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How To Cope When You Are Feeling Overwhelmed

How To Cope When You Are Feeling Overwhelmed

Caoimhe Mahon

We have all been there when everything seems to be piling up and stress levels keep rising and for one reason or another we get a wave of feeling overwhelmed. 

This feeling can arise from a number of causes: maybe you are starting a new course or new job, perhaps you have exams and assignments due or you simply have a plate full of tasks that is fit to overflow. 

The thing is when you start to feel overwhelmed something small can seem like a huge burden and a task you would usually complete at ease becomes a mammoth task. 

Feeling overwhelmed can creep up on you and leave you feeling anxious, sad and even agitated. 

So what steps can we take when the feeling of being overwhelmed lures its head. 

Ask Yourself Why

This feeling might have been mounting for quite some time now and when it finally hits you it can be hard to understand why making it all the more irritating. Asking yourself what exactly is making you feel this way is good for a number of reasons: 

  • It helps you understand why you are feeling the way you do and allows you to accept the emotions
  • It addresses the factors which are not bothering you allowing you to sieve through and sort out all of your tasks
  • It provides a good starting point for you to start to tackle the issues

Write Everything Down

Sometimes things may be flying through our minds at a hundred miles per hour. Some of those things can slip out of our mind completely whilst others can mount as we fixate in on them. 

We might very well be productive achieving a number of things but we are not physically ticking them off and so we are not rewarding ourselves. 

Writing things down creates organisation, you can plan when and how to carry your tasks out, you can manage your time and then factor in breaks and rewards for yourself as you tick them off. 


You may not even understand these feelings either but we have all been on the receiving end too when we start to take things personally and worry. So, simply calling or texting a friend and explaining can really help. 

Let them know that at the moment you are feeling overwhelmed by a number of things and you need a time out. This might result in your friends sharing the load or starting a conversation or it might just create the space and time you need.

Take Time For Yourself

You might have a pile of things to do or maybe a lot has happened in your relationships with friends, family or romantic partners. 

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The last thing you are thinking about is carving out time for yourself. Imagine yourself as a car though, it needs fuel to get some A to B and if you do not stop and fuel the car up it cannot go. After a while the car needs service, it needs to be taken care of to make sure it can keep going. 

You wouldn’t expect your car to keep pushing without the fuel so why expect yourself to? 

You need to be creating time for yourself, maybe it is to watch your favourite programme, maybe it is filling a hot bath to soak in, maybe it’s meditating or even getting an early night. All of these things are needed to ensure you are provided with the fuel you need to keep pushing through.

So next time you are feeling overwhelmed, why not try these four steps?

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