10 Ways to Help Alleviate Overwhelm

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We all can get overwhelmed at times! We seem to permanently have this endless to-do list as we care for ourselves, our family and our home. 

Overwhelm can really paralyse our efforts to be a calm and productive CEO of the home. If we leave it unchecked, we can end up with undesirable emotional, physical, and behavioural changes.

I am assuming that if you are feeling overwhelm you won’t have time to read a long post. Therefore, I will be short and to the point. Let’s look at the signs that point to you being in a state of overwhelm and what you can do to help you out of it.


How can we tell if we have overwhelm? 

I actually prefer giving the facts rather than waffling on, so when I saw this great summary by @theautism_collective on Instagram, I thought it was worth sharing here.

Due to some added family responsibilities, I recently noticed a feeling of overwhelm taking over. I was getting irritable, and angry with myself. I was avoiding, distracting, procrastinating, eating more than usual, feeling paralysed, unable to focus, making more mistakes, sleeping poorly, and feeling like I was drowning to the extent that I wanted to quit what I use to get real joy from. 


How can we alleviate overwhelm?

These are the actions I took to get past my overwhelm. I hope they help next time you are feeling overwhelmed. 

  1. Be kind to yourself by not viewing overwhelm as a lack of skill to cope, but rather a momentary situational cause. 
  2. Recognise the cause – what have you said yes to that has tipped the cart? The overload of tasks (or your too high expectations of yourself) is the true cause of overwhelm.
  3. Take something off your list by delegating it or moving it to the non-urgent list. Perhaps some of the things on your to do-list can be put into a routine instead. See page 21 of the book Home Matters 101 – Using Routines in preference to lists.
  4. Reframe your “I am overwhelmed!” statement to “I am feeling overwhelmed at the moment!” 
  5. When the overwhelm feeling gets you in panic mode, take a 10-minute reset – sit in some gentle sun, bare feet on the grass, take some deep breaths, and think of something that makes you happy. 
  6. Ensure you are taking the time to drink plenty of water. I often forget this on busy days and dehydration prevents me from thinking clearly. 
  7. Eat well to fuel the brain and body, even if it is a nutritious take out. 
  8. Don’t feel guilty about cutting corners such as ordering take out to lighten your load while feeling this overwhelm. Tell yourself it won’t last forever.
  9. Even though you think you don’t have the time, recharge by doing something you love, even if for only 15 minutes. I find it helps to pat my dog or put on some uplifting music.
  10. Let your loved ones know how you are feeling and let them help


A word of warning! A lot of the symptoms of overwhelm can be a subset of depression. If nothing seems to help and you feel it is more than overwhelm, then please care for yourself, and in turn your family, by seeking professional help. 

Image Credits: Robin Higgins via Pixabay and The Autism Collective via Instagram @theautism_collective