Here’s a question for you guys: how do YOU deal with overwhelm? Whether it’s that end of the day feeling of “gaaaah I have so much more to do,” that “looming doom” feeling that always preceded finals or other big career events, or other forms of overwhelm, what do you do to calm yourself and move forward? How do you deal — particularly if you don’t have time to join a kickboxing class or otherwise get serious physical activity?
I am a work in progress on this front, as well, but here are some of my tips for how to deal with overwhelm — I’d love to hear yours!
- For end-of-day overwhelm: write down three things that you absolutely need to get done first thing tomorrow. If you have a minute or two before you run out the door, clear your space and put the first thing you need to focus on in the middle of your workspace, so you’re ready to hit the ground running.
- For looming doom overwhelm: Breathe. Meditate, if you can. Do some adult coloring books! Make a great “you can do this” playlist (so many great suggestions from readers on this post about girl power songs). Don’t let your stress dreams freak you out too much. One trick from my school years: focus on the end date. I would enter the finals period with so much stuff to do and read and write and knowledge to shore up and would say to myself, “I have no idea how it’s going to get done, but I’ve always always gotten it done in the past and done well, and two weeks from now it will all be done again.”
- For too many balls in the air overwhelm: Reassess! Do you really need all of those balls in the air? Do they have to be YOUR balls, and your airspace? Delegate where you can, or kick tasks to good stopping point so you can take them out of the air for the moment — it helps to focus here on tasks (the next step in the project is X) instead of the project itself.
As noted above, coloring books for adults are great for dealing with “looming doom” overwhelm — these are some of our favorites (affiliate links):
Readers, do you deal with overwhelm on a regular basis? What are your best tips for moving forward despite your overwhelm?
Pictured: Shutterstock / Glovatskiy.