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Feeling overwhelmed?  Have too much happening all at once, good, bad, ugly?  Welcome to the club!  Grab a glass of wine and join the party!  Let’s talk feeling overwhelmed and ways to avoid burnout.

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So many things are happening all at once.  My husband has decided to join me on the multiple doctor’s bandwagons, as well as various medications.  Insurance is a pain; they don’t want to cover stuff.  We also had wellness appointments to get money back into our HSA account.  Riley’s been sick, passed it on to me.  School’s full steam ahead, more doctor’s appointments this week for Riley, more bloodwork for sweet hubby.  There’s also work, bills to

pay, household chores, and managing multiple websites. Adulting is hard.  Can I be a kid for a day?  Just one day.  Too much to ask?

When Life is Too Much

It’s ok to admit there’s too much going on.   There is typically too much going on just about every day.  It would be lovely to have a weekend to catch up on all the stuff I’ve been putting off, like cleaning the disaster of my closet, or finishing up the growing list of projects I have for this site, or organize the blog post ideas I have scattered throughout numerous notebooks and sticky notes all over.  Just finishing a project, I start before starting another one would be nice.

Sometimes you have to stop, reassess, and tackle what’s in front of you.  Or in the case of today, take a couple of hours and get your hair done.  Yup, I did that.  I felt the overwhelming feeling starting on Friday.  All the things I needed to get done swirling through my head.  I procrastinated Friday night and chose to sit with my love and enjoy a movie.  What I really wanted secretly, was to watch Chris Pratt, so we did.  I highly recommend The Magnificent Seven, but I digress.

Then Saturday happened, and we did get some things done, but not enough stop that feeling.  So instead of breaking out the notebook and writing a list of things I wanted to do, I scheduled a hair appointment.  In all honesty, I’ve pushed it off for a couple of months now, and the gray hairs were driving me batty.  I needed to make myself look my age again, so I did it. I got a cut and color, and I feel like a new woman.

It’s okay not to get everything done.  It will be there tomorrow, I will make my to-do list, and I will get it done, just not today.  Today was my day to treat myself, because I needed that, too.

Stressing Those Unfinished Projects

I find that I have a problem finishing things.  I’m good at starting them though after I come up with a plan and making sure I have everything on hand one might need.  Okay, so I have a problem with starting projects also.  I usually don’t finish things because of fear.  There, I said it.  I’m afraid.  Afraid of what exactly?  I’m afraid of failure.  Who isn’t?  I’m also scared of the “now what” once you finish something.

There’s something pretty amazing about starting a project.  It’s like a new relationship.  Everything is fantastic, the things you want to accomplish together.  Then the honeymoon is over, and you fall into a weird place of wanting to do things to contribute to the project, but you don’t have that motivation anymore.  That’s been me with my IEP Binder project.  I finally have it finished, and we’ve been using it for a few weeks now.  Getting to those tweaks, I’ve thought of or documenting how to put it together or even packaging it is complicated, it’s just hard.  I want to be able to get it out to people to use, but I can’t find the time to do it.  Well, that’s the excuse anyway.

I have been working on it, finally, this weekend, when the kids are entertained or asleep anyway.  That’s why I’ve also been putting off posting anything on the blog, I’ve been distracted.  So here I am, posting…  it’s about time.

How to Overcome Overwhelm and Avoid Burnout

All this is well and good, but how does one overcome being overwhelmed and avoid burnout?

Write it Out

If you know me, you know my love for lists!  Making a list of what is causing you to feel overwhelmed can do a couple of things for you.  One, it gets it out of your head and thinking about it. Two, you get an excellent to-do list out of it.  Overexcited about a to-do list? You betcha!

Now really, get out a notebook and a pen or pencil and get to writing.  It does help get it out of your system, and you’re on your way to figuring out what is the cause of being overwhelmed.  Millions of people journal for a reason, sometimes you need to talk it out.

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned the power of a to-do list in my Finding Focus post.  You know what is fun, though?  Crossing things off when completed. That feeling of accomplishment is just beautiful.  You know what else I like to do?  Add items to the list that I’ve already done.  Sounds like cheating, right?  Nope.  You get credit for things you’ve done, write it down!

Take a Break

Take a break!!  I know it seems counterintuitive, but sometimes you need to shut off the brain from everything that’s happening around you and take a moment to breathe.  Or get a haircut.  I’m not saying that you should, but if you want a fantastic color and cut, Leigha at Ulta Salon is just awesome.  I also had the bonus of a hand massage from Jayda who was also giving me a pretty nice skin consultation while I waited for the color to process.  I felt relaxed and recharged.

You know what else is awesome about taking a break?  You get to focus on yourself, and things become clearer when you’re not forcing yourself to figure out the project or to-do list.

Attempt Healthy!

What?  What does that even mean?  Eat well, drink lots of water, and exercise!  Says the chubby girl.  No really, I’ve been sleeping better!  Why?  Medication!  Well yeah, that’s part of it, but the hubs and I have been working out in the evenings after the kids get to bed.  Grammy stays up with to make sure no one starts screaming when they can’t find Mommy and Daddy, and we take 30-45 minutes and hit the community gym.

Do you want to know what has happened?  I get more restful sleep at night, and I’ve been genuinely happier.  I also noticed that when going to the gym, I try to be more conscious of my food choices and well as water intake.

Don’t have a gym?  That’s OK.  I have a lot of ideas pinned to my Fitness & Weight Loss Board with tons of ideas of workouts to do at home sans weights.  There are also some other options about there, like BodyBoss, which I’m starting tomorrow.  Check it out here on Amazon (Affiliate Link).

Celebrate the Victories

Big or small, if you marked something off your to-do list, finished a project, and made it through the day, celebrate that victory, you’ve earned it.  Some days waking up and making it through the day intact is a big win.  Celebrate it, have a glass of wine, or a couple of M&Ms.  Finished that big project?  Celebrate it!  The point is to be happy, sometimes you have to force, and that’s just fine.

Deep Breathes

Sometimes just taking a quick timeout to breathe is all you need to center yourself.  Have a Fitbit or Apple watch? Both devices, along with most smartphones have their version of a relax app.  The app helps you with timing your breathing to be deep and for a period that’s beneficial.  Think three minutes.  Breathing helps with calming, clarity and even lowering your blood pressure.  No really, I do it when I’m about to go back to see the doctor, and they have to get my vitals.  It works!

In Conclusion…

Being Overwhelmed isn’t the end of the world.  It just means it’s time to step up your game to avoid burnout.  Follow these steps, search the interwebs and find some other tips and tricks to help avoid burnout and you’ll be good to go.  As always, you’ve got this, and I’ll be here to walk along with you!

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Sara is a mother of two, wife and full-time employee. She's also a parent of a child with special needs.