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An effective action plan for when you feel overwhelmed

You probably can’t find anyone over the age of 10 that hasn’t felt overwhelmed at some point. It takes more to overwhelm some people than others, but the feeling and the impact are the same.

It can be very challenging to focus on solutions and take the necessary steps to resolve the situation. However, focus and action can ultimately solve most negative situations in your life.

Many of us are prone to worrying and then doing silly things to make ourselves feel better. This doesn’t solve the issue. It just avoids it temporarily.

Take these steps to create a plan and go from feeling overwhelmed to feeling peaceful again:

Identify what is under your control

There’s little point to worrying about those things outside of your control. Determine what you can control and place your attention there.

Focus on solutions

Now that you know what you can and can’t change, keep your attention on finding a solution. Obsessing over the problem won’t accomplish anything other than increasing your stress levels. Time and attention spent on solutions is the best way out of your mess.

Create a strategy

Make a plan for putting your solution into action. Figure out what you need to do and put as much time and effort into your plan as you can. The more you do, the better your odds of overcoming your challenges.

Make time for rest

Being overwhelmed is stressful. It’s important to get your rest and relax as much as possible. Get a good night of rest and accomplish as much as you can during the day. Resting doesn’t mean lying on the couch all day – that’s counterintuitive!

Eat well

Many people stop eating when they’re highly stressed. Others resort to eating a lot of junk. Neither is going to be good for you or help you to deal with your situation. Maintain good nutrition during this challenging time and practise mindful eating.

Remind yourself that there is good in your life

Be grateful for what you have. You probably have more than the vast majority of people in the world. Make a list of all the things and people you have in your life that you appreciate and remind yourself of just how lucky you are.

Blow off some steam

Exercise, a night on the town, or a good party might be just what you need to burn up that extra energy. You’ll feel less anxious and have an easier time of getting a good night’s sleep. If you’ve been working hard, you deserve a break. You can get back at it in the morning.

Celebrate your successes

Even a little progress is worthy of celebration. Be proud of yourself and get excited about moving forward. You can see the light at the end of the tunnel! This is highly motivating. One success leads to another.

Get help

Two heads and four hands can accomplish more than just a single person. Ask for help and see what happens. The worst anyone can do is say “no”. You won’t be any worse off.

Help can also take the form of professional psychological assistance. Get the help you need.

Overwhelm is an emotion everyone is familiar with. It can be debilitating if you fail to address it properly. Focus on solutions and put your time and energy on the right things. Worrying only makes you feel worse and makes you less capable.

It’s surprising how many challenges can be handled without too much fuss if you truly work on solving the challenge. Just remember – you won’t find any useful answers at the bottom of a bag of doughnuts!