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How To Deal With Overwhelm

Updated: May 13

Overwhelm is an emotional state in which you find you are really struggling to cope with your current situation. There is too much going on, and you have too many things to do, with not enough hours in the day to do them. You just feel you are inundated and overloaded which leads to difficulty in thinking and acting rationally. Recently, I actually found myself in a state of overwhelm. A combination of factors led to this including having a leak in my house, which necessitated new flooring whilst at the same time I was also decorating my bedroom. This was alongside family and work commitments with the latter including preparation for a Reiki course I was teaching. I literally had too much to do which was causing me to feel stressed with a feeling of not being able to cope. I needed to take action. In my latest blog, I’m looking at overwhelm in more detail, what can trigger overwhelm, how you can tell you are overwhelmed and things you can do to alleviate the situation.

What experiences can lead to overwhelm?

· Job demands

· Relationship issues

· Financial difficulty and insecurity

· Death of somebody close to you

· Personal traumas

· Significant life changes

· Physical or mental health problems

· Lack of sleep

· Poor nutrition

Take action to avoid anxiety and burnout

If you are not careful, overwhelm can take over your life and can drain your energy and distort your perspective. This can eventually lead to burnout and can trigger anxiety. However recognising you are in this scenario is difficult to ascertain.

Symptoms of overwhelm

· Lack of focus – don’t know what to do next

· Disproportionate reaction to situations – tendency to panic

· Feeling tired and being irritable

· Lack of patience and empathy

· Difficulty in completing simple tasks

· Withdrawing from family and friends

· Not enough time to do everything

How to deal with overwhelm

By recognising that you are overwhelmed and what is causing it can aid you to reduce stress. Things that can help include meditation, practicing mindfulness, exercising, eating healthily and avoiding drugs and alcohol.

· Accept that you feel overwhelmed

· Pinpoint the primary source

· Focus on the present

· Prioritise – what do you need to do right now?

· Set boundaries on your time

· Know what is in your control and what isn’t

· Write a list

· Outsource and delegate

Writing a list can be extremely liberating

When prioritising, you will need to weed out things that can be delayed and the things that are urgent will need to be prioritised. Recognise what is in your control. Writing a list will eradicate the requirement to remember everything and it will free up your mind and can be massively liberating.

How I dealt with my situation

Returning to my situation, I had to take a step back. I worked through releasing the feeling of overwhelm using a simple technique I use with clients and was then able to feel more relaxed which helped me to prioritise what needed to be done and in what order. The preparation for the Reiki course was a must, but there was actually nothing I could do about the leak except wait for the plumber to come in and repair it and go through the procedures with the insurance company. The floor and the decorating will get done but are not a priority.

How can Becoming Aware help you overcome overwhelm?

Most people feel overwhelmed from time to time. Acknowledging it and accepting it can help to deal with overwhelm. As a qualified and experienced Mental & Emotional Wellbeing Practitioner, I can help you sort through the issues that are causing your stress and anxiety. Call me on 07766 427966 for a free without obligation chat or email

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