We all have had those days, weeks, months, years even for some, where we just feel like we are running around doing everything all day and without having a chance to breathe. This can be a result of work, relationships, school or just life (or a combination of it all)! This is how my last few weeks have been – I have a large amount of school work to do on top of working and just attending class – I have been swamped! For me, it feels like I am constantly playing catch up and never have a chance to sit down and relax without worrying about all of my upcoming assignments.
I began to notice that this constant feeling of urgency and stress I was experiencing was not benefiting me in any ways, including my work. When we are overwhelmed with tasks that we must complete, we tend to let that stress and anxiety affect how we perform and our quality of work. Now, that isn’t to say that I am doing poorly at my work, but I am just not giving it my full effort every time I sit down to do work. An example is when I was reading my chapter for my Wednesday night class. Instead of focusing on just what I was reading, I would find myself drifting my thoughts to other things I needed to do. Because of this, it not only affected how well I was able to understand the concepts, but how long it took me to read –taking me longer than the typical hour or so it takes for me to read the 50+ pages. Since it took me longer, I wasn’t just feeling overwhelmed from what I had to do, but I was now more tired and stressed that it took me as long as it did.
To avoid letting our work and mood suffer during times in which we feel overwhelmed, we must learn to give ourselves time to stop, relax and refocus! Of course this is MUCH easier said than done. However, it is necessary to do so in order to remain grounded and balanced even in times of high stress. Jessica Sepel’s “11 Easy Ways To Slow Down & Find Balance” suggest activities to incorporate into your that focus on slowing down and finding that balance you need in your life! We often opt in for a quick fix for the current situation we’re in, but forget about our future selves. Feeling overwhelmed at work happens more than once, so finding long-term habits and activities to incorporate in your life, can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed and allow you to truly focus at the task at hand and ensuring your best work.
- Walk alone in nature, barefoot if you can
- Technology off!
- Practice yoga or some form of restorative exercise.
- Don’t put so much pressure on yourself.
- Schedule some YOU time.
- Don’t be scared to say NO to social arrangements.
- Keep your emails short and check them only 2x/day.
- Make 8-hours of sleep a night a priority
- Write in your gratitude journal.
- Deep belly breathe.
- ENJOY a social media-free day.
So looking at this list… Let’s be real, #5 is extremely important! It is likely that the reason you are feeling as overwhelmed and stressed as you are is because of the pressure you are putting on yourself to finish everything all at once. But this isn’t helpful for you or your work – you must focus on one task at a time. Now #6 also ties into this, as you need to make sure you allow some time to yourself during all of this mayhem! How are you truly going to make some progress in work if you, yourself, are constantly worrying about everything else When we’re stressed, we tend to think pessimistically about what we have to do, as we feel like we’re in a never ending pile of work. Integrating these 11 ways to slow down into your life can help keep you calm and focused as you make your way through you work. So give them a shot, and see if you find differences between how you handle the busy work days, weeks, months and years; and remember, always put yourself first!
If you find that you can’t seem to stop feeling overwhelmed, stressed and anxious, it may help to have someone help you find and develop the best skills to work through this. Give us a call at Life Skills Resource Group Orlando at 407-355-7378 to schedule a free phone consultation with one of our Orlando Licensed Mental Health Counselors for Individual Counseling in Orlando or with our Orlando Life Coach. If you are feeling overwhelmed in your relationship, Cindy Fabico, Risa Bos and Kelli Skorman, our Orlando Couples Therapists and Orlando Marriage Therapists are experienced with helping you and your partner figuring out ways to overcome these feelings. If your child or adolescent is struggling with feeling overwhelmed, anxious and/or stressed, Amy Smith and Jessica Carmean, our Orlando Child Counselors, Orlando Adolescent Therapists, and Orlando Teen Counselors would gladly help them through this time and get to the root of the problem.
Know that we all have times of high stress – from life, work, friends, family etc. – but the first step is to find means of slowing yourself down and it is possible! ~ Sabina