Life is a wild journey, and there are so many things to love about it. There are beautiful surprises you never saw coming, people you meet who lighten your path, and many other triumphs. It’s critical for us to preserve the joy in our lives, making it so important to avoid things that will suck the joy out of our existence. Being overwhelmed? That’s a pretty big joy sucker, and it’s one that the majority of us are guilty of. We desire to accomplish too many things at once, while trying to be everything to everyone. Before you realize it, your plate is overflowing, and you are scrambling to find a way out of tasks and commitments. If you’re like me, constantly finding yourself in a state of overwhelm, now is a really great time to make an effort to avoid it in the future. Here’s how.
Plan ahead (if you can)
I’m certainly not going to suggest that your problems will magically be solved by getting a calendar and a to-do list. If it were that simple, EVERYONE would be well-adjusted, stress-free, and you probably wouldn’t be bothering to read this post. There are way too many variables in life that can throw off even the best-laid out plans. Life comes at you fast. Having said that, start where you are and plan ahead to the best of your ability. Put those plans to paper and prepare family and friends in the event that you need to start delegating tasks. Planning gives you the opportunity to feel a little more prepared when life goes left.
Always be aware of your commitments
Remember that planner from the previous paragraph? Though you won’t be able to prevent the random things that pop up in life, your planner will help you stay on task and remember how much you’ve taken on. If you know that you are almost at maximum capacity between projects, family responsibilities, and time for yourself (what’s that?), it becomes that much easier to say “no” when your schedule is reaching a level that could lead to overwhelm.
Say “no” when you need to
Oh, how we love to say “yes” to people to be of service and joy to others. The happiness that our yeses bring when we want to say no is priceless. The light in their eyes and the relief that exudes adds value to your purpose. That’s what life is all about, helping your fellow man, right? Pause for a minute. Do you realize that you are a part of that fellow man stuff? When you say “yes” to everyone without considering your own needs, you are setting your own self up for overwhelm and resentment. Say yes, but do so with caution and awareness of your own needs.
Ask for help, Ask for help, Ask for help
Everyone, even you, may need occasional help. Try as we might, no one is immune to becoming overwhelmed and you will need help to escape it from time to time. That’s part of being a regular human being. The challenge for most of us is that we are too proud and too dang on scared to ask for help. After all, when you have to ask for help, there is a certain amount of vulnerability in that asking. If you get into a bind, don’t be ashamed to need a hand. We all get by with a little help from our friends.
Being overwhelmed is no joke. A constant habit of being stressed out can lead to more problems for you in the future. Depression and anxiety can develop from those stress levels being too high for too long. That’s a whole other can of worms that you absolutely don’t need in your life. You are going to go ahead and learn to manage those stress levels and do it well. Here’s to your new life, less overwhelmed.