Back when I first shared my 5 things to do when you're feeling overwhelmed with my newsletter subscribers a few months ago, I was feeling SO OVERWHELMED myself.
I'd taken on some extra projects in my business and was trying to do it all. I'm also someone who basically refuses to feel that way for long, so I came up with a plan and stuck to it. IT WORKED! That's why today I'm sharing my top 5 things to do when you're feeling overwhelmed, as this can help you too!
In the past year I've been living by my to do lists. My time is so valuable, especially as my business is gaining major momentum, that every single thing that I do is scheduled, right down to my free time. My to do lists are a mile long, and it's easy to get caught up in the "hustle" and to think that there's "never enough time"…but in reality, I've realized that's all BS.
I'm insanely grateful to be in the position that I am, where I have the ability to help so many people. If there's one thing that I learned from being sick for so many years, it's that no matter how awesomely-scheduled my days are, my health will always be the most important, so having free time is an absolute non-negotiable for me. The feeling of overwhelm is always the signal that I'm not giving myself enough free time.
My 5 things to do when you're feeling overwhelmed pretty much go completely against what our brains want us to do. Or at least my brain. When I'm feeling overwhelmed, my brain tells me to move faster, in order to get more done. In reality, that never works for me.
The key is to do the exact opposite.
So with that…
5 Things To Do When You're Feeling Overwhelmed
1. Create Before You Consume
We live in a world where the first thing most people do when they open their eyes in the morning is scroll social media or check their email.
There's literally no worse way to start the day. Don't believe me? Stop doing it for a week and watch how your mood shifts.
Starting your day by consuming something that doesn't really benefit you, and may even cause your heart to race (HELLO stressful email!) is kinda the worst. So let's just stop doing that. It may not be easy at first, but you'll soon realize just how good it feels.
Whenever possible, I start my day by doing something for myself before I do something for anyone else. Before I check social media, my email, or anything else that requires that my attention is placed on someone or something, I listen to a motivating podcast (my favorite is Quote of the Day Show by Sean Croxton) while I organize (I actually love organizing), or I take my dogs on a hike. I also realize how fortunate I am to be able to do this. I work for myself and can set my own hours, and I realize how rare that is.
I'm far from perfect with this, but it's something that I constantly work to be better at. It makes such a powerful impact in my day, so it's totally worth prioritizing.
As a parent, I'm sure this concept can be super tricky – I honestly don't know how you do it, nor will I ever pretend that I do. Your "create before you consume" could be a simple as snuggling with your kids for a few minutes before you start the day, or making yourself a cup of coffee or tea while taking some deep breaths and thinking about something fun that you'll do that day, or even listening to your favorite podcast on the way to work. This doesn't need to be complicated.
2. Get Back To What You Love
I could give you a million different reasons for not being able to take a break. There are always emails, messages and comments to respond to. There are always posts to write and people to help.
Free time will rarely ever just appear, so I've learned to schedule free time into my day.
While I LOVE the work that I do, it requires me to constantly be giving my energy to others, while taking very little back in.
In order to fill my own cup back up I have to consciously unplug and prioritize my free time. Lately I've been prioritizing setting down my phone and closing my computer and getting back to what I love doing the most.
It's not always easy for me, as I'm someone who LOVES to check off items on my to do list…but that's also why I include free time on that same list, as I get to check that off too.
In order to release the feeling of overwhelm I believe that you have to get back to whatever it is that you love the most. That could be doing something artistic, going for a walk around your block, cooking, playing with your kids, playing with your dogs…watching adorable dog videos (the best)…whatever it may be.
For me, it's spending one-on-one time with my husband, hiking with my dogs (shown in the pic above!), catching up with my girlfriends, cooking without any sort of recipe, and heading to Apex to train.
What is it that you love doing the most? Schedule the time to do exactly that.
3. Write It Out
Often when I'm feeling overwhelmed it's because everything that I need to do is constantly swirling around in my thoughts. Taking a few minutes to sit down and write out every single thing that I do is so helpful and instantly relieves any stress. This also helps me to prioritize what's most important, and what I can let go of.
4. Find a Way To Make It Fun
My husband gave me this tip, and you guys, it's been a GAME CHANGER!
There are things that I need to do for my business, that I reallyyy didn't enjoy doing until I put this tip into practice. Take scheduling my Pinterest, it's pretty much my least favorite thing to do, and I found myself dreading it. So now, I've learned to make it fun! I listen to a podcast (current fun listen is My Favorite Murder) while I schedule my Pinterest, and the time literally flies by!
5. Just Breathe
When I'm feeling completely overwhelmed and unsure of what to do, I always come back to this. I'll literally tell myself to "just breathe. It's going to be okay."
Odds are, if you're anything like me, you could rattle off an entire list of things that you could be/should be doing right now, all that have absolutely nothing to do with play or relaxing. I TOTALLY GET IT. There may never be free time, so you have to create the time. It simply must become a priority.
Realize that you won't always get everything done that you want to, and that's OKAY. All we can do is our best each day, and some days are definitely easier than others. Is anyone going to die if you don't get _____ (fill in the blank) done? If not, it'll be okay if it waits another day.
If you're feeling overwhelmed, I truly hope that these tips help to bring you back to what's most important.
Now go enjoy your day!