7 Simple things to do when you feel completely overwhelmed

Sharing is caring!

Does your “To Do” List make you want to lie down?

Everywhere you turn the media, family and work are making demands on you.

You don’t feel rested when you wake up.

I know. So stay with me, keep reading and let’s talk about some ways that will help you, ok?

You just don’t know how to get through it all.  No wonder.  We are nation of overwhelmed people.  Social media and the evening news hit us at every turn.

Editor’s note: This post was last updated June 12, 2018, and again on March 20, 2020. We are currently in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, and people are being called upon to do extraordinary things. I hope this post adds a little calm to your day, and hopefully your week. xo Judy

* post may contain affiliate links – what does that mean?

woman on phone with small child reaching for her, text reads 'feeling overwhelmed? 7 simple things you can do right now to feel better

When you’re feeling overwhelmed, everything is off.  Relationships with family, your spouse, co-workers.

My favorite part of the nightly news is the Happy Story they leave until the end.  You know the one that shows courage, determination, or someone just did a really nice thing?  I wonder why they don’t start the news with that?

what can you do when you’re feeling overwhelmed……

But I digress.

Just know you are not alone.

self care gifts

Do I feel overwhelmed at times? Of course.  I think everyone does.

Maybe you are feeling overwhelmed about the new job?

Or looking after your parents?  Am I spending enough time with my kids?

Yes I know.

When you're feeling overwhelmed and your 'TO DO LIST' makes you want to lie down, these 7 ideas will help you find the balance you are needing. Take time for Self Care.

This list provides tools to help!

  • Please don’t expect to do all of these things.
  • That in itself would be overwhelming.  Pick two.
  • Two things that you can easily fit into your life right now.  Just two things that really resonate with you.


Let it go.

Please. There are things in this life that we can control, but so many we can’t.  Pick your battles. 

Is it really worth it to stand on principle? Or is this the one time you compromise?  This can apply both to our work lives and at home.  And it’s also closely related to our striving for perfection so…..


Nobody’s Perfect

We are so hard on ourselves. Always striving to be the best we can be.  And that’s good! But trying to be perfect is exhausting.   

We. Are. Human. Beings. 

Prone to making mistakes, because that’s how we learn! Create an environment around you where others feel safe to share their mistakes and how they have learned from them. 

You will be amazed at how relieved you feel when you say goodbye to perfection.  You will probably stand up straighter as a result.


Writing meditation or journaling daily for 5 minutes    Writing in a journal, sort of free flow writing for 5 to 10 minutes every morning is a great strategy (IMHO) to clear the mind of clutter.

A brain dump if you will.  Even getting up a few extra minutes early to have your tea or coffee and journaling in a pretty notebook is so calming, almost like meditation.  

Journaling has become very mainstream, there are journals for health, journals for weight loss, journals to overcome stress, bullet journals (they’re fun!) just about every combination.

We’ll be talking more about journaling on the blog in the weeks and months to come.  I think it’s that important.  

I first heard about it in a book by Julia Cameron, called The Artist’s Way.  It’s an interesting read and you can get it through this link. 

Journaling has gotten me through some very challenging times in my life.  I’m happy to say I’ve been meditating through my writing for many, many years!

Sleep on it

Use the 24 hour rule! – This is my absolute favorite strategy. When I am facing a problem, either at work or a disagreement with my spouse, giving it 24 hours to settle, to think about it in your mind, come up with solutions or compromise is the best. 

Resisting the need to rush to be right, to get something to go YOUR way, may not remove the overwhelming feelings you are experiencing.

One day.

24 hours.

It really isn’t a very long time. 

If you manage people, I’ll bet you already have this tool in your toolkit.


Have Fun

When you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s really hard to think about fun, right?  But please make it a priority.  

Are you having any fun?  This is a difficult one for me.  I work full time at a desk job, and my passion, this blog, is my Side Hustle. 

So you get where I’m going right?  If you are in a stressful job at work, have children or elder care responsibilities, debt, or any one of the many stresses that we juggle in our daily lives, chances are you aren’t getting any. 

Fun, that is. 

And fun doesn’t need to cost anything! 

A visit to the local park, checking out the Community Calendar where you live, the local library, join a community sports team and meet new people! 

I know some folks who think decluttering their home and cleaning are great fun! (Not me, rest assured)

When I’m overwhelmed and stressed I bake pies.  Explore the walking trail in your neighborhood and see where it goes?  Have you tried Geocaching?

And then there is Hygge.  You know, Hygge? (Hue-gah)

The Danish term that really doesn’t translate directly in English, but means happiness. 

Finding happiness, being mindful.  You can read more about it and discover 30 Simple Ways to get your Hygge on! 

 Eating, exercise, sleep

These three contribute to my feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, fatigued on a daily basis! We are an inert, java addicted, sleep deprived nation!

Well I am for sure.  You too? 

If you work at a desk or workstation all day, and the go home and drop on the sofa to surf the net, have a Netflix marathon, or scroll your phone, chances are your body is screaming for a little exercise. 

If I didn’t have two dogs who count on me to get them out for a walk every evening, I wouldn’t either. 

But here’s the thing. 

Our bodies weren’t made to sit 12 to 16 hours a day! 

So what about stretching as soon as you get home, before you sit down and pick up the phone or laptop.  We have a stretching activity at work every day. 

Folks gather for 15 minutes and do stretches.  A colleague of mine has a set of hand weights she keeps by the television, and uses them during commercials. 

A ball chair – you know the ones with the exercise ball in them?  I use that when I’m journaling in the morning with my cup of coffee.  Helps strengthen the core, sit up straight too.  All kinds of good benefits!



Step away and breathe, find silence in the noise.   Okay, so we’ve touched on this above, but for sure there needs to be down time, off the devices. 

Having a buffer between screen activity and sleep is the best thing you can do. 

But more importantly, turning off the noise lets us get back in touch with ourselves, our thoughts, and our loved ones. 

Some simple things to try is to make meal times a “device free zone”.   Giving yourself 30 minutes to decompress before bed every evening really does help. 

Try it for a week and let me know if it makes difference!


Start right now

So pick two things and only two.

Try them out for 30 days.

Give yourself the gift of that time to see if it makes a difference.

I’m pretty sure it will.

Be kind to yourself.

woman on hammock with words be kind to yourself

This is the first post in a new category “Lifestyle”.  We’re just going to talk about life.  All of it.  Sometimes life is messy, and sometimes it is just so amazing you can’t contain yourself!

I hope you are having an amazing day.  Feel free to share this post with your friends too!

Or on Pinterest!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *