Stressed & Overwhelmed: What To Do When Life Feels Like An Uphill Battle

Just before the weekend began, I was feeling a little flat on ideas for my blog and my new aspirations for a career in travel writing. I decided to head toward my favourite bloggers and online mentors for inspiration.

Within minutes my cup was full of love and I was bursting with ideas and all around goodness. But as I continued to explore and read many tools and concepts I started to feel myself getting drowsy, stressed and slightly overwhelmed.

What started out as a fun inspiration boost quickly turned into paralysis and confusion. I tried to write but too much information was running through my head. ‘You have to do this, you have to do that. But what about that? How am I supposed to do this. I don’t get it? But how do I incorporate this? I can’t do it. I can’t do this.’

These thoughts have occurred many a time recently so I decided to try things a little differently just to see if I’d get different results. After all Albert Einstein did say, “Doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result is the definition of insanity.” (click to tweet).

Needless to say, what I tried helped IMMENSELY and I know they’ll work for you if you’re stressed out and overwhelmed.

1 // Limit Your Addiction

It’s true, sometimes too much of a good thing can turn into a painful, gruelling and overwhelming bad thing. Since I spent last year reading 51 personal development books I guess you could say I kind of got addicted to them.

But after a while my mind was turning into mush when I’d read one book saying you had to use affirmations or nothing works and another book completely contradicting the last book explaining why you shouldn’t use affirmations. I wound up confused, not knowing what to do or believe or understand and I realized I just had to pull back on my ‘personal development’ addiction and choose only a select few books (like 3 or 4 that I enjoyed) because it was starting to drive me nuts.

2 // Take a Luxurious Break

Sometimes overwhelm can be a sign of working too hard or too much. When it hit me I knew that there was nothing else I could do but take a break… even though I tried to fight it.

Your body and mind are wise beyond your years, they know what they want and what they need. If you neglect their needs for too long they can take over and no matter how hard you try to stay “on form” you will be submitted into chilling out.

When I was forced to take a break I decided to milk the crap out of it. I made my favourite hot drink, Milo. I ran myself a super hot bubble bath with lavender bath salts, I put on some extremely relaxing music and melted away.

This took the stress away immediately and allowed me to feel at peace with myself. It was bliss.

Tina Su of Think Simple Now gives 8 extra awesome tips for overcoming overwhelm that you should definitely check out.

3 // Bless Nature With Your Presence

There are serious health benefits to spending time in nature, no wonder it’s one of my favourite things to do. There’s a big forest 10 minutes from my house so whenever I’m feeling like a caged animal, I will break out and take a long work in the forest.

It instantly boosts my vibe and also helps me center myself. I come back to the reality of the present moment my incessant mind chatter just melts away.

Sometimes it can be a little difficult to get out in nature due to weather or the fact you live in a concrete jungle. This green meditation music will help you to relax and also will make you feel like you’re actually out in the forest.

4 // Do Something Super Duper Fun

I decided to go along with Scott to his inline hockey practise game. It was a reason to get out of the house and to be honest, avoid writing. To my surprise there just happened to be a bouncy castle set up at the rink.

Was it for kids birthday parties? Yes. Did I care? No. It was a freaking bouncy castle!

Once I got over worrying about whether I was too heavy to jump on it, I raced up and flipped into it. Then another flip and another and then pretty soon I was doing all types of acrobatics! I was having the time of my life with a bouncy castle and the thought of writing and brainstorming was nowhere to be seen.

Sometimes with all the brain mush happening you can get a little stuck for fun ideas. These two fabulous posts from The Simple Dollar and Tiny Buddha on 50 ways to have fun by yourself and 50 creative & cheap ways to have will help you with all the ideas you need.

5 // For Serious Overwhelm – Take a Nap

Sometimes we can be so overwhelmed it completely ruins our mood and day. We can almost feel paralyzed. In fact I had that exact feeling when trying to write this post. I just could not get started.

I felt the drowsiness set in and so I decided to give in and take a nap. When I woke, I was literally pumped with clarity and focus and was able to write this post immediately.

There are many benefits to taking naps, when I was in Italy I learned very quickly how the Italians like to use the power of napping to enhance their productivity and clear headedness. I found it difficult to just relax and take pleasure in doing nothing but it didn’t take me long to adapt and I found that I had more energy and was ‘switched on’ most of the time.

But us westerners tend to slate it as a waste of time or believe it’s ‘slacking off’ and push ourselves to our limits to earn that extra buck or have everything ‘perfect’. Seems like a pointless exertion of energy really.

If things are seriously stressful and you happen to have some free time, take a nap and reset yourself. You’ll wake up feeling so much better and possibly even more clear headed.

In the comments below, I would love for you to tell me your best stressed & overwhelmed tip. What do you do to help yourself calm down, gain clarity or just feel at ease? What tips are you going to tke from this post to help you do that?

  • Elise, I love these tips. I especially love when, as coaches, we admit that our lives can become a chaotic hot mess too because then we come up with-and share really amazing-strategies that have worked for us.

    Your posts feed me.

    Thank you.

  • Demtria, thank you sweetheart!