How not to feel overwhelmed

March 31, 2021

Of the things I struggle with every day, feeling overwhelmed is one of the most present and hardest to deal with.

I easily and often feel overwhelmed by pressure I put on myself to be productive, to be efficient, to do things in the shortest time possible. By pressure others put on myself. By thoughts, ideas, tasks and possibilities. There are a lot of things that can lead to this feeling for me.

I'm a person who always needs to do something. Who always needs to be working towards something greater. Be it a project, a task or simply personal growth. I always need to have an aspiration, a goal.

Combined with a perfectionist mind and the deep rooted belief of not being worthy if I'm not productive, if I don't produce results, this can be exhausting. It often is. At times it's better, easier, other times it isn't.

I'm learning everyday. Improving every day. Gaining insights on how to handle the feeling of being overwhelmed.

This acts as a collection of my learnings from years of struggle. A place where I can come back to and be remembered that I know what I can do about it.

What causes me to feel overwhelmed?

  • Setting too many tasks too handle in a day, in a week, in a life
  • Telling myself to do an unreasonable amount of habits every day in order to grow
  • Having endless numbers of projects and goals on my list what makes them daunting
  • Setting unrealistic goals with deadlines far too early, because I want tasks to be finished in a short time
  • Expecting too much of myself, assuming that I know things I don't
  • Telling myself that time is running out, that I work too slow, finish tasks too late

What can I do about it?

  • Decide on a maximum of 3 small tasks or 1 big task to work on in a day, but do them right
  • Focus on only a few habits at a time and don't force myself into doing them, don't let my own worth depend on accomplishing them every day, but rather see it as an inspiration of who I want to be
  • Make a list of small steps to take in order to achieve a goal and approach them one by one
  • Every time I set a goal and think (or want) to reach it in a specific time, add a minimum of 2 days to the deadline
  • Allow myself to learn, to spend time collecting knowledge before applying it
  • Remind myself that good things take time and that I am allowed to take as much as I need

The most important thing for me to keep in mind is to live true to my values: Focus and simplicity.

It's easy to forget about them in the process, but they are my personal key to happiness.

All this is worthless if it just stands there. It has to be transformed into actions in order to do anything. Change starts in your mind, but it can only truly unfold when also changing something in the way you act.

Take this as an inspiration, a reminder that no matter how hard it may seem, it can get better. It will get better.

You don't have to make it that hard for yourself.

Remember that you are capable of being happy.

ジャーニー (Jānī) is Japanese for journey.