4 Ways to Avoid Becoming Overwhelmed

We have all felt it, that dreaded feeling of anxiety and being overwhelmed. Feeling like you are drowning in all of the things you need to do in a given day or week. I believe women entrepreneurs find themselves in this place more often, simply because society places a lot on our shoulders. We are expected to balance our careers with our personal lives and while it’s a beautiful thing, it is also a daunting task. It doesn’t take much for us to look around and realize we are being pulled into too many different directions.

I have a bad habit of being a perfectionist at times. I used to make a giant list each day and work extremely hard to get everything done, causing unnecessary stress and setting myself up for failure. Whenever I didn’t get everything done, I would feel guilty about it. It was not a sustainable method, and I knew that I needed to change.

overwhelmed, difficult emotions. personal development

Why Being Overwhelmed Is Hurting Your Life And Business

You can’t “show up” in your business and life, if you are constantly under stress or feeling overwhelmed. These states of existence cloud our judgement and make it extremely hard to create. When we are under stress or overwhelmed, all our body wants to do is get to a place where we no longer feel like that. You’re more willing to shut down, give up, or distance yourself from things you really care about. If gone unchecked, it will ultimately hurt your quality of life and business.

This is why we need to do our best to avoid putting ourselves in these situations. And while we can’t remove stressful situations from our lives entirely, we can implement preventative measures so that we don’t find ourselves overwhelmed.

Here are some tips that have helped me.

1-Pace Yourself

I’m as ambitious as they come, so I completely understand wanting to do as much as possible every day. After all, business is all about progressing and reaching your goals. However, I think being overly ambitious creates an environment for anxiety. I think we need to be more realistic about our circumstances and be more thoughtful in our goal setting endeavors.

We need to consider what we can actually achieve in a given day versus what we want to achieve. Sometimes, our ambitions cloud our judgment, and we sign on for too many projects or try to complete too many tasks in a short amount of time.

This Journey Isn’t a Sprint, it’s a marathon.

It’s also important to note that there is a difference between busy work and work for progress. Instead of thinking “What do I need to do today?” think, “what will get me to my goal?”. Make sure everything you are doing serves your ultimate purpose. If it doesn’t then it may be busy work and part of the reason you find yourself overwhelmed.

2-Forget About Perfection

If you want to talk about cultivating an environment for anxiety and feeling overwhelmed, aiming for perfection would be on the top of that list. I know this from personal experience—and I am working every day to break this habit of thought. A lot of us have this “ideal” imprinted in our heads. We dream of this perfect life, with the perfect job, family, house, etc. Sometimes, we even obsess over it. But perfection doesn’t exist. It is unattainable, and so when we are operating under the thought process of reaching perfection we are setting ourselves up for an unpleasant experience.  When perfection is the mindset, we will reach one  one goal, and be already looking to top that, we’ll reach that goal, and be looking to top that. It’s a never ending vicious cycle.

Perfection steals your ability to enjoy your accomplishments. It’s no wonder we become overwhelmed! Instead of focusing on perfection, we should focus on achieving our goals, and creating a life that we are happy with.

3-Allow Yourself Time Off

Sometimes we are overwhelmed simply because we haven’t taken a break! When we get into a groove of success we forget to stop and really experience life. We don’t give ourselves the opportunity to look around and just be in the moment. It’s our body’s way of saying, “I need a moment!”. If you don’t plan to take time off, you will burn yourself out and quickly!

4-Don’t Feel Guilty

We feel guilty for working too much, we feel guilty for not working enough. We feel guilty for the tasks we put off, and for finishing too much (maybe we didn’t push ourselves far enough?). So much guilt! We have to learn to be okay with the decisions we make and what happens in our lives. Yes, sometimes we may work too much and that may cause us to miss out on things that we wish we didn’t. Or sometimes, we should have been working but instead we binge watched “Orange is the New Black”.

Life is not this cookie cutter experience. Sometimes, things don’t go as planned. We can’t feel guilty for everything not going exactly the way we want it to go. The ideal we have is nice and all (see point #2), but if it doesn’t actually play out that way, it can’t be followed by guilt. We need to embrace our lives for what they are, and accept all that comes with it!

In Closing

Feeling overwhelmed is no fun. As we go through our lives, full of ambition and purpose, it’s important to remember that life is not what happens to us, but how we react to the things that happen to us.

What do you do when you feel overwhelmed? How do you avoid going into overwhelm? Let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to follow me on all of my social media! Thank you for reading.

Olivia J

Olivia J is a video producer, writer, and director specializing in corporate video, events, documentaries and film. To see some of her work visit oliviaj.me