Feeling Overwhelmed – 10 Actions to Take

Do you have days where you simply feel overwhelmed? I know I do! Today I will share with you 10 different actions that you can take to help you get back into that positive mindset.

We All Find Ourselves Feeling Overwhelmed Sometimes

I don’t know about you, but I have some days where despite all the planning and preparation, I am feeling overwhelmed. There are some things you cannot really plan for. I remember not that long ago, I was working on an important project at work. And as we were approaching a deadline I felt really good about my progress, because we were already doing a final review with the customer. All that I had left to do was implement any final changes that the customer wanted after they were finished with their review.

And guess what happened? The customer decided last minute that they wanted to add a major component to the project. This was totally unexpected! That meant that I really had to dedicate my entire time to that project to ensure the deadline is met.

And it did not end there. A couple of hours later I got a call from my son’s school that he was not feeling well and I had to pick him up. Then I got an email regarding a PTO event that I was leading requiring me to make some phone calls to make sure the error is fixed.

Needless to say, I felt stressed and overwhelmed. And I’m sure you have days like that as well.

How to Deal with Feeling Overwhelmed?

While we can all take some steps to prevent some stressful situations from occurring, there are still going to be days like I have just described to you. So what can you do at that point?

I want to share 10 simple things you can do to help you out. Depending on the specific situation, one will work better than the others. These are all things that I have done before to help me shift my mindset and not feel overwhelmed anymore.

1. Get Some Fresh Air

This is the easiest and one of the most effective ways for me to shift my mindset when I’m feeling overwhelmed. Just stepping outside for a few minutes can have truly healing powers. Sit down outside in your backyard, take a walk around your neighborhood, or go for a quick run. Just go outside. There is just something about getting fresh air that helps your brain to refocus.

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2. Step Away from What You Are Doing

Sometimes in order to get a fresh perspective, you simply need to step away from what you are doing. This is a great option for when you are feeling overwhelmed with a particular situation, activity, or task. Sometimes all we need to preoccupy our brain with something completely unrelated for a while in order to re-energize and refocus. I have found that I am much more likely to find a solution to a problem when I step away from it for a while. It helps me get a new perspective and be more creative.

3. Brainstorm Possible Solutions

When it feels like things are crumbling on top of you, it’s time to sit down and think about how to address the problem. Brainstorm possible solutions. During this exercise you don’t spend time thinking about feasibility of those solutions – just write down what comes to mind. This will get your creativity flowing. Once you have a list of possible solutions, then you can take a closer look and decide which one will work best for you to resolve the problems that make you feel overwhelmed.

10 Actions to Take When You're Feeling Overwhelmed

4. Write a To-Do List

Another way to address the feeling of being overwhelmed is to write down what you need to do. Sometimes when you unexpectedly get too many things on your plate, the best way to address it to write down a to-do list. A list where you record all the tasks you need to complete in order to address a given problem.

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5. Call a Friend

Sometimes what we need when we are feeling overwhelmed is a chat with a friend. We need someone to be our sounding board. Someone who will let us vent and reassure us we will be ok. Honestly, sometimes just talking it out with someone will help you find a solution and feel better about the situation you are in. So call a friend, talk to you spouse, or chat with a coworker – pick someone depending on who might be best positioned to understand your current struggles.

6. Declutter Your Space

This might sound like it’s out of place, but this has totally helped me on many occasions. There were times that I felt overwhelmed both at work and at home, and what has helped me get back into the positive mindset was decluttering the space around me. It is as simple as organizing my desk and putting all the paperwork away where it belongs. Or it might be clearing up my desktop or inbox. And at home, it might be getting my house back in order after a long day. I have talked about this before, but decluttering the space around you will help to declutter your mind as well. You will be able to be more creative and focused.

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7. Decide on What is Your Priority

When you are feeling overwhelmed because you simply have so many things on your plate that you don’t even know where to start, you probably need to take a look at your priorities. Remind yourself what are the most important things for you right now. Ask yourself what do you need to accomplish today. And start with that task! Sure, that means that some things will simply not get done. But if you don’t decide on what your priorities are, you will likely waste the whole day feeling overwhelmed and not getting anything done.

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8. Delegate and Eliminate

Another situation that makes us feel overwhelmed is when we feel like we have too much on our plates. The truth is that when you feel like you have too much on your plate that is because you have too much on your plate. So it is time to start taking things off of it! Whether it is at home or at work (or both!) start delegating some tasks to other people. And determine if some of the things that you have on your plate can be eliminated all together.

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9. Self-Care

When you feel overwhelmed with a situation that you are in – try a self-care activity. It has to be the one that works for you. It can be reading a book, going for a run, or getting your nails done. Something that will help you relax and get back into that positive mindset. Self-care is something that we need to do every single day – it should be part of your day. But it is also very helpful in situations where we feel overwhelmed.



10. Remember to Breathe

This is one of the simplest yet very challenging actions to take sometimes. Just stop and breathe. We can be so wrapped up in what we are doing, that sometimes we forget about the simplest solutions. I tell my son all the time when he gets frustrated or overwhelmed with a particular situation: just take a deep breath and count to 10. I explain to him that this simple action will help to calm him down and see things from a different perspective.

Ant that has surely worked for me as well. So if you find yourself in an overwhelming situation take some deep breaths. Better yet, start meditating. I have only started practicing meditation a few months ago, but I find that it helps to clear my head and feel much more relaxed and ready to face whatever life throws at me.

Your Turn

What are your favorite and most effective ways to face the feeling of being overwhelmed? Please share below!

10 Actions to Take When You're Feeling Overwhelmed

Posted by

Wife, mom, full-time employee, blogger. Love to travel, read mysteries, and everything chocolate. Learning to embrace the imperfections and helping others embrace theirs.

11 thoughts on “Feeling Overwhelmed – 10 Actions to Take

  1. Great tips – sometimes they might sound simple, but they are so incredibly easy to forget when you’re in the midst of an overload. And personally, overwhelm can lead to negative spiralling for me, so it’s important to nip it in the bud where possible. Getting fresh air and taking a break works wonders for me, whether it’s work or even family overwhelm. It takes less time than you think to re-centre.

    1. Yes! We sometimes tend to overcomplicate things when a simple solution will work just as great. I am also amazed how much my mindset changes after getting some fresh air.

    1. Yes! Taking deep breaths are working great for me when kids are having ‘one of those days’ or when work is driving me crazy. And it is a cup of cappuccino for me 😉

    1. Yes, I had to learn it the hard way. There were a few times when I felt so overwhelmed at work but I just sat there and kept trying to figure out a solution. But I was only able to do that when I stepped away from that problem. Now I make sure to do that every time. Thanks for reading 🙂

  2. I feel quite emotional reading your blog post as I can relate to it so much.
    I really needed to read this tonight so thank you.

    1. I’m so glad you came across this post when you needed it the most. Sending lots of virtual hugs your way.

  3. Will definitely use some of these during the summer holidays, I often end up feeling overwhelmed by everything I need to get done while the children are demanding snacks 24/7!

    1. Yes, what is it with the snacks? It’s like they need them every 5 minutes! lol! Summers are lots of fun but they are also challenging because of all the new needs we have to tend to 😉

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