Other than, “Which trail should we hike?” and “Which of the meals we brought along should we have for supper?” life was pretty much planned out for us: Get up. Make breakfast. Hike.
As we were heading for home, it struck me–it’s not the busyness of life and work that overwhelm me. It’s the things that go along with work.
The decisions. The expectations. The fears. All those things that make work harder than it needs to be. All the things that are missing on a camping trip.
I wondered, “Is there any way to make regular life more peaceful?” Here are a few of the ideas I came up with.
7 Ways to Stop Being Overwhelmed
1. Find out why you’re overwhelmed.
It helps to know why we’re overwhelmed. Is it too much work, or is it something more subtle than that? Maybe we’re trying to make everyone happy. Or we’re upset because life isn’t fair. Or we feel like we have to succeed. We’ll feel less overwhelmed when we deal with those emotional issues.
2. Renew your mind.
I always regret it when I muscle through the day in an “I-have-to-get-this-done” frenzy. When I finally take the time to renew my mind and come to peace, I think, “Why didn’t I do that earlier?”
The truth is, we work better if we’re working in fellowship with God and seeing life from His perspective.
Here are a few tools you can use to renew your mind when you’re overwhelmed: A good and bad list, procrastination truths, people pleasing questions, or fear of failure questions. The worry questions on my app are also helpful if you have that.
3. Figure out what you can and can’t do.
We often have far too much on our to-do list. Sometimes it helps to take a break and ask, “Do I really have time for this?” Then let go of the things we don’t have time for.
If you have too much to do, make a list and prioritize it. Try to put both the most important and the most dreaded tasks at the top of your list. The most important, for obvious reasons. And the most dreaded, because they sap your energy until you get them out of the way.
If possible, try to only have one or two emotionally draining tasks on your list each day and do them right away in the morning.
Once you’ve made your list, try to block it from your mind and focus on the current task.
6. Set boundaries.
If you’re a workaholic, make a commitment to stop working at a certain time of the day–even if you still have work to do. You may want to renew your mind at the end of the work day so you can mentally let go.
If you struggle with laziness, make a list each day and renew your mind whenever you don’t feel like doing the next thing on the list.
7. Remember that life is about loving God and others.
Whenever we start making life about things other than God, we get messed up. We feel like we have to have those things to be happy. Then when it doesn’t look like we’re going to get them, we get stressed out.
When we make life about God, any sort of life is good. Including a life where we don’t get everything done.
Discussion: What overwhelms you? What helps you feel less overwhelmed?