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Three Ways to Stop Feeling Overwhelmed

I believe that it’s safe to say that feeling overwhelmed is part of life. We all, at one time or another, feel as though we are spread a bit too thin and that we just can’t catch up with the day-to-day demands of work, family, and everything else that life throws at us. Furthermore, today’s technology-based society offers so many distractions (smart phones, tablets, Facebook, etc.) that it’s no wonder we feel pulled in so many different directions. Some symptoms of overwhelm include anxiety, irritability, and exhaustion. While it’s pretty much impossible to avoid feeling overwhelmed during certain situations, it’s always a good idea to be aware of those feelings so that you can actively try to shift away from those emotions. Here are a few ways to do so:

#1: Take the time to slow down.

If you start to recognize the signs of feeling overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to take a step back and assess what is really imperative. Carve out the necessary time in order to get those things done, and leave the rest for later. Allow yourself to relax a bit; take a bath, read a book, or sit quietly with a cup of tea. If the laundry isn’t folded, it’s ok. If the emails wait until tomorrow to get sent out, it won’t be the end of the world. Your well-being and peace of mind are far more important than that pile of dishes in the sink.

#2: Have the courage to say “no”.

Saying “no” is really, really difficult for a lot of people, myself included. There is the sense of impending disappointment that comes along with it, which is enough motivation for most of us to just nod our heads. However, in order to avoid being overwhelmed, having the ability to say “no” with both tact and conviction is an important skill to cultivate and maintain. No, you don’t have to run the carpool this week. No, you can’t run another errand today. And, no, you won’t be working overtime this weekend.

#3: Picture your perfect situation.

Are you frustrated with how over packed your weeks are? Try sitting down with a pen and a piece of paper and write out how your ideal schedule would go, from Monday through Sunday. And then, do what you can to get it as close to that as you possibly can by limiting certain activities and adding other ones. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the PTA, take a break. Have you always wanted to join a book club? Look one up in your area.


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