Life can be overwhelming at times. Sometimes you take on too much, or life just doesn’t go as planned and you end up in a bind. Getting through these hard times can be difficult and how you deal with the stress can help you in the long run.
Taking deep breaths is the first thing you should do when you notice you’re getting more stressed. Having a bad day? Just got into an argument with your partner? Ready to throw that electronic that isn’t working out the window?
Stop what you’re doing and take 10 slow deep breaths.
Why 10? It gives you enough time to regulate your breathing and calm down. I’ve done this at work a few times and it definitely prevents and explosion of emotions from screaming at a coworker for doing the same stupid thing for the umpteenth time.
Related: Step-by-Step Self Care Guide
This applies to your surroundings. If you’re in a messy place, it’s a lot easier for your mind to feel messy as well. If my desk at work gets too crowded with things it makes me antsy and uncomfortable until I clean things up and put them away.
Clearing the clutter out of your sight can help you stay calmed and focused.
Related: Beginner’s Guide to Decluttering
Gather Your Thoughts
If you’ve got a lot going on that’s causing your stress, getting all those thoughts together will definitely help. You don’t even have to make things in a list or in any order. The first step is to just get things written down.
Let’s say you have a lot of projects going on at work, you have a few meetings to go to, and your inbox is piling up. First thing to do is write down everything you need to get done. List things as specific or vague as you want.
Plan Things Out
So you’ve calmed yourself down, and written out what you need done. What’s next? Planning things out.
Planning out how you’re going to get everything done is important to keeping stress levels down and productivity up. List your tasks in order of top priority to low priority. You could also take into account things you can do in a batch.
Let’s say you have a bunch of errands to run, putting those errands in way where you have the shortest route or a circular route could be helpful. When I loaded up my car to drop things off at various places (pawn shop, consignment store, thrift store) I planned things out so I could go down the street everything was on in a line without having to go back and forth between places.
Take it One Task at a Time
Don’t go all out. Don’t go multitasking. Don’t try and do everything at once.
Do it ONE. THING. AT. A. TIME.
Focus on the task you’re doing and that task only. Try to keep your mind from wandering about other things on your list, or what else needs to get done. If you can’t focus enough to get one thing done, it’s going to cause problems getting everything done. And that causes more stress.
Do you have other tips for when you’re overwhelmed? Have any of these techniques worked for you? Let me know in the comments!