9 Ways to Stop Yourself Feeling Overwhelmed
Working for yourself, or especially in a creative industry, can be extremely demanding, and it's very easy to feel overwhelmed; the easily accessible nature of the media you are creating and the speed at which it is consumed can lead to a huge amount of pressure through social media platforms, manifesting itself in a toxic mess of feeling drained, exhausted and most importantly, demotivated.
I work for myself, and it means I just don't have the time to let myself become overwhelmed, but I do. And when I do, it's tricky to avoid letting it spiral out of control, and leading to a horrible cycle that chases itself of feeling overwhelmed, wasting valuable time trying to level yourself off, and then becoming anxious and overwhelmed about the amount of time you’ve wasted and not been productive, and so it begins again!
I’ve been there, done that, and have the mascara-stained t-shirt! So, I've worked out a few quick and simple ways to stop myself feeling overwhelmed, and to help others who sometimes feel the same…
1. A Stitch In Time, Saves Nine!
First up, give yourself a break! No one is a machine, and half the beauty of working in a creative industry are the peaks and troughs of work flow. Always find time for yourself, and take a moment and tell yourself you're doing a good job (because you are!) and this is just a blip.
2. Sleep Is the Best Meditation
Get more sleep, and recharge those batteries! When I'm lacking in sleep everything is harder, so going to bed early has become my treat after a long day. Normally I have a bubble bath and then wash my face, brush my teeth and generally unwind with a book or some trash-TV before getting into bed (good bedding makes this feel even more of a treat). If I have a lot on my mind, making a to-do list for the next day helps me to switch off at night.
3. All Truly Great Thoughts Are Conceived By Walking
Walk somewhere! Getting outside has to be the best way to make myself feel better, so much so that I've worked it into my daily routine. Though I am lucky to have an excuse with my Bad Dog to walk! Having a job that means I'm sat at a computer for long hours can feel pretty depressing, but getting outside and seeing day light and getting sunshine on my face has a huge effect on my mood. It can also be a great way to catch up with friends and family; I often head out with my mum for a chat or plug in my headphones to chat on the phone while I walk!
4. The First Wealth is Health
Take some exercise, and get that energy flowing! If you're like me and were a little late to the exercise game, then this is especially for you. I go through phases of loving and hating exercise though having said this, once I’ve been for a run I feel way better, particularly if I've woken up early and run through the sunrise. It’s also the perfect opportunity for me to make a mental to-do list and plan my day.
5. You Can’t Wait For Inspiration. You Have To Go After It With a Club
Get some inspiration! Read or watch something from someone you admire; I love youtube for inspiration, particularly this video by Casey Neistat. I also went through a phase of watching Ted talks to motivate myself, which really helped to change my perspective and get my creative juices flowing! Social media has definitely added a little more jealousy and competitiveness to the world, so I try to avoid things that make me feel like this, and instead focus on positive content that boosts me up and encourages me.
6. A Little Nonsense Now And Then, Is Cherished By The Wisest Men
Take a break from social media! As I mentioned above, jealousy and competitiveness can give me a massive creative block, and so sometimes you've got to just switch it off! There is life outside of the digital world, believe it or not, and switch your Windows for a door, your Mac for a coat, or your phone for your car keys! Sometimes as a real treat I head to Scotland where there is no signal, let alone 4G; the temptation is gone from getting sucked in to social media, and I can focus on me!
7. Tidy Desk, Tidy Mind
Tidy your desk! Doing something productive and easily achievable can be really pleasing and as a bonus, you have a tidy desk! If you're like me, my whole life is on my desk, from post to coffee mugs, flowers to computer leads. There is nothing more pleasing than having a good tidy and organising. Sometimes this also can lead me to treating myself to new stationery, which sad as it seems, is terribly exciting and we all know how amazing that feels!
8. The Earth Laughs in Flowers
Add some nature to your life! I find nature totally enthralling and pleasing, adding flowers to my desk/home makes me feel much more at ease. They also add some more colour and serve as a constant reminder that there is more to my world than my desk, and that while some ideas may blossom and bloom, others may wither and die… especially if they don’t get enough water!
9. The Tree That is Beside the Running Water is Fresher and Gives More Fruit
Drink more water! And less coffee! No one is perfect, and I'm definitely guilty of being a complete coffee junkie, but when I do drink more water I feel way better. It hydrates and mitigates, and probably the easiest one on my list to do. So no matter how tough things get, or how overwhelmed I might feel, this is one thing I can definitely do without too much effort or correction!
I hope this has been helpful and not too preachy! Everyone is different and these are just a few things that help me!