4 Things to Do When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed

what do when you're feeling overwhelmed, how to destress, stress relievers, 4 things to do when you're feeling overwhelmed, how to relieve stress

A couple weeks ago, I had a bit of a reality check. A coworker dropped by my cube to chat and she said, “How are you? Stressed?” I was so surprised by that question! I think of myself as a pretty mellow person and I don’t think I get stressed easily. However, when she said that, I took a step back and realized that I was a bit stressed. As much as you’d like to think you have it all under control, sometimes that to do list is overwhelming. I think it’s natural for everyone to feel stressed from time to time and it was good for me to admit it to myself. There are a few things that I like to do when I’m feeling like it’s all a bit too much:

Get organized. I’m a total nerd about organization. When thoughts are going a million miles a minute in my head, it helps me to get them out on paper. I love making lists and I like to see exactly what I need to tackle. Once I’ve made my list, sometimes it’s good to just start at the top and work my way down. If I keep staring at the number of things on the list, I may never get started, so sometimes it’s useful to just start at the top or pick one task that I know that I can easily accomplish. At other times, there are tasks that are time-sensitive or are much more important, so I’ll prioritize those.

– Get a manicure. And by get, I really mean give. Giving myself an at-home manicure is part of my weekly Sunday ritual. I find the process so soothing and when I have freshly painted nails, I feel like I’m much more capable. It doesn’t have to be a manicure, but the idea here is to do something for yourself that makes you feel good. Then, when you’re a bit more relaxed, you can get back to checking off that list.

– Escape for a bit. Through a book, through TV, by talking a walk outside- whatever works for you. When I want to turn my brain off, I usually pull up one of my TV shows and watch a couple episodes. Sometimes it gets to the point where worrying about the things you have to do is actually making you less productive, so it’s good to switch focus for a bit and give your mind a little rest.

– Call your person. One of my favorite things about the show Grey’s Anatomy was the friendship between Meredith and Cristina. If you don’t watch the show, Meredith and Cristina are BFFs and they’re there for each other no matter what. They’ve had their ups and downs, but they’ve stuck together through the best and worst of times. The point is, sometimes you need to call that one person who knows you really well and can offer you good advice and/or tough love, if necessary. I usually like to keep things to myself and mull them over, but every once in a while I do need to talk things out and get them off my chest. Your person may not really be able to help, but sometimes all you need is a sympathetic ear.

I’d love to hear about what you like to do when you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed. As always, I’m looking forward to the weekend. We’re supposed to be getting faster Internet installed (fingers crossed that they actually show up when they say they’re going to) and I can’t wait for that. It will make blogging (and life in general) a lot easier. I hope you all have a great weekend!

(image via. I couldn’t find the original source for this one- let me know if you know it!)

  • sartorialsidelines

    When I get stressed (which happens more often than I think I care to admit), I have to force myself to just disconnect. I usually achieve that just going into my bedroom, shutting the door, and watching something funny on my computer or reading a silly book. A few hours of that and I feel really relaxed and have a lot more perspective on things. For me it’s just about forcing my brain to power off!

    Courtney ~ Sartorial Sidelines

    • Sometimes it can be so hard to power off, like you said! The number of times I plan to go to bed early and then end up browsing the internet for an hour…

  • Jessica

    These are great tips, Nnenna. I am someone who gets stressed so easily. I put all of these tips of yours to good use, especially calling my person. I have always told my best friend that she is the Christina to my Meredith.

    • Thank you! That’s great that you have someone you can call. I know not everyone has that, so that makes me feel extra grateful for my person :)

  • SHE Jenmarie

    These are all great and relaxing tips! Organization and escaping are definitely some of mine :) Oh, and yay for faster internet!!

    • Thanks Jenmarie! The new internet was installed on Saturday and it’s already so much better. Hooray!

  • I like to have a clean space. No matter what else needs to get done, I feel so much better when the bed is made, the rug is vacuumed, and desk looks like a desk again.

    I love giving myself a fresh manni, but lately my normally perfect, healthy nails have been peeling. I’ve been using essie’s rock solid base coat for the past few months. Any recommendations on a better base coat?

    Chic on the Cheap

    • Yes, me too. I’m not a fan of messiness! Hmmm, I’m in the market for a new base coat myself. I just bought the Orly Bonder base coat because Eva Chen recommend it in an article a while back. I’m trying it for the first time now, so I can’t comment yet, but I will report back!

  • Hooray for internet! that could be stressing you out lol

    I find cleaning is therapeutic… when I actually do it. Have a clean apartment just makes me feel like a weight has been lifted and I can breathe. Otherwise all the things you mentioned work too :) Also a warm bubble bath

    • Ugh, yes, the slow internet was so frustrating! I agree, whenever I do a proper cleaning, I really appreciate the results. Speaking of which, I need to do a spring cleaning soon!