What to Do When You Feel Overwhelmed

by Oluwanifemi Akintomide

Do you feel overwhelmed or encumbered by the challenges of life? So much that you wish the world would come to an end? These challenges could be pressure from work, family, school, or even life as a whole. Periods like this can be frustrating and life-threatening.

The first thing you should know about feeling overwhelmed is that life is not against you as a person. Challenges are part of what defines us as humans and that’s how we grow. If challenges never come to you, then you’re probably not living right.

It is really important to know how to deal with feeling overwhelmed so that you can reap the benefit it brings. Yes, feeling overwhelmed can be beneficial in that it makes you stronger and better when you overcome it.

So, what do you do whenever you feel overwhelmed? How do you handle that feeling of not being good enough after reading success stories all over social media? How do you deal with the anxiousness to meet up or fit in with society standards? Let’s have that conversation.

Things to Do When You Feel Overwhelmed 

  1. Take a break

It’s strange that when people feel overwhelmed, they keep pushing themselves with the belief that they have to keep moving. It’s like an unshakeable urge to prove to themselves or people that you’re strong.

The truth is, if you keep going on like that, you’ll break down in no time. So, acknowledge the reality that you’re feeling overwhelmed. Then, take a break to go over things happening around you and within you. The goal here is to understand what disrupted your balance and made you feel overwhelmed. This break could be a whole day, a few hours, or even longer. It depends on how much time you can spare and how much better you feel.

  1. Be grateful

Do you know that despite feeling overwhelmed at the moment, there will always be some things to be grateful for? Be grateful for the things that you have. For a home, family, a job, or that special someone in your life. But most importantly, be grateful for life, because as they say, “when there is life, there is hope”.

Gratitude helps to shift your perception from the reality of feeling overwhelmed to the positivity surrounding you. Once you can carefully identify the blessings in your life, be rest assured that you’ll be energized to take on the next challenge that stands in your way.

Think of the little signs of achievement and survival and appreciate them. A bike almost hit you on your way home last month, celebrate your survival. A colleague was sacked due to inadequate resources, appreciate your position. You were sick throughout the exam period and yet, you don’t have spill-over, be grateful. There’s a long list of reasons to appreciate your current state, all you have to do is sit and reflect.

Read also: Stress management tips for Nigerians

  1. Do something you love

Your break is a good time to take care of yourself and have fun. This is necessary because your spirit, soul, and body are currently under stress and need to be recharged. Doing something you love to do or having fun relaxes your muscles and brings you back into control of yourself.

The idea of fun is subject to individuals. Here’s a list of things with much evidence of spirit-lifting abilities:

  • going on a picnic with a friend
  • watching your favourite TV show
  • exercising
  • taking yourself out and enjoying life. It’s all about taking some hours away from the problem and focusing on a different thing entirely.

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  1. Meet with yourself

Having taken the previous steps, it’s time to analyze the situation. You can do this by answering the following questions.

  • Why are you overwhelmed?
  • Have you been overwhelmed in the past?
  • If yes, How did you solve it?
  • Can it also work in this case?
  • What are those things you need to change or take care of?

You can do this either by journaling; penning down your thoughts or by meditation.

Either way, having this discussion with yourself helps you to see the real state of things and equips you to move on to the next step.

Read also: How to love yourself as a Nigerian

  1. Talk to someone

This is the most important of all the steps and it works 90% of the time. Letting out all the feelings, thoughts, and burdens to someone is letting them out of you in reality. Pouring them out is like a weight being lifted off your shoulders.

Be sure that this is a trusted person such as your spouse, a family member, or a close friend. They can share your pains, support you, and be there for you as you come out of that phase.

If you don’t have who you can talk to, talk to a therapist who is a specialist in this aspect. Africans and Nigerians are indeed sceptical about getting professional help, but when it’s necessary, it’s necessary. Put your health before unnecessary superstitions.

  1. Make a plan

From either the meeting with yourself or the discussion with someone, you should come up with a plan. A plan to guide you on how to go about things from then on. It could be a schedule for proper time management, delegation to reduce the workload on your shoulders, or learning how to say no to extra responsibilities at work or home.

Your plan to stop feeling overwhelmed could also involve starting something new and ridding yourself of certain habits.

Whatever you decide, let it be something that has the potential to work. Most importantly, stick to the plan.

  1. Pray

If you’re a spiritual person, then you should do this too. Talk to God. He is a supreme being and has all things under His control. So pour out your burdens on Him with the belief that He will come through and you will stop feeling overwhelmed.

  1. Take care of yourself

This isn’t the time to be nonchalant about your health by worrying, skipping meals, or overtasking yourself.  Ensure you eat well, rest well, and drink enough water regularly. You need to take care of your health if you want to stop feeling overwhelmed in the future.

Read also: How to live a happy life as a Nigerian

In conclusion, nothing lasts forever. Feeling overwhelmed is just for a while and it will pass. The above tips will guide you through it and make you come out stronger and better.

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About Author

Avatar of Oluwanifemi Akintomide
Oluwanifemi Akintomide
I'm Oluwanifemi, a creative content and copywriter and a blogger. I love God, people, and books. I'm passionate about self-development and fulfillment of purpose.

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