50 things to do when you feel overwhelmed

50 things you can do when you feel overwhelmed

No matter how long I’ve been practicing meditation and yoga I still have bad days and get overwhelmed. In fact, I had one yesterday, we woke up really early to the smell of the motor burned out in our furnace and a cold house. As is often true these things don’t happen when it’s convenient. Not that there is a time that is convenient, but on a holiday Monday was not my favorite timing.

The smell had us very concerned that a fire could start and the error messages indicated the same. At this moment, all the breathing techniques and wisdom felt inaccessible. I was worried about what could have happened like the sheet on my son’s side of the bed on the register catching on fire. Or if there was anything in the air that would affect my husband’s asthma. And of course, I was worried about what it would cost to repair it all.

The stress was mounting and it felt so overwhelming that it was like I forgot everything I know. Then I ran to the store to get some supplies and all of a sudden I slipped on the ice, flew through the air and landed with a thud. That was it! Honestly, if I wasn’t so angry and scared I would have been a ball of tears. It took until today to get heat back, which goes great with -30 Degrees Celsius. And after the fall, EVERYTHING hurts!

As a coach, movement therapist and Yoga Teacher Trainer I work with people every day on reducing stress, building resiliency and methods to create ease. Even with all of that, I was overwhelmed and I needed support. One of the things I’ve come to learn is that we all need help. We all need our community. So I got on the phone and I asked for help. In the end, it took a couple of girlfriends, a cup of tea, dinner, and cards with my family and a good night sleep to finally settle my nervous system back down.

So it got me thinking, what if I had a list of what to do when I feel overwhelmed? So I asked friends and family, I remembered all the best wisdom shared from my mentors and created a list

50 things to do if you feel overwhelmed or defeated:

  1. Breathe
  2. Give yourself permission to feel your emotions fully
  3. Describe the emotions
  4. Describe the sensations in your body or mind
  5. Journal your thoughts until there are no more
  6. Enjoy a cup of tea or something soothing
  7. Take a bubble bath or shower
  8. Turn on your favorite music, sing, and dance
  9. Take some time in nature
  10. Watch a comedy for a good laugh
  11. Take a walk or go for a run
  12. Have a good cry
  13. Do a guided meditation
  14. Make your favorite meal
  15. Take a nap or have a good sleep
  16. Hang out with your favorite pet
  17. Write a list of all the things you are grateful for
  18. Take a yoga class
  19. Call a friend or loved one
  20. Volunteer in your community
  21. Read your favorite book or something totally new
  22. Call a friend and go to a movie
  23. Go for lunch or dinner with a friend
  24. Do something creative, paint, draw, or color
  25. Listen to something inspirational
  26. Life of Wellness – EFT Tapping
  27. Find a chore to do around the house
  28. Organize a room in your home
  29. Stay hydrated
  30. Make a list of all the things you have already survived
  31. Check something off your to-do list
  32. Write down your strengths
  33. Take a hike, spend some time at the beach
  34. Make an appointment with a coach
  35. Take some time to step away
  36. Take a mental health day
  37. Ask for help!
  38. Enroll someone in taking on some of the pressure
  39. Call an old friend get reconnected
  40. Close your eyes and listen to your heart’s answer to this question “what do I need right now” and then do what it says
  41. Take a cooking class
  42. Go to a museum
  43. Go to the park and listen to children playing
  44. Repeat your favorite positive affirmation
  45. Ask yourself what would your grandma or mom say
  46. Have a games night with friends and family
  47. Watch your favorite movie
  48. Go for a drive
  49. Go visit an animal shelter
  50. Talk to your doctor

Do you have another favorite thing to do when you feel overwhelmed or defeated? I’d love to hear it! Share in the comments

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