Often having too much to do and not enough time to do it leads to feeling overwhelmed. Overwhelm impacts us mentally, physically, and emotionally and in turn, impacts those around us. When we are in this situation, it’s tough to see how we can change anything. Here are five tips for reducing overwhelm and increasing the amount you get done.
Take the time to sit still and breathe for a moment
When we feel stressed and overwhelmed the first thing to suffer is our breathing. We tend to shallow breathe. Taking time to stand still and do a breathing exercise will help get more oxygen into your body, correcting or shallow breathing and will have a calming effect on your physical body and your mind.
Square breathing is one good way to do this
- Begin by slowly exhaling all of your air out
- Then, gently inhale through your nose to a slow count of 4
- Hold your breath in for a count of 4
- Then gently exhale through your mouth for a count of 4
- Hold your breath out for the count of 4
- Repeat as many times as you need to calm down
Have a look at what you have to do and get a few of the quick ones out of the way first
By doing a few of the simple, quick tasks, this will shorten your list for the day and give you a sense that you are making some progress.
Be realistic as to how you are going with what you’re trying to handle
We are so quick to beat ourselves up when overwhelm makes us feel that we are inadequate and failing because we can’t get everything done.
Overwhelm starts with us believing that we can handle anything no matter how big. It is reinforced by the idea that not being able to do so is a failure.
If you are feeling overwhelmed don’t try to multitask
Actually, there is no such thing as multitasking. What you are quickly doing is shifting focus from one task to the other very rapidly. Doing that can be very tiring, particularly when you’re feeling low on energy.
It’s best to focus on one task at a time so that it can have your full attention. When you do this, you will realise how quickly you can get things done. Doing so will require much less energy than trying to focus on several things.
Change your energy level
Continually pushing ourselves to try to complete everything in the same location can make us feel like we’re trapped in a rut. It doesn’t matter where that location is it starts to feel a bit like a prison. Change your location, and you can change how you feel. Get outside in some fresh air. Go for a short walk in an area where there are plants as nature revitalises you. Try going for a quick run. Go outside and call someone on the phone. Have a little bit of a chat to get a change from what you are doing.
Time spent doing this may seem like we’re procrastinating. To ensure that you don’t set a timer so that you don’t overextend this time out. When we are overwhelmed, we tend to waste time stressing out about things. Using that time to get a break is much more productive.
Startpoint Counsellors are experts in reducing the stress of overwhelm and increasing happiness in life.
Call us for a free 15-minute session with one of our counsellors to discuss how we can help you to change your situation. 07 3458 1725