10 things To Do When You're Overwhelmed

The car breaks down. The baby’s soiled their diapers. And you were already stressed because the boss yelled at you that morning. 

Often times a lot of things happen all at once, leaving you feeling overwhelmed. You feel like a thousand-kilo rock is crushing you. You want to scream and shout but you know that that’s not really going to help. 

That overwhelming feeling can be because of anything. Maybe you realize you need to get a lot of things done and you don’t have enough time. Or several things go wrong all at once. And often, even after you’ve fixed a few things, you can’t shake off the feeling and the sense of urgency. 

This last month of October has been the most overwhelming month of my life. Several major things happened all at once and I didn’t know what to handle first or how to simply slow down my thoughts so I could think logically. I just felt pressured and drained from feeling pressured. 

I knew I had to stop feeling like that as soon as possible and go back to being my normal calm and composed self. Which is why I decided to write this post and share a few ways that help me stop feeling overwhelmed really fast, plus a few more that I think are great ways to calm the whirlpool in your mind.

Here are ten things you can do to stop feeling overwhelmed:

1. Visit a water body. Any naturally occurring body of water such as a waterfall, a lake, the ocean, etc., makes you feel instantly calmer when you’re near it. This is because of the negative ions in the air near water that makes us feel calmer and happier. If you really can’t go to the beach or a promenade, find a pool to take a dip in, sit by one, or simply take a shower. I find that even this contact with water soothes you and reduces that overwhelm.

Give yourself a head massage. Massages are amazing and they make you instantly relaxed. However, when you’re feeling chaotic, you might not feel like going to a spa and getting a full body massage or even have the time for it. What you can do, is to give yourself a head massage. Heat up any oil like coconut oil or olive oil {or make your own hair oil following my mother’s secret hair oil recipe} for a few seconds in the microwave and then massage it into your scalp. If there’s a family member around, ask them to do it. Leave it on for at least 30 minutes and then shower.

Find the funniest friends and be with them. Everyone has that one friend or a bunch of friends who are silly and funny. They’re so funny that just thinking of them makes you smile. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, seek their company and hang out with them even if for an hour or two. Just being with them will make that crushing sensation go away.

Have a good weep. I love a good cry. It cleanses out all the toxins in your system and makes you feel relieved. Don’t be ashamed to have a good ol’ ugly cry alone in your room when you’re feeling pressured. You’ll be able to think clearer after it.

Talk it out. Talking to a friend or a loved one can make the craziness in your head go away. Sometimes all it takes is verbalizing what’s driving you insane. Simply talking to someone makes you see your problems for what they are, and automatically reduces your stress. 

Write it down. An alternative to talking to someone is to write everything down. Do a brain dump. Just put pen to paper and let the words flow. They don’t have to make sense. Writing is always therapeutic and helps get you things off of your chest, making you feel more relaxed.

Take a nap. When you’re overwhelmed, the body feels exhausted. It’s the best time to give the body and mind some rest by taking a nap.

Meditate. Meditation helps slow down your breathing and brain waves. It can alleviate that crushing sensation we feel when we have too much on our mind by forcing us to be more present.

Do an intense workout. This is my favourite remedies for feeling overwhelmed. An intense workout like HIIT makes you feel really tired after and your brain just cannot think about problems anymore. It also lifts that brain fog you get when you’re overwhelmed because you’re so exhausted you can only think of the simplest solutions or what to do next.

Decide that tomorrow will be a better day. I find that telling myself that things will be better tomorrow helps to take the stress away from the moment. And the next day IS always inevitably better.

These are just a few things you can do when you feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders or when everything is happening all at once. Here are 35 more self-care ideas you can do when you need to slow everything down and do something nice for yourself.

What do you usually like doing when you’re overwhelmed? Leave me a comment below!

On a style note

This is one of my favourite dresses designed by Saji’s Couture. I had purchased the lace material from a textile shop in Manama Souk. I was in love with it but I was confused as to how I’d be making a dress out of it. Sajida of Saji’s Couture told me she’d make a cape out of it, and a simple black pencil dress over which I can wear it. That way I could wear these two together and also use both pieces with other clothes. I loved it! 

I wore this dress to accept a business award and I got several compliments on it. I love how Sajida can think of a dress design really quickly and knows exactly what she will do with your material. 

Dress: Saji's Couture, Jewellery: Gifted, Watch: Olivia Burton, Shoes: New Look. Location courtesy: The Woods Cafe. Photos: Ancita Sherel

Until next time

Shabana Feroze

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