Has life ever had you feeling overwhelmed? I don't think there's anyone who has never felt overwhelmed at some point in time.
Women are especially prone to overwhelm. Why? Even though most women now work outside the home, the sad fact is the majority of the household and childrearing responsibilities still rest on the shoulders of women. We may be bringing home a paycheck but we aren't getting much help at home.
Feeling overwhelmed can happen for time to time. Special circumstances, like planning a wedding, can create some temporary feelings of overwhelm. But what if you're feeling it a lot? What if overwhelm feels like an uninvited houseguest who refuses to leave?
For starters, you need to realize who is responsible. Life is not doing this to you, you are. Stop trying to be Superwoman. Overwhelm is not something that attacks you. It's a feeling you experience because you believe there's too much to do and too little time to do it. And once you recognize and acknowledge it, you're better equipped to deal with it.
Speak up for yourself and start saying no. If your schedule doesn't allow room for you to comfortably take on another project or schedule another event, don't do it. And don't let anyone use guilt to manipulate you into agreeing.
You deserve to have a manageable schedule just like anyone else. Give yourself permission to do so. If you wouldn't expect another person to take on an additional responsibility, don't expect yourself to, either.
Your feelings of overwhelm largely come from taking on too much. If you're asked to do something, don't be too quick to accept the assignment. You might think you're being a nice person, but if you succumb to health problems because of it, you won't be nice for very much longer.
Feeling overwhelmed usually starts out with feeling tired. Make sure you are getting adequate rest. By ignoring the tiredness and pushing yourself to work through it you are inviting stress and overwhelm. You may make progress with a certain task, but you will be less able to deal with the rest of your responsibilities.
How can you reduce the amount of overwhelm you feel? Here are some suggestions:
Prioritize. The biggest weapon you have in fighting overwhelm is your ability to prioritize what you need to do. When you prioritize based upon urgent, non-urgent, important and non-important, you can focus better. Your first impulse will be that every one of them is absolutely essential. Move past that to decide which tasks are not. After lightening your load a little bit, you'll feel some breathing space.
Learn to say no. We've discussed this one already, but it is key. If you can master this one, life gets much easier.
Breathe. When you feel overwhelmed, you have a tendency to tighten up instead of relax. Take some long deep breaths and let yourself relax. Feeling overwhelmed is s type of stress so treat it that way. Walk away from your desk and give yourself some quiet time to meditate.
By being more proactive in deciding what gets your valuable time, you'll be less likely to feel overwhelmed.