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5 Things You Can Do When You Feel Overwhelmed

5 Things You Can Do When You Feel Overwhelmed

Someone takes acknowledgment for your idea. You’re not invited to that important meeting. You have more work than you know what to do with. You can’t seem to get any help, let alone consideration.

We’ve all been there. We all feel this way at some point. Where we can’t see a path ahead, and we’re not sure how to get from where we are now, to where we want to be.

Like a GPS, if you want to travel across the country, you have to take the first step. The same goes for when you’re overwhelmed. Success is never a straight line.

1. Don’t Do Anything Brash

When you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s easy to get frustrated, annoyed and be generally on-edge. Especially if things in your everyday life all start losing synergy. Maybe you’re not getting enough sleep or haven’t had time to confront your concerns. When that happens, it’s easy to lose your cool.

Instead of choosing that instant gratification and possibly jeopardizing everything you’ve worked for, just stop.

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Unless you’re calm, rational and serious, no one is going to take you serious. Breathe, just breathe.

2. Get Some Perspective

As much as you’re going to want to fester in the details and keep thinking about everything, it’s really important to do the exact opposite. Find ways to take a breather so you see the situation from different perspectives.

Especially if your decision means approaching your boss or partner about a big concern. Make sure you’ve taken the time to see things from their personal perspective. What are they going through? Do they know the full picture? Could talking to them help solve the issue?

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.” ― Henry Ford

To get some much needed perspective, it’s important to disconnect from the situation and re-group. The fastest path to this is often by doing something completely different from your regular routine. Take a new walking route. Read a different style of book. Watch a video series or documentary you’ve been putting off. You can de-clutter your desk or home, which may help you feel more in control. My go to happy places are my Audible app, Bible app and Lynda.com. I use those resources, because there’s less of a chance I’ll get distracted like I do on YouTube.

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3. Acceptance

Don’t feel bad about being overwhelmed. It happens to everyone.

“I AM OVERWHELMED!” – Oprah

Despite the fact that you’re a rock star, doesn’t mean you can do everything. Even Superman had to choose between people to save, with his super hearing.
Sometimes we question why we can’t do everything when we should be questioning why we’re so keen on doing everything. Since we can’t change time, the only thing we can do is change ourselves. What if we better utilized our own super human talents?

As hard as it is, there’s always something worse that can happen or someone out there close to you going through much harder times. When you feel your emotions spike, remember all the things you can be grateful for.

Once you’re able to shift your mindset from victim to fighter, you can turn those obstacles into opportunities.

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4. Take Action or Else

As soon as you speak up and take action, it’s out into the world, and there’s nothing more you can do. Relief!

“The significant problems we face in life can not be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.” – Albert Einstein

So book that overdue meeting with the colleague you’ve been having problems with. Take some time to bring aside a loved one for the talk. Set aside time to prioritize your life. Do it. Do it now!

When you do, take your time with it. As soon as you’re past the point of bottling things up, snapping and exploding, you can move onto being a constructive so there can be a positive outcome. That’s the ultimate point right?

Second chances aren’t always an option. Sometimes you only get the one. So be courageous, honest and methodical.

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5. Pay Better Attention to How You Feel

One of the biggest mistakes I’ve ever made is letting things bottle up until I burst, instead of aiming towards a positive outcome. No one likes a bully. If only I listened to my inner dialogue that told me to stop talking, think about the bigger picture and to wait for a better time to get my point across.

Being overwhelmed isn’t a bad thing, it’s actually the biggest sign that something isn’t going right, and you’re overdue for a change.

“Where focus goes, energy flows” – Jim Carrey

Embrace the fear and failure in the situation, and release it in the most constructive way you can at the time.  Feel it. Cry it out. Write it out. Paint it out. Or, talk to someone you trust. Don’t ignore your well being.

Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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