that invisible weight of the never ending to-do list pushing down on you?
Take a Deep Breath
Have you had a moment where you are so completely overwhelmed that you feel paralyzed by making a decision of what to do next? Do you almost feel like you can’t breathe because of the pressure of it all? I’ve been there. I find the best thing you can do at that exact moment is simply take a pause and take a deep breath or two or three. Once you have calmed down that feeling then you can begin to tackle the problem that is causing your overwhelm.
The next step may sound counter intuitive. If you are overwhelmed by the 8001 tasks that you feel you should have completed yesterday, the last piece of advice you probably want to hear is to slow down. Sometimes though, that is exactly what we need to do. We need to slow down and take a step back from whatever is causing us to feel so overwhelmed.
Remember You Are Your Own Worst Critic
Part of the reason most women suffer from overwhelm is that we are so hard on ourselves. I know for a fact, I am my own worst critic. Don’t let yourself become overwhelmed because of critical voices in your head.
Do the Next Right Thing
Once you have taken a deep breath, slowed down and stopped listening to your inner critic, the next step is to do the next right thing. This is a buzz phrase being thrown around all over lately. There is so much value to it. I heard one of my favorite bloggers say a phrase along the lines of too often we put the urgent before the important. In our lives when we are overwhelmed, we need to figure out what is the next task we need to do that is most important to stopping the overwhelm. Is it getting dinner on the table, spending a few quality minutes with our kids, or making a phone call. Whatever that next right thing is. Do it.
Make A Plan
I find when I get overwhelmed that the best thing I can do is sit down for a few minutes and make a plan. No matter what I need to do whether it be to meal plan, clean a room, or plan my child’s birthday party I find I work better when I have a plan. The plan can be as simple as a list of items that need to be done in the order that they need to be done. When you sit down and plan you can figure out the next right step faster. All of the sudden you will have written out what needs to be done and you can more clearly see what needs to comes next.
One night I found myself a little paralyzed looking around my home as I stared at the surfaces that needed to be decluttered and the tasks I knew needed to be done. I honestly didn’t know where to start. I felt pulled in many different directions. Finally, I decided that the best action I could take was to simply get started.
Narrow Your Focus
Many times we get paralyzed by overwhelm because there is so much to do. I find when this happens the best step to take is to pick a small area to clean or a small task to complete. When I make my way through a few small tasks then my overwhelm eases.
Stick to Routines and Schedules
I believe that having routines and schedules in your home for you and your family is one of the best ways to prevent overwhelm. When you follow your set routines and have schedules there is far less chaos and opportunity for any one area to get out of control. If you are wondering what routines to focus on in your home. Read my post on The 10 Routines That Will Keep Your Home Organized
Let Go of Your FOMO (fear of missing out)
Another reason that we get overwhelmed in life is because we are simply trying to do too much. We are trying to do everything that needs to be done and we are trying to keep up with everyone else. We are also trying not to be left out. The problem is that when we do this, we actually add to our overwhelm. If you struggle with worrying that you are missing out. Read my post on How to Keep Fear of Missing Out from Taking Over Your Life.
Take a Break
If you have tried all these strategies and you still feel overwhelmed, then it is time to take a break. Yes, take a break. Sometimes the best way to overcome overwhelm and recharge before tackling the never ending to-do list of our lives it to simply walk away. This does not mean hop on a jet and fly to Tahiti. It simply means to find a way to mentally and physically take a break from the task or place that is causing you to be overwhelmed. It’s okay to go watch a show, read a book, have a coffee or go for a walk. Take an hour or so and then get back the tasks that need to be done.
Our lives are moving at a rapid pace these days with a flow of information never ever seen before. It is no wonder so many of us just feel completely overwhelmed. You can get through it, you can get past it and you can take back control of your life. Just start now.