A couple months ago, I wrote a blog about learning how to slow down during times of high stress. This week, I decided to focus specifically on learning how to calm down, relax and refocus when you’re feeling overwhelmed in life and at work.
This past week was hectic for me! It is the week before Thanksgiving- for me this means finals are about to begin & I need to make sure I plan what I need to do for Thanksgiving. Also, Amy and Cindy decided to create a Vision Board Workshop that they will be hosting January 17 & January 24 of next year! It is always exciting planning for a new workshop or group, but it is also very overwhelming with the amount of things that must be created for it. Typically when I walk into work on Monday there are roughly 10 emails that I need to go through on top of voice messages; well this week, there was more emails than I even wanted to look at. As I began to sort through the emails and voice messages, it felt like each time I tried to make a to-do list, 5 other things popped up that I needed to do. As always, I was able to get it all done but not without needing to take a step back and organize my thoughts and prioritize my list into what I needed to get done right away and what I could hold off on until after.
I am sure you all have experienced those days, or weeks, when you just seem to have a never ending load of things to do and you become overwhelmed by all of it – especially with the holidays right around the corner! It is okay to have these days/weeks – it’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed from all the things that may be piling on your plate. However, if you do not take a moment to step back and refocus yourself, your work may get done eventually, but you will continue to feel overwhelmed and begin to stress out.
As I felt myself becoming overwhelmed by the endless to-do’s I had, I quickly stopped what I was doing and searched for calming strategies that can help me relax and get down to business. I found “5 Tips To Beat Stress When You’re Overwhelmed” and I must say these tips really did help me center myself and gave me the ability to finish all my tasks without letting myself get stressed and anxious! The 5 tips that Jennifer Warden suggested included
- Breathe: Shut your office door, close your eyes for five minutes and breathe deep belly breaths.
- Shoulder Shrugs: Lift your shoulders up as high as you can, hold for ten seconds and release them back down and back. Repeat this throughout the day.
- Step Away & Gather Yourself: Give You may not have the time to actually step away, but give yourself a short pause (even take a long bathroom break) so you can give yourself a fresh attitude & some patience.
- Practice Presence: Looking ahead instead of what’s right in front of you at this moment contributes to overwhelm – try focusing on the present moment & be your best self for that moment.
- Competency Inventory (Jennifer’s favorite one): When you have time, write down some of the major challenges that you have handled or overcome – it will instantly give you the feeling of being more capable and able to handle whatever is overwhelming you currently.
I also found another list of tips that focused on a different approach when feeling overwhelmed. The 4 steps that author, Jamie Greenwood, recommended in her article “4 Steps to Being Calm When You’re Overwhelmed” are
- Awe in awareness: You must first take a step back; take a deep breath (or two) and ask the imperative awareness questions, “What is my choice in this?” and “How can I experience this differently?” Asking these questions sheds light and relief on deeper feelings driving you to be overwhelmed.
- Clear the mental clutter: A big part of why you’re feeling overloaded is because we keep everything in our heads (& there is no way to keep it all straight up in there). Write out everything you’re thinking about on a piece of paper – To-do list, shopping list, fears, worries, reminders – whatever it is and this will help you become more focused on what needs to be done.
- Go red-pen crazy: Cross out everything on your list that you “should” do or “have” to do with a brightly colored pen. This will help you weed out the things that are not fostering fun and not serving you, and will increase space for you to focus on things that do.
- No Glory in Going Crazy: So Jamie, points out that we may say we don’t like running around with our hair on fire, but we do… “it’s your badge of honor, the sincere proof that because you are busy and stressed you are getting stuff done.” Rather than doing this, let your ego be OK with just being in whatever moment you are in. By trading in your overwhelmed honor badge, notice things soften and how what you “needed to do” takes care of itself.
Taking a moment to step back and doing one, or a few, of these tips can really help you stop yourself before you become so overwhelmed that it affects what work you get done.To read more about the 5 tips & 4 steps to reducing your stress and calming down when you’re overwhelmed, click on the links provided in each of their articles titles! Remembering to stay present and centered during times of high stress, in order to avoid becoming overwhelmed and forfeiting the quality of your work, is key! To read my blog on slowing down, click here: “Need to slow down? Here’s how and why.”
Are you interested in learning more information about our Vision Board Workshop? Below, I have included the flyer for the workshop explaining what the purpose of it is. If you would like to register for the workshop, please call our office at 407-355-7378, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you or your kids are struggling with feeling overwhelmed or anxious, and cannot seem to get rid of this feeling, speaking to a counselor may help identify where the problem is stemming from and discover ways of helping to manage your stress. 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, with our Orlando Life Coach or with our Orlando Child Counselors, Orlando Adolescent Therapists, and Orlando Teen Counselors. All of our counselors would be glad to help you or your kid(s) get on the right track.