All of us as some point of time feel overwhelmed. We don’t need to put extra effort to experience that. We are pre-designed to drift into the feel of overwhelm as soon as we are caught up with so many things “not happening” as we want them to happen. Overwhelm is a kind of emotional paralysis which one experiences when we lose control over things around us. In fact at times, overwhelm can result from simply having too many options in hand.
Here is a quick list of the things that I do in such a situation.
Do not blame yourself: First of all, stop blaming self for being unable to handle a situation and hold yourself responsible for all your sufferings. Know that no one is perfect and we all make mistakes we are not perfect. All yourself to make mistakes once. After all, our own mistakes are our greatest teachers and this is how we grow. We forgive others for their carelessness and mistakes— it’s time to start extending the same courtesy for ourselves.
Take short breaks: Feeling of overwhelm, makes us feel drained of both physical and mental energy. In such a situation, I prefer to take a short break. Play with your pet, watch my favourite movie or Television show, call a friend, go out on bicycle ride or maybe you can try out something that you enjoy most such as music, play an instruments, cooking, a cup of hot cappuccino, munching your favourite cookies and there are many more. The whole idea is to make yourself better by doing what you love.
You may even try to meditate if you like. Put yourself in a state of mind where you can focus on peace and relaxation.
Write: Simply start with writing down the floating thoughts which are bothering you. In a while, you can feel the relief from the stress and then you can gradually move your focus to making a list of the things or tasks which are leading you stress, chunk them down to small tasks. This will eventually help you to manage thoughts and get rid of confused and overwhelming state of mind.
Focus on the right things – Now that you have de-cluttered your mind by writing down your thoughts, prioritize. There is quite a famous quote by Phoebe Snow “Sometimes when you’re overwhelmed by a situation – when you’re in the darkest of darkness – that’s when your priorities are reordered.” Focus on setting priorities for your tasks. Without having a clear picture of priorities, we usually have very little sense of direction and we end up in focusing on small things instead of things which hold more importance in life. By ignoring the most important things, we, ourselves jump into a situation which leads us to overwhelm.
Stop being a perfectionist. This is the worst thing that we do to ourselves. Expecting and extra-stretching our capacities to prove ourselves to be 100% perfect. You must have heard often from your parents, teachers and seniors to put in 100% of your effort to what you do. But actually we end up in Expecting 100% from us. As soon as we have a task in hand, we start visualizing its perfect picture, which putting in our best effort and keeping a room for better things to come in. this is where, the overwhelm is born. Perfection is nothing but a standard set by us in our minds. Chasing perfection forces us to spend much more time then is required to get things done.