6 Ways to Relax When You’re Overwhelmed

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In this day and age it’s so easy to get overwhelmed by life and all the responsibilities we have. Whether it be the stress from a job, or even the numerous priorities from family, you need some ways to relax when you’re overwhelmed!

It’s easy to feel guilty about taking care of yourself first, but if you don’t, it can really take a toll on your mental health and wellbeing. Self-care should be a priority!

This overwhelming sensation can get worse, even leading to more anxiety and worsening depression symptoms. Before you let the overwhelm take control of your life, try some these tips that have helped me!

Here are 6 ways to relax when you’re overwhelmed!

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journaling is one of the best ways to relax when you're overwhelmed

Start a Journal

When you are overwhelmed, the mind is FULL of thoughts, worries, concerns, fears, regrets, hopes, and so much more. And most of the time, the negatives feelings overpower the positive. 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.

I know it sounds silly! I did at first too, until I tried it myself. There is just something about allowing your hands to fully write out what is going on internally and putting it on paper that helps you process through it!

In 2005, some Australian researchers conducted a study on the positive effects of “expressive writing.” You know what they found? Participants had:

  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Improved immune function
  • Fewer doctor visits
  • Improved mood
  • Decreased depression symptoms
  • Improved memory

Start a brand-new journal that you use specifically for stress and overwhelm, called a worry journal. This is really easy to do and can be used as a place to vent about anything going through your mind. Think about what is causing you the most stress right now, and write it down. And write how it makes you feel!

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.

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Complete Something You Never Finished

Another way to relieve overwhelm in your life is to think about something you started, but never completed. This can be anything big or small, whether it is related to your current goals or not. Go back to it and complete it!

Why is this helpful? Believe it or not, even the smallest accomplishment can put you in a positive mood! 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.

According to Harvard Business Review, “the power of progress is fundamental to human nature…”

This can relieve a lot of the stress and overwhelm you are currently experiencing.

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Wander and Visualize What You Want

Do you know just how powerful your thoughts are?

According to John Hopkins Medicine, there is a link between good health and positive thinking

Visualization is extremely powerful. 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.

This has the power to be one of the best ways to relax when you’re overwhelmed because it takes the focus away from thoughts not serving you, and places them on what you do want!

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.

You can also visualize, in the morning, what you want your day to look like!

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developing a sleeping routine is one of the ways to relax when you're overwhelmed

Develop Healthy Sleep Routines

Sleep is super important! It 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 getting ready for bed earlier, or you have a problem with using your cell phone before bed. Switch up your routine so that you are fully rested and ready for uninterrupted sleep.

One thing that I have found that helps is doing a quick 10-minute guided meditation from YouTube while breathing in essential oils from a diffuser!

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.

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 lemon water, 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.

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Next time, life isn’t going your way, try one of these 6 ways to relax when you’re overwhelmed! Let me know how it goes in the comments!

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