When You Wake Up Feeling Overwhelmed


Sink full of dishes.
Nothing to wear.
Packed schedule.
Empty fridge.
Email overload.
Clutter everywhere.
Misplaced directions.

And….you haven’t even had your coffee yet…

Feel familiar?

What do you do on those days when you wake up and everything feels overwhelming?

With so much to do, so little time and nothing going your way, it feels like the weight of the world is on your shoulders.

It’s the worst.

Here are a few scenarios that I’ve played out in my past.

Wallow in self pity.
Curse the world for my miserable life.
Pile blame upon blame of why things are like this.
Shut down.

And not surprisingly, none of them helped the situation.

Feeling overwhelmed happens to everyone. No matter how well you plan your day or make or your lists, stress sneaks up on us. While you’re in the experience, you might beat yourself up and think “how did I get here?”

Instead, ask yourself this: “what can I do to get myself out of feeling this way?”

Over years of practice here are three simple steps I’ve learned to take back control of my emotions and my day.

I hope these few steps will inspire you to step back, release the weight of the world and take action on what’s truly valuable to you.

Step #1: Make a comprehensive list

Pull out a notepad and write, write, write. Write down everything swirling around in your brain. Like, things you need to get done, tasks to be completed, details you don’t want to miss, appointments you can’t forget and projects that are on your mind.

This massive brain dump is cathartic. All those thoughts and ideas are mayhem in your brain. When you release them and see them visually, you’ll immediately release the tension of forgetting something.

Writing your goals also brings clarity and focus. It gives you a direction. It’s a powerful reminder that you can use to keep yourself on the right track when you feel stressed (like at times like this).

You’ll better connect the dots of where and how you can make things happen. You’ll get clarity on what’s on your plate, what’s truly urgent and what can be put off until tomorrow or later.

Step #2: Take the next most important action

Look at your list ask yourself this:

“What’s the ONE thing that is going to make the biggest difference in my life right now?”

Maybe it’s not the dishes or the laundry or the bills or the other hundred things that are in plain sight, making you cuh-razy.

Perhaps it’s picking an outfit, getting the directions or calling the doctor.

Then based on your answer to this question:

“What is the next best action I could take right now?”

Then do it. Just. Like. That.

Go to your closet, print out the map or speed dial your OB.

No overthinking. No overcomplicating. No fretting about when or how everything else will get done.

Just focus on that ONE NEXT RIGHT step, and do it. You will immediately feel better.

And when you’re done, rinse and repeat. Look at your list and take action on the next best item you could tackle next. Rinse and repeat. Rinse and repeat.

Step #3: Breathe and have faith that everything will be okay

You’ve survived the rocky waters before and you’ll do it again. Have faith in yourself, in your strength and in your ability to survive and thrive, and know that you will come out stronger on the other side.

When you’re deep in that exasperating moment of total overwhelm, close your eyes, take a deep breath and compose yourself. Remind yourself you’ve been here before and you’re still here. But today, this time, you will cope even better.Do step #2 and you WILL be okay.

The day-to-day demands of getting by can be challenging. But here’s the truth. You have the power to make significant change in your life. Because,

…You’re bigger than the biggest worry.
…You’re stronger than the strongest stressor.
…You’re bolder than the boldest anxiety.

To kicking overwhelm to the curb!


P.S. Do you know someone in your life who needs to hear this message? Please forward this message to them. It just may help them find the strength they need to move ahead.

Mridu Parikh

I help ambitious people enjoy successful and productive lives. I'm Mridu Parikh, Productivity and Organization Speaker & Consultant. If you want to focus your time and energy on what matters most, you've come to the right place.

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