5 signs you're overwhelmed and self care strategies

5 Signs You’re Overwhelmed & Self-Care Strategies

Jun 2, 2019

Cause of death: being incredibly overwhelmed.

It’s no secret that our generation is stressed out and anxiety-ridden, and feeling overwhelmed by life and work is just one of the many reasons. According to numerous statistics, anxiety is the most common mental disorder, affecting 1 in 5 adults – that’s insane!

We’re so ready to take on that extra load at work, to help out a friend when she needs us or stamping NB next to everything; sometimes that’s okay. But for me, there have been multiple times when I’ve felt the need to curl up into a ball, unable to face the world, because I just have too much to do. It’s taken me a while to recognize the signs and to say “it’s okay”, but I often wonder: have we become so complacent in our need to please and say yes; to strive for bigger and better, that we’re willing to ignore the signs of being overwhelmed to the detriment of our mental health?

Related: 8 Tips To Cope With Travel Anxiety

To make a long story short, it’s okay to be selfish sometimes. Self-care is a necessity needed to improve your health (if the dictionary says it, then it must be true). Hopefully, this post will encourage you to slow down, acknowledge the signs and take the necessary steps to “improve your health”:

1. You Feel Tired:

My mind can be a noisy place, especially when I’m feeling overwhelmed. I once had “Don’t stop me now” by Queen playing in my head nonstop two nights in a row, until I EVENTUALLY fell asleep. No matter how early you go to bed, a busy mind will leave you feeling exhausted throughout the day.

Self-Care Strategies:

→ After dinner, go for a short walk or slow run. I prefer walking without earphones as it forces me to be present and enjoy the sounds of nature (cheesy, I know), but you can do whatever you’re comfortable with.

→ Sprinkle lavender oils on your pillow. The smell of lavender can sometimes be a bit overwhelming, but I’ve always found that it relaxes and puts me to sleep instantly. You can also add it to a piece of cloth or tissue placed near your bed.

→ Create a bedtime routine that suits you. Wind down with a warm drink; chamomile and peppermint tea are great drinks to help you relax.

via Hello Glow

2. You’re Unmotivated:

When your to-do list is filled with tasks that never seem to end, it can often be difficult to find the motivation to do even one thing on that list. Procrastination “is the thief of time”, and while I’m still trying to get a handle on it, here are a few of my strategies so far:

Self Care Strategies:

→ I love creating lists, so if you’re like me, create a list of all the things that you need to get done the next day; start with the most important tasks first, and work your way down.

→ This is the most important part – focus on one thing at a time! There’s nothing wrong with multi-tasking, but when you’re already feeling overwhelmed, it’s best to stick to just one thing.

→ Reward yourself! It’s so easy to beat yourself up when you haven’t achieved what you’ve set out to do. Don’t be so hard on yourself, and give yourself a break, you’re only human after all. Reward yourself with a luxurious lavender infused bath or a long shower.

Via Plush Design Studio

3. You’re Tense:

When I’m tense and anxious, my shoulders and neck bear the brunt. There have been many times when I’ve suffered neck and shoulder spasms thanks to not being able to chill the f-out. These physical manifestations are not the only aspect that comes with being tense, feeling irritable and short-tempered are just a few more.

Self Care Strategies:

→ My favourite way to relax is to spoil myself and go for a massage if it’s in my budget. However, there are a few months where I’ve had to do without this indulgence. A warm bath with, once again, lavender or peppermint essential oil is great for this. You can also add a few drops to boiling water, soak a cloth and add it to the area that’s the tensest.

→Breath. I’m sure you’ve heard this plenty of times, but this truly has been my saving grace, especially in the midst of a panic attack. Try your best to step away and take a few breaths to collect yourself; head to the bathroom perhaps. If you have the time, find a quiet area, and take your time to enjoy long deep breaths.

5 signs you're feeling overwhelmed

4. You’re Withdrawn:

This is my go-to defense mechanism when I’m feeling overwhelmed. I’m a Cancerian, so to withdraw from everything and everyone is natural for me. While there’s nothing wrong with staying at home and enjoying your own company, making excuses to avoid seeing your friends and family because it’s become too much effort or a bit burden may signal it’s time to renew your energy.

Self Care Strategies:

→ Do something you love: read a book, take a long shower, sit in nature, meditate, go for a long run; there are so many options, choose one that suits you. It’s all about expanding your energy and allowing you to be the best version of yourself.

Via Jared Rice

5. You Have Too Many Feelings:

And that’s okay! But in other words, you’re feeling emotional. It’s easy to be so overwhelmed that you feel like you’re a dam ready to burst. Speaking from experience, expressing yourself through tears is honestly a great way to release any emotion you may be feeling.

Self Care Strategies:

→ Crying is not a sign of weakness, instead it’s a great way to express yourself emotionally. After a good cry session, I love to journal all my feelings. It’s another great way to express yourself if you find the tears won’t flow.

→ Talk to a friend and tell them how you’re feeling. It’s not always easy, trust me I know, but confiding in a few close friends helps you to feel less alone in the world, and it’s a great way to help you feel less isolated.

For Extra help, here’s a printable self care checklist:

There are so many more signs to recognize when you’re feeling overwhelmed, and so many more self-care strategies to utilize. If you have any other suggestions, I would love to hear from you! Let me know in the comments below, what self-care strategies you love to use.

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