How To Take Care of Yourself When Life Gets Overwhelming

How To Take Care of Yourself When Life Gets Overwhelming

Are you feeling overwhelmed with life in general?

Does it feel like it's almost too much to take in?

Me too. Much too often, these days.

I'm just going to accept the fact that it happens. Everyone has that occasional difficult day when we feel a little low and stressed out. I was juggling between a bunch of different tasks and I've had so much on my plate. So on those occasions, I like to put extra care into my mental health and my overall well-being. With a few simple tricks, here's how you can take care of yourself when life gets overwhelming.

Take a step back

It's the most powerful trick you can think of. When you feel like life is just too much to take in, you need to take a break from it. The other day, I was flat-out swamped, stressed and feeling down. It was a full day's worth of urgent tasks to attend to, I was tired, strung out and I barely had time to breathe. 

My solution? I left everything behind. I'm not saying you should escape to a remote island for weeks (although that would be quite nice too!). What you should do is read a book that has nothing to do with work, go for a walk in a park, or go for karaoke if you can swing it. The point is to take an hour or two away from your problems—physically somewhere else, if possible.

Do one thing at a time

Here's the deal: when you're feeling overwhelmed, it's because you simply have too many tabs open in your mind. It's perfectly normal and it happens to a lot of us. I fight these feelings almost daily and here's one of the easiest to overcome them:

Write down a to-do list and start by finishing a single task!

I like to keep it classic by writing things down, even if I have 100 items to list, I'll do it happily. I don't know about you but for me sometimes things become more manageable just by writing them down. Anyway, after that is settled, I usually start with something I don't exactly like doing (gotta shoo them away from the list first, right?). It's such an amazing way to keep your head on straight.

Talk things over with your significant other

Sometimes a conversation with someone you truly care about is just what you need to boost your mood. I try not to bore my man so much with every little problem that comes up in my work. However, he's such a great cheerleader of mine and frankly smarter than I am in a lot of areas. So talking for a few minutes with him really makes things less stressful for me and motivates me to do great things. (I try to return the favour but honestly, I think I get more than I give. Sorry, love!)

Take a nap

Everything looks and feels better after that power nap. Granted, this isn't always the most practical suggestion but you don't always have to tackle things right away. I've written more than 100 articles now, and I can't begin to tell you the number of times I've worked my way through simply by blowing it off for a while. It's amazing how our mind works sometimes. 

Control what you can control

There are things you can control and things you can't. Pinpointing what you can control and letting go of what you can't is one of the best ways to deal with anxiety. I had to learn this the hard way but you don't have to. You just have to remember that sometimes, the simple act of doing something about a problem—even if it doesn't fix it instantly—helps, big time.

Stop comparing yourself to others

Seriously, guys, this isn't healthy. What other people have achieved doesn't have to be representative of what you're going to achieve. It's perfectly OK to have a few people for you to look up to but it's not OK if you're comparing your success to theirs. I know it's normal to lose our sense of self-worth, especially when something goes wrong in the middle of the road. Remember that you've achieved a lot and that's not something to overlook, my friend!

Learn to turn stuff down

Sometimes you just have to say no. Chasing validation can end up loading your plate with too many commitments. Recently, I turned a couple of bigger projects down because it's getting out of hand. It's too much and I didn't want to agree to commitments that I end up resenting and regretting later. Of course, you don't want to make this a practice and end up being unreliable. Still, I think it's better than feeling too overwhelmed and getting nothing done.

Tidy things up

There's definitely magic hidden somewhere in tidying things up. Clearing and tidying up your living and workspace has a profound calming effect. I always take three to five minutes at the end of my day to clean up properly, ready for the next day. Just take a few minutes to straighten things up, and declutter all the mess. You won't regret it 'cause you might see things in a whole different light.

Do something you enjoy

Take a break and do something that brings you joy. Even if it's as simple as listening to your favourite music, or having a cup of tea with someone you love, then do it. When you choose to have fun, it will bring light to your life when you need it the most. It definitely helps take away all the overwhelming things going on in your mind and create a breathing room. Trust me, just have fun. It's worth it.

Cut down on how much content you consume

I know how easy it is to get lost in the endless ocean of content online. You can scroll through hundreds and thousands of content in just one sitting. And I bet not all of them are good content. You will somehow stumble upon something that you wouldn't want to consume (thank you SO MUCH, algorithm).

Therefore, be kind to yourself and to your head. Especially if you have a Twitter and TikTok account. It's way easier to get carried away on those apps. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed with all the input, just stop. You only have one brain. Put those apps down and come back again in a few days. 

What are your tricks for when life gets too overwhelming?