How to Deal with Feeling Overwhelmed

Plus size travel blogger The Owlet sitting on the beach at sunset

Hey Owlets,

With the Prime Minister’s most recent announcement about the second wave, lockdown 2.0 and all the new rules it’s totally understandable for your head to be spinning - I know mine is! However, having worked from home since before the pandemic I’m no stranger to the feeling of being totally overwhelmed and not knowing where to start, whether it’s about work, friends or general life. Having had some experience in dealing with overwhelm pre-pandemic I wanted to share my tips to hopefully help you to calm down and feel a little more grounded.

Just Stop

You’re drowning in work or obsessively watching the news and despite trying your best to do something productive you feel like you’re not getting anywhere? Does this sound familiar? Then just stop. I know it seems counter intuitive, but sometimes you get to a point where your brain physically can’t handle anything else so all you’re doing is stressing yourself out. The best way to deal with this is to take a step back and do something else for a while. Watch your favourite TV programme or take a walk. You just need to make sure that you get away from what you’re struggling with for a while so you have chance to mentally refresh.

Work Out What’s Causing Overwhelm

This sounds way more straightforward than it feels, but if you sit down and really think about what’s made you so stressed there will probably be something that comes to mind fairly quickly - even if there’s a few things, that’s ok, it’s to be expected. If it helps, make a list of all of the things that are stressing you out at the moment so you can start to visualise how much you’re having to deal with. That will help you realise that you’ve probably taken on too much or there’s some things that you really can’t control that are getting to you. Being able to see what you’re struggling with laid out in front of you will help you to work out how to deal with it.

A sketch book on a brightly coloured table with colouring pencils next to it

How Can you Deal With it?

Now you know what’s causing you to feel so stressed you can start to work out how to deal with it. The best thing I was ever told is to break down this big scary thing that’s making you feel overwhelmed and look at what parts of it you’re specifically struggling with. If the news is overwhelming, turn it off until you feel ready to face it again. If you have a big project at work break it down into smaller parts so it feels more manageable. Equally, sometimes life in general just gets a little overwhelming - in this case, my next point is specifically for you.

 Look After Yourself

Sometimes there isn’t a particular reason for feeling overwhelmed- the world is a stressful place right now so it’s understandable that there’s just too much to take in and you end up feeling overwhelmed. Things are always harder to deal with when you’re rundown so the most important thing is to look after yourself. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, drinking enough water and eating healthily. It’s also important to take time to do something that you enjoy - that could be going for a walk, watching your favourite film or doing some crafting. Just make sure that you do something to better how you feel in yourself, because when you feel looked after it’s easier to cope with the things going on around you.

Plus size travel blogger The Owlet working on her laptop in Bristol city centre

Make a Plan

I know that this is quite ambiguous but the plan will depend on your own situation. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with a work project, break it down into smaller chunks so you have lots of smaller tasks rather than one intimidating item on your to-do list. If you’re feeling overwhelmed in your personal life then spend time talking to the people that make you feel better and give yourself space from the people that drain your energy. Spend time alone, doing things that make you happy, until you feel like you’re in a better place. If the current situation is too much then step away from the news and focus on positive influences (there’s even sites that only publish positive news, if that’s what you need). It’s all about working out what it is that’s going to make you feel better and making time to do those things. If it helps then make a daily schedule with time for work, proper breaks and time to do something that makes you happy - this would be particularly good if you’re working from home.

Whatever you need to do to make yourself feel better, it’s important to understand that it’s totally normal to feel overwhelmed, and you’re entitled to take a break to look after your mental health. There’s a lot going on in the world at the moment and everyone is finding it hard to deal with - you’re not on your own. 

I hope these tips help you relax a little - if you have anything that’s particularly helped you then please leave them in the comments or on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Love and Feathers, 
 The Owlet 💜 
You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest

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