Regaining Your Balance When Overwhelmed

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Sometimes, work and life stack themselves against you and make being productive seem like a difficult task. Feeling overwhelmed while at work can have a negative effect on productivity, task completion and problem-solving, potentially without you even realising it.

Feeling overwhelmed can exacerbate already existing patterns of behaviour or mental health issues that may already be present. It may also double their usual effect, leading to isolation, panic attacks or significant increases in stress levels.

If you have been experiencing any of these symptoms, there is a chance that you may be feeling overwhelmed.

  • Tension headaches, caused by your body being overwhelmed by stress
  • Isolation, withdrawing from their support system and extra activities
  • Feeling angry, irritated, annoyed or frustrated, with a lower threshold for stress and find themselves in outbursts about things/situations that typically would not cause them to lose their patience
  • Negative self-talk with more overly self-critical, self-judgmental expressions, as well as difficulty completing tasks, less energy and lose pleasure in usual life activities
  • Emotional shifts, with changes to how you would normally express yourself
  • Odd sleep patterns, with your brain either being kept awake by the anxiety of having too much to do, or shutting your body down
  • Difficulty recognising your own boundaries and saying no
  • Increases in mistakes being made due to the amount of tasks you may be trying to complete at once
  • Easily irritated by things that would not typically be bothering to you.
  • Lack of focus and motivation

If you’ve been feeling particularly overwhelmed during your work hours, and have been struggling to find a solution, pare back and take a look at what might be affecting you in that way.

Is it a pressing work problem that you’ve been trying to solve on your own, without much success? Try reaching out to your colleagues for support. It’s likely that they may see a solution that your tired and stressed brain hasn’t been able to.

Other tactics to try to employ to assist decreasing the feeling of being overwhelmed include:

Do Something To Take Your Mind Off Things

Take the time for yourself to do something that might aid you in making the situation feel a little more bearable. Taking a walk to clear your mind can also sometimes lead to problem-solving, as your brain is less likely to be solely focused on the task and more on the walk itself.

Connect With Others

Try reconnecting with your support networks in a more tangible way, if possible. Phone calls can be a simple way to catch up, but try organising meetups with your friends and family. Social interaction outside of work can assist you in rebalancing, and reduce feelings of isolation and stress.

Act To Help Yourself

Choose the best option that’s available right now to help solve a particularly niggling problem that might be contributing to your feelings of being overwhelmed, particularly if you can afford to do so. Struggling with the house being clean, but don’t feel like you have the time to get in there yourself? If you have the funds, hire a cleaner to help ease that particular stressor.

If you can recognise that you have been struggling, and know that you require a little extra support, contacting a professional to assist in the short-term might be a solution to employ. Researching people who can help you might seem like time that you can’t afford to spend; instead, try selecting the key criteria you can self-identify, and find someone who can meet those needs for a couple of sessions.

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