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In this day and age, our lives are so busy and hectic that being overwhelmed is usually a matter of when and not if. With our long to-do lists, taking care of the family and, for many of us, working on top of it all, it’s not wonder we often feel stressed and overwhelmed. And you know what? There is no shame in it! And there’s also nothing wrong with taking a step back to make yourself feel better.
My days are very busy working while taking care of my son at the same time. And then after work, by the time dinner is done and cleaned up, I feel like there often isn’t a lot of time left in the day for much else. I then think about everything still left on my long to-do list and it can often feel rather overwhelming.
One of my most popular posts to date is When You’re So Overwhelmed You Can’t Even Get Started. It’s got great tips on how to overcome those moments when you are feeling so overwhelmed by everything you need to do that you can barely get off the couch. I’m so glad it’s helping people!
But sometimes we need something to help a little faster when we are suddenly feeling that whatever we’re doing is just too much – just a quick moment to calm ourselves down so we can get back to whatever it is we need to do.
This doesn’t mean these tips will completely rid you of any stress and overwhelm you may feel. They are simply meant for you to take a break and step away for a moment so you can get back on track instead of trying to push something that is going nowhere.
Praying is listed first on this list because there is nothing more powerful than calling on the Mighty One. It should be our first step in every situation!
Also, it can be done right in the moment. I love that I don’t need to go somewhere else or leave the room. It doesn’t even need to be quiet for me to pray. It can just be a quick chat with God that helps me refocus.
This doesn’t mean I never have quiet moments with God, but the line of communication with him is always open. (He wants us to stay connected to him at all times!)
So when you’re feeling overwhelmed, talk to God about it. Ask him to help you. Or just tell him how you’re feeling and see what happens. If it does just so happen to be quiet where you are, sit in the silence for a moment or two and just listen.
Perhaps it would help you to find a bible verse that you love and keep it posted nearby. That way you can see it often and be encouraged and use it as a reminder to pray. You also might like to have a worship song ready to play. That always helps me remember that my problems really aren’t all that big in the grand scheme of things.
Take a deep breath
Sometimes I like to stop what I’m doing and just take a few deep breaths. It’s usually one of the first things my husband tells me to do when he knows I’m starting to get stressed about something.
When you start to feel overwhelmed, stop what you’re doing, close your eyes, and take a few deep breaths, slowly and calmly. I have often heard that it’s helpful to breath through your nose and exhale through your mouth so give that a try.
If you’re at home and the kids are running around creating chaos, step into another room for just a minute or two (if it’s safe to leave the kids) and give yourself some space.
Related post: How to Work from Home with Kids
Take however many breaths you need until you start to feel a little calmer. A little oxygen to the brain can be so rejuvenating!
Call someone who often encourages you
While you are taking your time out, call somebody who tends to make you feel better when you talk to them.
Maybe you have a friend who loves to makes you laugh. Or your mom has a knack for saying the right thing at the right time. Or your husband is just a phone call away and can remind you how much you’re loved.
I will often send my husband a text when I need some encouragement. He usually responds with something sweet and tells me he will pray for me.
If you don’t have anyone you can call at the time, keep a book nearby that makes you feel good when you read it.
The point is to take your mind off of whatever is stressing you out and put it on something that will make you feel encouraged.
You want something that is going to help bring you back from wherever you are.
Clear away clutter
I don’t know about you, but it is almost impossible for me to focus and not feel overwhelmed when there is clutter. It can be anything from a sink full of dishes to laundry waiting to be folded.
I usually feel calmer and suddenly much more free.once I take care of whatever it might be. Then I am no longer distracted and can focus on what I need to do.
That is why while working my day job from home, I try my best to do the dishes after breakfast and lunch. I know it will make me feel much more able to tackle my work, even if in the moment I would rather put every minute I have into getting my work done.
So if you’re feeling overwhelmed, maybe it’s because there is visible clutter weighing you down. See if taking five minutes to do the dishes or whatever else it might be helps you. A clear space often equals a clear mind, which helps relieve feeling overwhelmed.
Related post: 3 Simple Steps to Make Sure You Stay Clutter Free
Go for a walk
I absolutely love to go for walks, either by myself or with someone else. Many times this summer I put my son in his stroller and we walked around our neighborhood.
Walks have always been a way for me to clear my mind. They are also a great time for me to think through something that I might be struggling with.
For example, if I’m really struggling with something I’m trying to convey on a blog post or as I write my eBook, I will often go for a walk and pray about it and let my mind contemplate every part of it as I walk. It usually helps me sort my thoughts.
Sometimes I will even walk not to just think about things, but to completely forget about whatever is weighing me down. Then when I return home I feel as though I have a fresh set of eyes to tackle what I’m doing.
Listen to music/play an instrument
Music can be so therapeutic, can’t it? I admit that I have zero musical talent, but other people I know find a lot of satisfaction in playing an instrument. If you play an instrument, taking it out at just the right time might make all the different for you.
Even though I can’t play anything, I love to listen to music. Worship songs are usually my go-to because they remind me that my problems aren’t really all that big in the grand scheme of things. It helps me refocus on more important things.
Do you have a favorite song that encourages you and makes you feel good? Have it ready to go for when you need to take a time out.
As I mentioned, feeling overwhelmed is all too common. But there are things we can do to help lessen that overwhelm in just a matter of minutes.
If none of the above tips appeal to you, then just step away for a few minutes. Whatever you decide to do in that time is up to you. But step away, especially from any screen time, and do something else.
Continuing on without doing anything is only going to make you feel worse and you likely won’t make much progress. So step aside, do you what you need to do, and then refocus.
What kinds of things do you do when you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed? Please share in the comments below. They just might be exactly what somebody else needs to hear!
If you feel this post might help someone else, please share 🙂
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