Feeling “Overwhelmed”: How to Manage It

Feeling “Overwhelmed”: How to Manage It

Let your job work for you not against you

We’ve all been through tough times in our lives when things were out of control: you got into a fight with a parent, spouse, sibling, or child. You get to work and the coffee machine isn’t working. And to make matters worse, your boss gives you a bad review of this quarter’s performance. And let’s not forget the pile of paperwork you already need to get through on top of all that…

Life can get overwhelming, and not just for a day or two, sometimes that feeling of pure overwhelm can last a long time, maybe even years. Suddenly it gets harder and harder to get out of bed, be productive at work, or do the things you normally do.

You’re not alone though… ever since the rise of remote work levels of stress have increased. Although workers are considerably more engaged than they used to in-office, they’re still getting overwhelmed by the duties they need to fulfill at work and social commitments. 

So here’s the thing: putting your life on pause won’t solve anything. In fact, as contrary as this might sound, putting in effort in your daily life—whether in your professional or personal life—can actually help improve your wellbeing and make life’s nasty curveballs much easier to handle.

Here are some ideas on how to make work feel a little less grueling during an intense and overwhelming time in your life. 

Find routine in both the workplace and at home

Study after study has shown the importance of including routine in your life for your mental health. It’s worth trying creating a fixed routine at home and at work to create a sense of familiarity that you can always lean on in times of uncertainty.

For example, make a habit of reading a few pages from a novel a couple of hours before heading off to work while you sip your favorite tea or coffee. At work, maybe you could start with a certain task that’s familiar to you everyday and then move on to the more unfamiliar ones. 

If you work remotely, create a designated work area

Freelancers and other remote workers boast the freedom they get from working in the comfort of their own beds while still wearing their pajamas, but getting up to work while laying in bed might not be the best way forward, plus, it’s awful for your back. 

You don’t want to associate your bed, a place you would usually associate with “comfort” and “relaxation”, with the stress that normally comes with work. Create a space at home that you can call your workplace; maybe get a desk, work at the dining room table, or find a coffee shop you can go to. 

Show up to work

When you’re overwhelmed, the last thing you want to do is to make that important client call or attend the weekly meeting. You might just want to waste all your off-days, curl up in bed, binge watch your favorite TV series, and avoid all work responsibilities. Doing that might actually make you feel worse. 

Studies have shown that taking long leaves of absence can worsen symptoms of depression. Going off to work and gently pushing yourself to be productive is a great way to get out of that slump. 

Delegate when you can

While being productive can help when you’re feeling overwhelmed, sometimes the workload can get way too out of hand. And if you’re a perfectionist or micromanager that has to do things themselves, it can make work all the more stressful and all the less productive.

Your solution? Learn to delegate. An important skill to have for both employers and employees alike. It can save you a whole lot of time and effort if you learned to divide tasks up between yourself and your fellow coworkers or employees. When the workload is a bit too much and you’re feeling overwhelmed in general on top of that, then learning to give the work to someone else that is qualified and able can be a fantastic way to help you better manage your life.

Meet your needs at home

Last but not least, take care of yourself. Go on a long walk around the neighborhood or on the treadmill. Call a loved one, or better yet, go do something fun with each other after work or on the weekend. 

Sometimes it’s little things like taking a long hot bath, getting in enough sleep, or picking up a long-forgotten-yet-beloved hobby can make a world of a difference.