Mindful Monday no. 68 – 6 Tips to Overcoming Overwhelm


Are you feeling overwhelmed with your to-do list? Are you feeling paralysed by all that is on your plate? This is an all too common scenario for caregivers who are juggling multiple demands and roles.

Here are 6 tips to overcome your overwhelm: 

  1. Take care of yourself. Anxiety fuels our overwhelm so it is important to practise self-care. Make time to calm anxiety with breathing exercises. Write a worry script. Ensure you are well rested and eating healthy foods. Without your own health and well-being, nothing will get accomplished.
  2. Give your attention to the things that provide a return. When we invest our limited energy, we want to ensure that we are focusing on responsibilities and tasks that provide some semblance of a return. Ask yourself, Is this worth the effort when I am already overwhelmed?
  3. Prioritize your tasks. What is most important for today? …this week? …this lifetime? When we pay attention to the things we find important rather than the things we should do, we are honouring ourselves and our own well-being. On a short-term basis, listing out 2-3 priorities for the day sets yourself up for success. On a long-term basis, you are focusing on those goals or dreams that feed you.
  4. Focus on one thing at a time. Multitasking is overrated. When we try to do too much – especially in a state of overwhelm – we accomplish less at a lower quality than if we focus on the task at hand. Single-tasking your to-do list helps to reach the process of completion quicker so that a feeling of accomplishment can motivate you to get more done.
  5. Change your location. Get out of the house. Move your desk. If you are struggling to find time to fill out some paperwork, try changing locations. Bring the paperwork (and only the paperwork) to a cafe where you can focus on the task without the nagging of other to-do’s around you. Order yourself a latte and work until the task is completed.
  6. Say no. One of the best ways to overcome overwhelm is to not take anything else on. This is what no sounds like:

“I would love to help you but my plate is full right now.”

“I’m sorry but I am not taking on anything new right now.”

“I don’t have the time to put into this project at this time.” 

“Thank you for thinking of me, but I don’t have the capacity to do this task.” 

Or if you are feeling pressured, give yourself a time delay:

“Please let me think about it and I will get back to you by Thursday.” 

If, after reading these tips, you are feeling like you are stuck in a cycle of avoidance and procrastination, please read our post on how to manage.



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