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Have you ever walked into a room and felt completely overwhelmed? Suddenly you feel paralysed and can’t move even though every being in your body wants to run? Although we may not speak about it as often as we should, so many of us feel this emotion at work and it can lead to bigger problems if it’s not confronted.

Being overwhelmed can leave you feeling alone and as though you can’t cope and can present itself in the form of anger, fear, guilt or anxiety. What’s happening in the background is that your body is reacting to the release of the ‘stress hormone’.  Your brain is completely submerged by your thoughts and emotions relating to that current situation. If unaddressed it can lead to problems with sleep, exhaustion, the inability to think or act rationally or functionally, and ultimately can affect your personal and professional life.

So, what can you do if you face being overwhelmed with work?

  • Firstly, accept and acknowledge the feeling. Don’t pretend it’s not there and hope it will go away. Look for the cause and ask for help.
  • Sounds simple right. But not in the moment. Take long deep breaths. This will trigger your body’s relaxation response.
  • If it is caused by volume of work or not knowing where to start, break it down to bitesize chunks and make a plan. List everything you know you need to do. Split it into three areas; Priority, What I Want to do and Non-Urgent. Next to Non-Urgent make sure you note any deadline, so it doesn’t become urgent. Start with the priority work and then reward yourself by doing something you love to do.
  • If you are a remote worker or work for yourself, you may be finding that as your business grows you don’t have the time or the experience to complete each and every task. Using a Virtual Assistant can be a huge benefit and can quickly decrease your workload.
  • Take a break. Getting some fresh air can do wonders for clearing our minds. Walking away from the issue and not having the piles of paperwork in front of you can help to calm your body and mind and allow the time for rational thinking. If you can get someone to go with you so you can chat out the issues even better – a problem shared is a problem halved.
  • Change your lifestyle. If feeling overwhelmed isn’t a one-off, and for many of us, it isn’t, make time in your life and your schedule to focus on you. Introducing calming techniques or self-care into your everyday routine can make a huge difference on your overall wellness. Meditating, yoga, and mindfulness are all ways of balancing your mind and body and more and more emphasis is being put on the importance of these techniques in work as well as personal lives.

And sometimes, you just need to learn to say no. For some of us, feeling overwhelmed is simply because we’ve taken on too much and often because we want to help people, or we don’t want to be seen as not being able to manage or are afraid of losing clients. However, if we spread ourselves too thinly, the likelihood is the result will be all of the above anyway. Putting yourself first is number one for success in anything we do.

Feeling overwhelmed, get in touch to see how The Umbrella Tree can help.