6 Ways to Relax When You’re Overwhelmed
If you have been feeling very overwhelmed with your life and responsibilities, it can take a toll on your mental health and well-being. This feeling often worsens, leading to more anxiety and worsening depression symptoms. Before letting the overwhelm take control of your life, try some tips for relaxing and reducing stress.
1. Start a Worry Journal
When you are overwhelmed, you probably have a mind that is FULL of thoughts, worries, concerns, fears, regrets, hopes, and so much more. You need to get all of these thoughts and emotions out of your head, and there is no better way to do that than writing it out.
Start a journal specifically used for your stress and overwhelm, called a worry journal. This is really easy to do and can be used as a place to vent about everything you are worried about. Think about what is causing you the most stress right now, and write it down.
Be honest, be detailed or vague, and write it however you want. Don’t worry about how long it is, how long it takes you, grammar or spelling, or any other “rules” of writing. Just get your worries out in whatever way works best for you, maybe you prefer drawing instead of writing, and soon you will realize not just that you had a lot to say but have more clarity about why you have been so stressed and overwhelmed recently.
2. Complete Something You Never Finished
Another way to relieve overwhelm in your life is to think about something you have not completed but started and finished it. Again, this can be anything big or small, whether related to your current goals or not.
Why is this helpful?
Because you get a feeling of accomplishment when you complete something, even a small project you started but didn’t complete or a big goal, can bring you that feeling. You worked hard and completed it.
A simple thing to do is make your bed in the morning. Then “celebrate” this accomplishment and enjoy the look of the beautifully made bed. Check! It sounds stupid, but all these small accomplishments and celebrations add to your feeling of well-being. And this can relieve a lot of the stress and overwhelm you are currently experiencing.
3. Wander and Visualize What You Want
Visualization is very powerful, almost magical. It gives you inspiration and motivation when you can see something you want to be, accomplish, or get done. It allows you to work hard toward your goals and actually visualize what the process is like.
But it doesn’t have to be only practical. Sometimes what you need the most is to dream. So allow your imagination to be creative and open-minded, and dream up something you would love to have in your life, whether it is realistic or not.
Just take a few minutes a day to really visualize this dream, and go as far with it as you need to. When you’re done, you will feel calmer, relaxed, and ready to take on the day.
You have probably heard of “manifestation”. This is one technique that you can use. It’s all about what you tell yourself or: where focus goes, energy flows. So when you constantly focus on the negative, you feel negative. But, on the other hand, when you focus on the positive and visualize positive things, you feel already more positive, how overwhelmed you are at that moment.
4. Develop Healthy Sleep Routines
Everyone needs sleep, even you! This should be your top priority, whether you have stress and overwhelm or not. Sleep is essential for your mind, body, and spirit. You need to rest each night to hold on to your memories, gain focus and energy, and get through each day.
If you don’t get enough quality sleep, start looking at your daily sleep routine. For example, you may need to start getting ready for bed earlier or have a problem using your cell phone. Switch up your routine to fully rest and be ready for uninterrupted sleep.
5. Find Your Own Priorities
Choosing what is a priority in your life is crucial for relaxing when you feel stressed and overwhelmed. This is true in your personal and professional life. A big part of self-care and relieving that feeling of overwhelm is knowing when to put yourself first.
If a project you started or a goal you thought you wanted to achieve doesn’t bring you joy and you don’t remember why you wanted to do it in the first place, let it go. This is obviously not a priority in your life, so there is no reason it should be causing you stress.
6. Start a Morning Routine
Morning routines help set you up for success. They provide you with a way to be energized and positive right from the moment you wake up, keep you from developing a negative attitude when the alarm goes off, and give you the time of day for a bit of self-care.
Start a new morning routine that is good for your body and mind, with things like doing yoga, drinking a glass of water, writing in your journal or planner, meditating, or practising mindfulness. There are no rules for a morning routine as long as it is good for you and helps you feel invigorated and ready to take on the day. I changed my morning routine several times to be honest, just in the way I felt the best. Now I start my day by improving my Portuguese for 20 minutes, doing 20 pushups, and having a cup of coffee while reading for 20 minutes. Then, when the sun rises earlier, I prefer to walk outside and listen to an interesting podcast.
So it’s all up to you. Create your own powerful morning routine - give yourself this “hour of power”.