If you have been feeling very overwhelmed with your life and responsibilities, it can take a toll on your mental health and well-being. This feeling often gets worse, even leading to more anxiety and worsening depression symptoms. Before you let the overwhelm take control of your life, try some of these tips for relaxing and reducing stress.
#1 Start a “Worry-Dump” Journal
When you are overwhelmed, you probably have a mind that is FULL of thoughts, worries, concerns, fears, regrets, hopes, and so much more. You need 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.
Start a journal specifically used for your stress and overwhelm, called a “Worry-Dump” Journal. This is really easy to do and can be used as a place to vent about every single thing you are worried about. 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, grammar or spelling, or any other “rules” of writing. Just get your worries out in whatever way works best for you, and soon you will realize not just that you had a lot to say, but have more clarity about why you have been so stressed and overwhelmed recently.
#2 Complete Something You Never Finished
Another way to relieve overwhelm in your life is to think about something you have not completed, but started, and finish it. This can be anything big or small, whether it is related to your current goals or not.
Why is this helpful? Because you get a feeling of accomplishment when you complete something. Even a small thing you have been putting off, a little home project you started but didn’t complete, or a big goal, can all bring you that feeling that you did something. You worked hard and completed it. You did what was expected of you.
This can relieve a lot of the stress and overwhelm you are currently experiencing.
#3 Wander and Visualize What You Want
Visualization is very powerful, almost magical. When you can see something you want to be, accomplish, or get done, it gives you inspiration and motivation. IT allows you to work hard toward your goals, and actually visualize what the process is like.
But it doesn’t have to be only practical. Sometimes what you need the most is to dream. Allow your imagination to be creative and open-minded, dream up something you would love to have in your life, whether it is realistic or not.
Just take a few minutes a day to really visualize this dream, and go as far with it as you need to. When you’re done, you will feel more calm and relaxed, and ready to take on the day.
#4 Develop Healthy Sleep Routine
Everyone needs sleep, even you! This should be one of your top priorities, whether you have stress and overwhelm or not. Sleep is essential for your mind, body, and spirit. You need rest each night to hold on to your memories, to gain focus and energy, to be able to get through each day.
If you don’t get enough quality sleep, start looking at your daily sleep routine. Maybe you need to start settling down and getting prepped for bed earlier. Consider stopping “screen time” 30 minutes before bed to give your eyes and mind time to find calm. Switch up your routine until you find what actions start giving you uninterrupted or better sleep.
#5 Find Your Own Priorities
Choosing what is a priority in your life is a crucial part of relaxing when you feel stressed and overwhelmed. This is true in your personal and professional life. A big part of self-care and relieving that feeling of overwhelm is knowing when to put yourself first.
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. This is obviously not a priority in your life, so there is no reason it should be causing you stress.
#6 Start a Morning Routine
Morning routines help set you up for success. They provide you a way to be energized and positive right from the moment you wake up, keep you from developing a negative attitude when the alarm goes off, and give you a time of the day for a little self-care.
Start a new morning routine that is good for both your body and your mind, with things like doing yoga, drinking a glass of water (before your coffee), writing in your journal or planner, meditating or practicing mindfulness. There are no rules for a morning routine as long as it is good for you and helps you feel invigorated and ready to take on the day.