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5 Ways to Overcome Feeling Overwhelmed and Stressed Out

Posted April 29, 2014 by Marie Arcidiacono in Life After Five
stressed gal in yellow

Have you ever had one of those days (week(s), month(s), etc.) where you just felt overwhelmed/stressed out? The type of overwhelmed/stressed out where you weren’t sure how you were going to keep it all together? You know the feeling:  “I have WAY too much to get done and not enough hours in the day/Everyone needs something from me/How will this get finished?” Been there, felt that.

We all have those times in our life where things seem as though they are just becoming too much to handle with grace and poise and the “grin and bear it” mentality has been activated. Unfortunately, we are usually socialized to act as if things are never too much for us and that we have it all together when in reality we might be starting to fall apart.  It’s all about image right? Need to keep it together…but what if we’re tired of trying to keep it together? Then what?

I wish we were encouraged more to talk openly and honestly about what we are going through without fear or judgment when things start feeling as if they are too much  but that’s just not the reality of the situation for many of us. Maybe some of us are lucky enough to not experience this, but I’ll venture to guess it’s not something that is common place for a majority of us.

So what are we supposed to do when we feel like keeping it together is becoming difficult and that we need to find a way to handle the feeling over being overwhelmed/stressed out for our own well-being?

  1.  Seek out social support: Clearly, on the surface this sounds counter intuitive to what I just said about fear of judgment, but bear with me. We all hopefully have at least one person in our life who can serve as the perfect sounding board for us in times of stress. Sometimes just having someone to vent to and hear us out can be enough to remind us that we can get through this rough patch. A good friend or family member that can sympathize with us can remind us that we’re not alone and that EVERYONE feels overwhelmed/stressed out at times.
  2. Find a healthy outlet for the stress: Find a way to channel that pent up negative energy into a healthy outlet to get your endorphins running. It’s nice to be able to let your mind just wander and focus on completing something you enjoy! This can be exercise, crafts, DYI projects, etc.
  3. Unplug your life: If you can turn off your smartphone and shut down your laptop DO IT! Even if it’s only for a half hour/ hour/two hours, it’s amazing how relaxing it can be to feel like there is no one we have to answer to. Obviously, those emails will still be there when we power back up but if we have taken the time to relax those 55 emails might not seem as overwhelming as they initially did.
  4. Treat Yourself: When the going gets tough sometimes we have to take extra care to pamper ourselves. For some this might mean a trip to the spa, for others it might mean grabbing a good book and your favorite beverage and sitting outside and getting lost in a book. Take the time to do something just for you–it’s okay to spoil yourself every now and then.
  5. Seek Talk Therapy: Occasionally our lives can become so overwhelming/stressful that we just can’t process it all alone, so why not give professional therapy a try. If you are truly struggling to overcome that feeling of stress remember that you don’t have to try and handle it alone. Professional therapy can be a wonderful investment when it comes to our well-being.

Obviously we all have to figure out how to handle being overwhelmed in life, and what works for one of us might not work for someone else, so do what is best for YOU!

Just remember: You are always stronger than you know! Share with me how YOU handle feeling overwhelmed.

About the Author

Marie Arcidiacono

Marie is a Speech Communication professor who also coaches a debate team. She truly loves what she does and hopes to continue to teach for decades to come. In her "free time" she is an avid runner. Marie enjoys running a variety of distances, including the Half Marathon. She is dedicated to living as healthy a lifestyle as she can while balancing a very busy schedule. Marie loves to network and share ideas so writing for Career Girl Network is perfect for her. You can also read about her adventures on Why Not Girl!.