From Overwhelm to Empowerment

        Strategies to Thrive and Conquer Overwhelm

By Marlene Wagner



Does it sometimes feel everything is out of control, your life is out of control, and everything in the world is coming at you at once?

Between work, relationships, kids, and all the other responsibilities, it’s no wonder it feels like there’s never time to unwind.

If you never give yourself a break, you very quickly become overwhelmed.


Recognizing the Causes 

Most of us have too much on our plate regularly and daily. If not well managed, it will eventually have a devastating effect on us.

Eventually, a minor task will leave us overwhelmed. You’ll start experiencing mood swings and feel like you’re on an emotional roller-coaster.  

These can all be signs of overwhelm. How would one recognize the signs of overwhelm? 

I’m like all of you, and I suffer from and frequently experience overwhelm. I have learned how to recognize it and what to do about it when it happens.  

I want to share that with all of you experiencing it and how to recognize when it’s happening to you.


Recognizing the Signs of Overwhelm

Recognizing the signs of overwhelm is the first step toward overcoming it.

Are you more emotional than usual? Do you feel like everything is out of control? Are you more irritable, anxious, or frequently experiencing mood swings?

It could be a sign of overwhelm. Are you overwhelmed by even the most minor tasks or situations?

Are you more tired and physically exhausted than usual? Are your energy levels low, and physically you feel out of sorts?

You feel fatigued and frequently experience headaches or body aches. Are you having trouble sleeping?  

Are you experiencing a loss of appetite? These can all be indicators of overwhelm taking a toll on your body.

I experience mental fatigue and have difficulty concentrating, and feel mentally scattered.

I’m able to immediately identify this experience as overwhelm. I have also learned how to control and manage the situation.

Many people experience cognitive overload and have difficulty concentrating.

Memory lapses, and constant racing thoughts, are also common indicators of overwhelm.

Observe your behavior to various tasks and responsibilities. Are you procrastinating and putting things off?

Are you avoiding important decisions or feeling paralyzed by the long to-do number of tasks?

Have you noticed any changes in your social interactions and relationships? Social withdrawal is another significant factor in overwhelm.

If you’re withdrawing from social activities, canceling plans, or isolating yourself from loved ones, it could be a sign that overwhelm is impacting your desire to engage with others.

I know I have given you a bucket full of overwhelm indicators, which was intentional. We don’t all have the same indicators.

I wanted to give you as many as possible so you’ll recognize your overwhelming signs.

Slowly go over the list and make a note of the indicators that you resonate with.

It’s an important exercise as you want to recognize quickly when you’re experiencing overwhelm so you can do something about it.


How to Manage Overwhelm

If you notice any signs of overwhelm, it’s time to step back and regain balance and well-being.

Unless the house is on fire or someone needs immediate medical attention, nothing requires urgency right now.

Step away from everything the moment you feel completely overwhelmed by too much piling on the to-do list.

Go for a drive, stop for a Starbucks, take a warm bath, light some candles, and pour a glass of wine. It’s okay, and it’s only two o’clock in the afternoon.

Right now, make yourself a priority.

Once you feel disconnected from what’s overwhelming you spend time accessing the responsibilities and commitments that’s driven the overwhelm.

Break it all down so you see all of it written in a list in front of you.

Categorize tasks and responsibilities according to urgencies, importance, and what can be delegated.

You don’t have to do everything yourself. By tackling one thing at a time, you’ll make progress at alleviating overwhelm.

Make a list of family and friends you can call on for support. Sharing the load can provide relief and create time for yourself.

Regularly set time for yourself and practice self-care. Engage in any activity that brings you joy.

Taking a daily walk is an excellent way to clear the mind, as well as schedule meditation.

It could be a hobby you never allow yourself to enjoy. It could be a weekly lunch with a close friend.

Making time for yourself and making yourself a priority will significantly reduce or eliminate overwhelm or most certainly reduce its occurrence.

Overcoming overwhelm is an ongoing process. It requires self-awareness and consistent monitoring.

However, you can gain control by implementing strategies that can prevent them, or you’ll quickly recognize when overwhelm is coming on.

I’ve included a few more tips to implement every day that can do wonders for your state of mind and keep you well-grounded.


Bring Nature Indoors

Numerous studies have shown just some fresh greenery can create a calmer atmosphere.

Add a plant, a collection of seashells, or a small Zen Garden to your environment.

Focus on these elements when you’re feeling stressed to help you gain a sense of calm.


Tune Into a Favorite Song

Find a song on your playlist that always leaves you feeling calm and peaceful. Play it when you need a quick moment to unwind.

I love this, and it works for me every time. It’s such a great way to change an overwhelming state of mind.


Try a Pleasing Scent

Aromatherapy has a lot of science behind it. Some smells are especially conducive to easing anxiety.

Just sniffing floral, lavender, or fruity scent will immediately help you feel calmer. This is another favorite of mine.


Step Outside

A short walk can build a lot of perspective and help you unwind even if you don’t go far. Take some deep breaths of fresh air while you’re out there.

This may not always be possible if ten feet of snow are on the ground and temperatures are 30 below zero.

Or if the temperature is 100 + degrees, as some parts of the country experience.

If going for a brief walk outdoors is impossible, do something active for five or ten minutes inside your house.

If you have some exercise equipment, use it for a few minutes.

If you have stairs run up and down for a few minutes or grab a dust cloth and do a little house cleaning for five or ten minutes.

The whole point is to change your state and clear your mind.

Once you return to what you were doing, you will be more productive due to the short break from it.


Put on a Happy Face

When we smile, we change more than how we look. A smile changes your mood and even gives you a burst of endorphins in your brain. 

Endorphins are responsible for making us feel happy.

A smile can help you unwind, change your mood even if you’re not feeling it. It’s because even fake smiles tend to become real ones very quickly.


Set an Alarm

Sometimes, we need a reminder to implement a change or habit to unwind. Try setting the alarm on your phone at different times every day.

When the alarm goes off, either take a mindfulness moment. It could be a quick meditation or take a moment to read an inspirational message.

It could be simply drinking a glass of water, a cold beverage, or a bathroom break.

Or something as simple as a few deep breaths if time is a factor before continuing with whatever you are doing.

While not every tip will work. Keep trying until you find the methods which work for you.

Be patient with yourself; the objective is to avoid overwhelm, which is crucial for your mental health.


Just a Reminder

The information provided here is to identify and recognize overwhelm.

Many listed indicators could be related to other things you want to look into with your doctors.

Once you get overwhelm under control and you still have some of these symptoms, it’s time to make appointments with your physician.


I have as-needed coaching available, and if this would be something you’d be interested in, contact me for a free one-hour discovery call. 

If you have any challenges, let me know. I’ll include it in my content.


Starting today, make yourself a priority and begin living your best life.

But before we go, always remember to

Be true to your magnificent self,
Coach Marlene

Connect with me!! I’d love to hear from you.