Prevent Feeling Overwhelmed – Learn From My Mistakes

When someone recently asked me if I could do a piece on how to manage feeling overwhelmed, I jumped right onto it. This is because at the time I was right, smack-bang in the middle of an incredibly overwhelming week…and I couldn’t have been managing it more poorly! Everything I would recommend to people not to do during these times…I was doing.

As a result, I was:

  • extremely exhausted,
  • sleep deprived, and
  • unproductive when I was trying to complete tasks

So, what wasn’t I doing? Here’s the top 3:

  1. I wasn’t prioritising. I had a massive list of things to get done and I wasn’t putting any order or prioritisation to them. As a result, I was all over the place and not getting the important stuff done. ENTER FEELING OVERWHELMED!
  2. I was allowing distractions to interfere with my productivity. Instead of turning off distractions like email and my phone, I was getting constantly and unpredictably bombarded with notifications. This would inevitably interfere with my focus on a task and hence my completion of the task. ENTER FEELING OVERWHELMED!
  3. I didn’t schedule in any self-care or down time. During this time it was more important than ever to ensure I had moments of relaxation and that I was looking after myself. This would assist with sleeping better and preventing burn-out. But I didn’t. ENTER FEELING OVERWHELMED!

You’re going to experience busy times. No doubt about it. But regardless, there are things you can do to help minimise or prevent those feelings of overwhelm. So next time you’re beginning to feel overwhelmed, stop, reflect, and ensure you:

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Dr Danielle McCarthy (Clinical Psychologist)