5 Helpful Ways to Easily Tackle Overwhelm Now

Naomi Irons
4 min readNov 12, 2017
Photo by Tim Goedhart

[Originally published on the My Fair Olinda blog.]

Can I let you in on a little secret? I get overwhelmed often and easily. It doesn’t take much to hit overwhelm which can quickly lead to shut down. It’s an emotional drain. It’s tempting to give up without much of a fight. Then overwhelm’s best friend procrastination comes for a visit and reassuringly whispers in my ear that I can face it tomorrow.

It’s easy to be overwhelmed with a packed schedule and a long to do list. I hate feeling like I’m behind and can’t seem to get ahead. What do you do when things keep getting put on the back burner and piling up?

When I’m overwhelmed I take a deep breath and then I find a way to move forward!

The good news is you absolutely can overcome overwhelm. I’ve outlined 5 helpful ways to easily tackle overwhelm now. Overcome procrastination, get recharged and find forward momentum today.

5 Helpful Ways to Easily Tackle Overwhelm Now:

1. Identify what’s causing it:

Figure out what the main source of your anxiety is. Overwhelm is a feeling. Face it head on and identify why you feel this way. Sit down with a pen and paper and write out what is overwhelming you. Be honest and answer why. Does it all feel like too much? Do you have a clear plan or any goals mapped out? Do you feel out of control or helpless? Are you unsure where to start?

Once you’ve identified the source you can set goals and make a plan of attack.

2. Give yourself permission to take a break:

Right now, if you have too much on your plate, it’s time to take a break. Do something relaxing. Do something that you know will recharge you and give you energy. No matter what. Rearrange things, do what it takes to carve out the time and take a break now. Don’t say no. Instead ask yourself what would it take?

Regular breaks are important for your mental and physical well being. If you have to schedule them in to make sure they happen do it. Those times of recharging are key.

3. Build margins into your schedule:

If you are feeling overwhelmed it’s time to drop something. You can only do so much. I used to say yes to way more than I should. Now my first response is to think about it before I say yes or no. Even after I committ to something I evaluate it. After a time if I recognize I have taken on too much I will scale my commitments back. I also try to take my entire week and month into account when scheduling things.

Choose the things you love the most. Choose what you feel the most passion and joy for.

I love to spend time with people, but as an introvert I need alone time to recharge. I can’t make back to back plans in a day or fill every night of the week with something. If I have a particularly busy week I make sure the following week isn’t so full. I also block off one night a week where I never make plans. Not ever. It’s the one night of the week I know that no matter what I have saved to recharge.

4. Drop procrastination:

This is a mindset to adopt. Choose not to procrastinate. Kick that little stinker to the curb. Procrastination is a liar. All procrastination does is leaves you in a state of anxiety and stress. It makes you feel better to put something off for the moment. It never accomplishes anything. Instead you place yourself in a constant cycle of worry over the same thing over and over again. Plan when you are going to do things and then do them at that time. Set the time aside and use the time as intended. Get it done and get it off your plate.

5. Start small:

Choose a small, simple task to begin with. Think of something manageable that you know you can get done. The point is to take action. The battle is beginning. Chances are once you gain momentum you’ll keep going. Be proud of yourself for the task you have accomplished.

What do you do to overcome overwhelm? I would love to hear your tips too!

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Naomi

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Naomi Irons

Do It Yourself projects enthusiast. Celebrating creativity everyday. I’ve been killing it in the organization arena for over 10 years.