How to stop feeling overwhelmed

Busy mums like us are all too familiar with feeling overwhelmed. Read about a simple 30-minute exercise that cuts procrastination at its core and leaves you feeling much better.

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Even though we like to think that we’ve got things under control, the truth is that we sometimes don’t. When we realise that, there comes that familiar feeling of overwhelm. And it takes us to a point when we procrastinate just because we don’t know how to stop feeling overwhelmed, which then, in turn, means the to-do list gets even longer.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying you’re lazy. This is simply a coping mechanism when we can’t get our ducks in a row, or when we’re not feeling 100%. So, what do we do then? To lift our spirits, we tend to focus on the more enjoyable and easier activities instead of focusing on the important tasks. That is, believe it or not, the definition of procrastination.

But, there is a really simple thing that you can do to get yourself started towards this personal wellbeing goal. I’ve got a short and sweet podcast episode about it here.

Bonus episode 2: How to overcome overwhelm - Healthy and Thriving Career Mums Podcast

It’s something that I regularly do, and can say from experience, that it really helps giving me that structure I need. Here is my method for coping with overwhelm.

How to stop feeling overwhelmed – Step 1

Think about your foundations, and these are the things that you do most of the time that keep you grounded. These are your habits (which is why I’m always going on about healthy habits).

What is it that you do daily that is not aligned with your foundations? It is actually those things that lead to you feeling discombobulated, and therefore, overwhelmed.

I have 5 daily habits which I aim to stick to, which keep me on an even keel. Yours will be different to mine. If you need some help with how to choose these habits, you can read my blog on this here.

How to stop feeling overwhelmed – Step 2

Once you’ve acknowledged the overwhelm, get a notebook or a piece of paper and a pen to do a massive brain dump. Just get it all down on paper because there is something very scientific about the fact that when you get it out of your head onto paper, you can then a start to breathe and also start to process and sort things out.

Create three columns: things I need to do now, things I can do later, and things I can do in the future. You will probably move things around, but you will end up with a clear and organised list that you can use to tick off (and be smug every time you put a new tick in there).

How to stop feeling overwhelmed – Step 2 (for techies)

If you like digital solutions, replace the pen and paper with an app like Asana or Trello. They’re really convenient as you can drag and drop things when you decide to move things around. But also, drag and drop the task in the finished tab – utter satisfaction, right?

Completing step 2 will help you put things into perspective and give you that initial push towards committing to action. Give yourself time to reflect (over a nice, hot drink). And, the moment you start, you will stop feeling overwhelmed.

I do this every week: I have some quiet time in my office and do that exercise. I call it my “CEO date” with myself where I plan out my week. It has worked wonders for me, so I urge you to try it and hopefully, you will get results with it too. This is something I was taught by my wonderful friend and productivity coach, Jo Bendle.

I hope these tips inspire you to ditch the overwhelm and take action now. You deserve to have a clear mind and be healthy and thriving in your everyday life.