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What to Do When You Feel Overwhelmed

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Sometimes life overwhelms us and the hits just keep coming.  I found myself in this position one time a few years ago.  Things kept going wrong, I’d break something on my website or business, and I made mistake after mistake after frustrating mistake.  Here’s what to do when you feel overwhelmed.

Sometimes life overwhelms us and the hits just keep coming.  I found myself in this position one time a few years ago.  Things kept going wrong, I'd break something on my website or business, and I made mistake after mistake after frustrating mistake.  Here's what to do when you feel overwhelmed.

Sometimes life overwhelms us and the hits just keep coming. I found myself in this position one time a few years ago. Things kept going wrong, I'd break something on my website or business, and I made mistake after mistake after frustrating mistake. Here's what to do when you feel overwhelmed.

What to Do When You Feel Overwhelmed | Feeling Overwhelmed by Life

My first instinct was to crawl under the covers and quit being an entrepreneur and maybe get a job being a foster parent for kittens.  But my second, and better, instinct was to stop everything and take a breather, and reassess things when I was in a better frame of mind.

But how do you get from anxious and overwhelmed to being able to look at something with fresh eyes?  How do you not beat yourself up when you’re messing up or just can’t handle the stresses of life?

What do you do when you feel overwhelmed?

It’s easy.  Do a brain dump.

A brain dump?, you ask.  What’s that?

A brain dump is when you take all those stressful and overwhelming thoughts furiously swimming around in your brain and dump them all out on a sheet of paper.  You just free write until you’re no longer overwhelmed.

Got a never ending to do list?  Do a brain dump.  Write down every single minute thing you have to do, then prioritize them, only doing the really urgent and important tasks right now and leaving the rest for a time when you aren’t so busy.

Overwhelmed with life?  Do a brain dump.  Stressed about school?  Do a brain dump.

Just writing everything down is very cleansing and cathartic in itself, but if you want to take it a step further, you can go back over your list and prioritize things.  Do you really need to clean your apartment from top to bottom?  Is the task important or urgent or not either of those?

Cross off anything on your list that you don’t really need to do.

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If something is a giant overwhelming task, such as “Figure out the purpose of my life,” then you’ll probably want to break that down into smaller steps.  Break down all of your tasks into bite-sized mini steps that you can complete in a matter of minutes instead of hours or years.

If your brain dump is full of New Year’s Resolutions that you gave up on and projects that you don’t even know how to start, really consider what your priorities are in your life.  What is truly important to you?  If it doesn’t make the cut, don’t worry about it.  You don’t really have to learn how to make a baked Alaska to impress your mom.

Ok, phew, we’re done!  Do you feel better, or maybe lighter?  If not, do the brain dump again and make sure you write down every little thing on your mind that is stressing you out and taking up space!

This is from our Slow it Down class about slowing down and simplifying your life, and getting rid of anxiety.

Are You Overwhelmed and Stressed?

There are some times in life when it’s all go go go, and you’re in hustle mode and making things happen and getting down to business, and then there are other times when you slooooowwww down a little bit.

I always slow down in the summer months.  I take more time off.  I relax.  I wake up at 10:30 am.  I put things off until when I feel like working on them.

Maybe you’re finishing up another school year.  Maybe you just finished the frenzied finals week, or are about to, and now you just want to decompress and let go of all the stress that’s been building up for months.  Or maybe you’re in the middle of the storm right now.

That’s why I created Slow it Down.  It’s a reset button.  It’s a chance to pause and reflect.  It’s time to take stock of what your commitments and stressors are in life, and let go of what no longer serves you.

It’s time to focus in on the things that matter, and let go of what doesn’t so you have more white space in your life, more air time, more free gaps between the rush and madness of every day life.  To stand still in the middle of a noisy world.

It’s a chance to exhale the old, and inhale new possibilities.

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There are seasons in your life when it’s good to say yes to every opportunity and chance that comes across your path, and there are times when you need to put your head down, stay focused, and say no to more things than not. Here’s the beauty of saying no.

There are seasons in your life when it's good to say yes to every opportunity and chance that comes across your path, and there are times when you need to put your head down, stay focused, and say no to more things than not. Here's the beauty of saying no.

The Beauty of Saying No | How to Say No to Someone

At the beginning of a journey, you might find that it’s beneficial to say yes to just about everything. You never know what new thing might provide the breakthrough you’re looking for. But once you’ve been doing something for a while, whether that’s working at a job, training for a race, starting a business, or trying to be happy and well, you start to understand what things do and don’t work for you personally and it’s helpful to be more discriminating about how you spend your time and energy.

Saying “no” to a person or opportunity, especially if you’re used to always saying yes, can be terrifying at first, but I challenge you to try to say no to something if only to push yourself out of your comfort zone.

When you say “no” to another commitment in your schedule that you’re not really interested in, you’re saying “yes” to yourself. When you say no to something you don’t like, you can say yes to something you do like.

If your schedule or life is overflowing with things you might not actually like but just didn’t want to say no to, try making a “stop doing list” of things that you’re going to stop doing in your life. It’s like a to-do list, but the opposite. 😃 You’re allowed to free up your time from doing things you don’t like in order to make more time for the things you do like (the optional things, anyway. You still have to pay your bills :P).

You get to choose the things you want to dedicate your time and energy to. You’re allowed to say no.

When You Feel Overwhelmed | Feeling Overwhelmed with Life

Get Rid of Your Overwhelm with One Simple Step

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