How to Relax When Feeling Overwhelmed
Updated: Apr 19
1. START A JOURNAL
When you're overwhelmed, you probably have a mind full of thoughts, worries, concerns, fears, regrets, hopes, and so much more. It's beneficial to get all of these thoughts and emotions out of your head, and there is no better way to do that than writing it out.
Try starting a journal specifically for your stress and overwhelming thoughts. Writing in a journal is easy to do and can be used to vent about everything that is causing you unpleasant and overwhelming emotions. Think about what is causing you the most stress right now, and write it down.
Be honest, be detailed, or vague. Write it however you want. Don't worry about how long it is, how long it takes you, spelling or grammar, or any other "rules" of writing. Just get your worries out in whatever way works best for you, and soon you'll see that you had a lot on your mind and have more clarity about why you have been so stressed and overwhelmed.
2. COMPLETE SOMETHING YOU NEVER FINISHED
Another way to relieve overwhelming feelings is to return to something you started but haven't completed and finished. Again, this can be anything big or small, whether related to your current goals or not.
Why is this helpful? It will bring you a feeling of accomplishment. Even a tiny thing you have been putting off, finishing a coloring page, a craft or little home project you started but didn't complete, or a big goal, such as an online course or redecorating a room, can all bring you that feeling that you did something worthwhile. You worked hard and completed it. In addition, completing a task can relieve a lot of the stress and overwhelming negative feelings you may be currently experiencing.
3. LET YOUR MIND WANDER & VISUALIZE
Visualization is compelling, almost magical. Visualizing how you want something to be, creating it, accomplishing it, or getting it done gives you inspiration and motivation. It allows you to visualize the process and then have guidelines in your mind as you work towards your goals.
But it doesn't have to be only practical. Sometimes it's simply lovely to dream. Allow your imagination to be creative and open-minded. Dream up something you would love to have in your life, whether realistic or not.
Then, take a few minutes a day to really visualize this dream and go as far with it as you need to. Afterward, you may feel calmer, relaxed, and ready to take on the day.
4. DEVELOP HEALTHY SLEEP ROUTINES
Healthy sleep routines should be your top priority. Sleep is essential for a healthy body and mind. If you don't get enough quality sleep, start looking at your daily sleep routine.
For example, you may need to start getting ready for bed earlier and adding more self-care practices such as taking a bath, reading a book, or listening to meditation and coloring to slow your mind and relax your body. You may also need to consult your medical practitioner regarding any insomnia or pain management issues at night.
5. FIND YOUR PRIORITIES
Understanding your priorities is essential in learning how to look after yourself better when you feel stressed and overwhelmed. Being able to prioritize works well to alleviate both personal and work-life stress.
A huge part of self-care and relieving that feeling of being overwhelmed is knowing when to put yourself first. For example, if a project you started or a goal you thought you wanted to achieve doesn't bring you joy, and you don't remember why you wanted to do it in the first place, let it go.
That goal isn't a priority in your life, so there is no reason to let it be something weighing you and causing you stress.
6. START A MORNING ROUTINE
Having a morning routine can help set you up for success. Having something you enjoy doing first thing in the morning can promote optimism, calmness, and hope. It can keep you from developing a negative attitude when the alarm goes off and give you the time of day for a bit of self-care.
A morning routine that is good for both your body and mind can include:
Drinking a glass of water or herbal tea
Writing in your journal or planner
Listening to music.
Meditating or practicing mindfulness.
Whatever you decide to do, as long as it is good for you and helps you feel invigorated and ready to take on the day, it's right for you.