Struggling with overwhelm

struggling with overwhelmOne of the many things which crops up in my support and mentoring sessions, is that people, particularly business owners are struggling with overwhelm. It’s perfectly normal to feel like this, and I’ve been there too.

A business owner I had a monthly call with today was apologetic about feeling like this. For her, she started a new business in September, alongside a full time job. She’s been caring for her elderly parents, her Dad recovering from some surgery, plus her dog has been very poorly, and looks like he won’t be around much longer. Yet, she felt the need to apologise.


Well, I’m sure some pyschoanalyst would help out here, but this isn’t my speciality, so I’ll leave that question there. To me, I don’t need to know why. I just want to help her turn it around. When you’re in this feeling of overwhelm, you can’t actually get much done. You see so many things you should be doing, that you can’t see which is most important to do first. Often these are really little things, but as there are so many of them, it all adds up to this struggling with that feeling of overwhelm.

How to stop struggling with overwhelm

  1. Breathe. Take some deep breaths and really let your shoulders relax. No, I’m not being funny, but we often forget to breathe, especially when we’re het up about something.
  2. Leave whatever it is your doing, and do something else. Often you’ll think this is procrastination, so you’ll try and complete something. However, that change of scenery, (I often sort the washing, or pair odd socks, or my favourite thing, going for a walk), can be just the thing you need to break the pattern of overwhelm and help your head get some space to do something different.
  3. Now you’ve got a little bit of space to think, write down everything, or talk to someone about the things that are most important to you at the moment. They may be big, or small, it really doesn’t matter. Share them all. If you write them down, can you now put them in order of priority? You often find that there’s a natural flow for them – if you do one thing, then the next step will flow out of it. Some things will be linked, others will look random.
  4. Make sure all your personal things are on the list as well. Just because you’re a business owner, or a busy person, doesn’t mean you should forget to book that dentist or optician appointment. Some of those ‘little’ things often get lost within our busyness, and that adds to our overwhelm, as we think we can’t fit everything in to our lives.
  5. Now, go back to your list. Can you do that first thing today or tomorrow? Is there anything else you need to complete that one thing? Don’t look at anything else, just that top priority. What will you feel like when that first task is done? Fantastic is my guess!
  6. Ok, so now add one task a day to your diary until all the other items are complete. If you don’t manage it one day, then shift them all along. Doing just one thing a day is possible isn’t it? It’s not a lot, and you’ll find that you’ll soon get through that list.

A little bit every day, of whatever ‘stuff’ you need to do, will get you there.

Remember, breathe, change your scenery, and then do that scary list. Writing it down, or telling someone will make it less of a scary monster, and something that you can achieve. Step by step.

If you want some help working things out, and getting rid of the scary monsters, get in touch and let’s arrange a coaching call. Talking to a stranger can really help put things in perspective.



  1. Tracey-Jone, this post truly speaks to me, as I have a lot I need to do! I love you saying about the importance of a change of scenery and actually remembering to breathe as those are two strategies that are really working for me right now!! And I love the you mention the importance of prioritising too, that top priority, a great reminder 🙂 Thank you!

  2. So pleased it’s helped you Carrie. Sometimes we forget the simple, by over complicating things, or thinking we have to have super powers. We don’t. Just breathe, stretch, go for a walk, and we’re usually back on track. You may find this post on prioritising helpful too.

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