3 Tips for Feeling Overwhelmed at Work

As much as we try to avoid it, feeling overwhelmed and burnt out can often be inevitable. Even with jobs that we love, whether we’re in a leadership role or we’re at the front line. I remember the days when mental health wasn’t even addressed in the workplace. Luckily, over the last few years, we have started chipping away at the stigma that taking care of your mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health, and even more so. When you feel physically and mentally capable, you’re able to be your best, productive self. But when work or life, in general, has got you down, and you still can’t seem to recalibrate, here are a few tips to reset yourself!

Shift Your Mindset

This is one of the most important things you can do for yourself when you’re in a funk. A mindset shift is almost required to boost you out of the low and into a feeling of becoming productive again. Take the time you need to establish a regular cadence of self care each evening, so you give yourself the opportunity to recenter at night. Things like journaling, yoga, or meditation can be a great start into changing your physiological and mental impacts. Many of us are so steadily in the mindset of go, go, go that we often forget to take a moment of conscious rest outside of sleeping. It also doesn’t just stop with your nighttime routine. Have a morning routine such as eating a healthy breakfast or start your day with a workout and properly hydrating yourself. Whatever you find best fits into your morning. Even something as simple as providing yourself with an extra ten minutes to slowly drink your morning coffee can make a huge difference in the outlook of your day.

Remember, too, that it’s important to listen from within and provide yourself some quiet time to reflect on your day and week. What is your gut telling you about how you feel? Maybe there are some aspects of your day that you need to cut back on or eliminate so as not to contribute to feeling burnt out on a daily basis. You’re in control of the choices you make to change the outlook of your day, so be open to making those changes and sticking with them as necessary.

Prioritizing Your Day

Another huge piece of the puzzle is learning how to prioritize your day. When the thoughts of all the things you have to do in your work life and home life are floating around in your head, it could be consciously overwhelming. The project deadlines, the grocery shopping, baseball practice. It can be a lot. But there’s a lot of gratification to be found in checking things off of your daily to-do list. Set aside 10-15 minutes of your evening the night prior and make a list of things that will take priority, while not forgetting that YOU are a priority. You’ll feel a lot less overwhelmed when you know what to expect and remember to be open to flexibility because things can always change. Entering your day with more intention and focus can help you not only better plan your day but also remain centered when things do go off course.

Don’t Do It Alone

Even when you’re someone who hates asking for help, it’s ultimately necessary to maintain your sanity. If you’re a leader, manager, or just an overwhelmed member of the team - reach out when you need a helping hand. There’s no weakness in admitting you need some assistance and being honest about your workload. Embracing collaboration and being willing to spread things out amongst your team will help alleviate that feeling of being buried.

Other leaders or colleagues may feel comfortable assigning you tasks because they know you're a reliable and dedicated worker. If you feel overwhelmed with the number of tasks you complete, let others know this. Say something like, "I'm sorry. I have several other tasks due soon that I want to focus closely on. Is there any way I could complete it at a later deadline?" This shows your team members that you'd like to put more of your focus and energy toward your current projects. There is no shame in stating that you’d rather be given the opportunity to put your best foot forward.

Conclusion

Finding a maintainable work-life balance is hard. There’s no other way to put it. We all go through feeling like we need to focus on both pieces of our lives at the same time. But that’s just not realistic. You will feel less overwhelmed if you're taking time to relax and focus on activities outside of work. Engage in a favorite hobby, spend time with friends and family, or rest your brain with movies or television. Giving your brain a break helps it re-energize so that it's ready for your next set of tasks when you're finished resting and ready to return to work.

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