how to deal with overwhelm in a healthy way

When there’s too much coming at us, when the plate gets too full, when life feels crazy it’s easy to default to unhealthy ways to cope.

Don’t do it {it makes everything harder}.
Stay conscious instead.

First, become aware of what your unhealthy default is – do you avoid, control or submit?


Avoiding can show up as denying, procrastinating, repressing, running, and dissociating.


Controlling can show up as manipulation, abuse of others, seeking out positions of authority, status seeking, and passive-aggressive behaviour.


Submitting can show up as accommodation, self-sacrifice, self-sabotage, wishy-washy decision making, lacking boundaries, losing personal integrity, feeling disempowerment, being ‘nice’ by being compliant or codependence.

The first step of dealing with overwhelm in a healthy way is to be aware of your reactive or reflexive responses.

Once you are aware, you can make a conscious choice to deal with overwhelm in a healthy way.

Here are some healthy ways to cope with overwhelm {start simple and small, then add more if needed}.

  • stop living in the future
  • focus on just one thing
  • feeling powerless often stems from childhood, do inner child therapy to heal
  • drop negative judgements {of yourself and others}
  • pick one {or ten} things to say no to
  • pick one {or ten} things to delegate
  • take a break {stretch, breathe, meditate, walk, sip tea}
  • block your time, set a timer and focus on one task until you’re completed it
  • be realistic about how much time things take and how much time you have
  • simplify {your schedule, your home, your commitments, your clothes, your chores … everything}
  • get rid of clutter {try removing three things everyday for a month}
  • what’s most aligned with your values? do those things.
  • write down your top three priorities for the day and let everything else go
  • use RescueTime or
  • schedule in self-care, make an appointment with yourself and stick to it
  • unsubscribe – clear the clutter out of your inbox
  • remember that imperfect is good enough
  • get support with Care or TaskRabbit
  • remember you don’t have to do your best at everything
  • accept the feelings of overwhelm and trust they will pass
  • rewrite any negative story you might be telling about being defective because you’re overwhelmed
  • sleep, nap, daydream – give your brain enough time to rest and recharge
  • remember – you are in complete control of your thoughts, use cognitive behavioural therapy to get a handle on your thoughts if needed
  • choose thoughts that support you in feeling calm, confident, and in control
  • drop the multi-tasking mindset {single tasking is much healthier}
  • take breaks throughout the day to do diaphragmatic breathing
  • focus on the big picture – what matters most?

Challenge yourself to make the changes you need to make so you feel less overwhelmed and more free to live a life you love.