3 Tips for Avoiding Overwhelm

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As exciting as the start of a new school year is, it can also be incredibly stressful and overwhelming. After my first few days of class, I’ve realized I am a little rusty at this whole school thing. I haven’t written an essay or read a textbook in over four months, even my handwriting looks sloppier! I am a born stresser– it’s one of my spiritual gifts actually. It doesn’t take much to overwhelm me, so I’ve had to learn how to minimize overwhelm in my daily life. Here are three practical steps I take when I have too much on the brain:
1. Do A Brain Dump- A brain dump is when you transfer everything in your brain onto a piece of paper or other device. I often find myself lying in bed at night unable to fall asleep because of the million future ‘to-do’s’ floating around in my head. But if I write all of those down onto a ‘note’ in my phone or a Post-it, I am able to relax, knowing I can address them again in the morning. Try it tonight- I promise you will instantly feel less overwhelmed!
2. Know Yourself- Are you more productive in the morning or at night? Do you thrive in silent or loud settings? Are lists helpful or stressful to you? Asking yourself questions like these helps you know yourself better and then set yourself up for success. If you place yourself in optimal situations, you are less likely to feel overwhelmed and more likely to perform at higher levels.
3. Get Moving- This is the simplest, most common advice you’ll hear from everyone and their mom: Exercise clears the brain! When you exercise, you aren’t thinking about anything, just getting through the motions. Afterwards, though, you can look at your to-do list with more clarity and practicality. If I’m in a slump or feeling over-emotional, I try to get outside and get moving. Even though it initially feels like I’m wasting time I could be devoting to my tasks, I do it anyways because I am always ten million times faster and more productive after exercise than before.

I hope you’re readjusting well to school/work life friends! Can you believe it’s already September? I sure can’t. Christmas break will be here before we know it!

Question of the Day
What tips and tricks do you use to avoid overwhelm? I’d love to hear- lord knows I need them!


8 thoughts on “3 Tips for Avoiding Overwhelm

  1. Yes to the brain dump!!! I’d forgot about that one, and it really does work too, at least for me.
    As far as avoiding overwhelm, a good break of tea/hot chocolate with a book or movie sometimes helps, though in my case I have to make sure it’s just a break and not procrastination 🙂
    Great tips!

  2. These are all great suggestions! I especially love the brain dump, since I am someone who naturally thrives when I have a list of things to check off. Lists help keep me on track and when I finish something and cross it off, it feels like I’ve accomplished something.

  3. That brain dump is the best tip! Although I have to do it at least an hour before going to bed, if I want to be able to fall asleep. That knowing yourself is really important, too. I work best in the morning, yet for some reason it took me years to realize that I probably shouldn’t even try doing my homework in the evening (and now that I know it, I don’t go to school anymore 😉 ).

  4. 1 Peter 5:7
    “Casting your anxieties upon the Lord because he cares for you”
    This verse tends to calm me down

    Also naps. Naps are clutch

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