How To Deal With Feeling Overwhelmed In Work And In Life


Table of Contents

Reading Time: 9 minutes



Hi guys,

Sun 24 jan

It seemed pertinent to write a guide on how to deal with feeling overwhelmed at work and in life right now because that’s literally what I’m feeling at the moment.

And I wanted to share with you my ‘real world’ i.e coping mechanisms I’m instilling whilst I type in the hope that you can take some insights from it.

Why Am I Feeling Overwhelmed?

Why am i feeling overwhelmed

  • I’ve woken up 5 hours later than I usually do (at 430am and it’s now 930am) – this means I’ve lost 5 hours of my usual day of working (even though it’s Sunday – I love to get in several hours before my partner is awake)
  • Last night we were negatively attacked on Google in what seems like a coordinated strike by several people
  • Today I need to spend 2-3 hours learning Instagram and Facebook ads in preparation for a launch to drive subscriptions
  • Then there are videos I need to make for SEMRush
  • Then there’s my daily writings as well as daily videos I need to make
  • Then I DID want to see some friends today
  • My partner Strawberry is upset with the way of the world at the moment


Anyway, it feels like everything is stressful at this moment in time

Let’s go through some actions you can take when dealing with these types of issues:

Write Down Your Stream Of Conscious Overwhelm

Stream of conscious overwhelm

As you can tell right now perhaps, I’m also producing this piece of blog content to both keep up with my daily writing habit – but also to get out the stress that I’m feeling onto paper.

My thoughts are all scattered and I’m unsure of the best order in which to approach things.

That’s where the power of writing things down comes into play.

There is well documented therapeutic benefit in literally just pouring all of the thoughts swirling around in your head onto paper.

First of all, it literally exits all of the ‘mess’ that’s in your mind onto paper.

And there is relief in doing this.

From both a personal overwhelm to work overwhelm (I’m feeling something of both) – it also begins to allow you to do the following:

Write Down The Full List Of Things That Are Bothering You

Write full list

I’m sure you noticed I just did that earlier, and then once you write down the list – your ever-powerful subconscious starts to reorganize things based upon priority or ease of action.

For me I needed to get some of this written out onto paper, but also knew that I needed to produce my daily blog content and so thought I’d combine the two.

As I began to write down each of these points (and we’ll go through them one-by-one) – I’ve already begun to generate SOME actions/ideas:

On waking up 5 hours late – I can’t turn the clock back so focus as Eckhart Tolle says on the ‘now’ and not on the past or on the future – there is only now.

And NOW I can start working through my standard daily items of producing a blog and recording 2 videos.

Negative Google Attacks – I’ve already messaged several people to write positive Google reviews – those who I have a professional relationship with. The spammy reviews have also been reported and several have been taken down.

Pearllemon review

I’ve also just paused writing for one second whilst I jumped onto LinkedIn and messaged several Googlers within my 1st-degree network with this message:

“Hi {{firstName}}, I see we’re connected on LinkedIn (1st-degree woop!) and honestly I’m reaching out to see if you could help me at all – we’ve (Pearl Lemon) been the victims of a fake review attack on our GMB account and whilst I’ve responded/reported all reviews there are several still remaining that I’m trying to see if someone can help me have removed. This is obviously not your sphere directly but ANYTHING you could do to assist would be amazing. Thanks so much and happy Sunday! Thanks so much – Deepak :)”

On learning ads – I just need to sit down and get through them later today so not a lot can be done there

Videos to make – I’m going to make these videos before midday by hook or by crook (it’s 10.12 am right now) – so I better get moving.

Seeing my friends – if that does happen, that’ll happen last minute once I get all my work done

Pinpoint The Main Thing That’s Bugging You/Causing Overwhelm

Pinpoint main thing

Within any list you build (like the one I’ve half-built above) – you’ll immediately identify those things that are causing you the most stress (it’ll feel/seem obvious).

That’s often the best place to attack/resolve first.

So keep in mind that whilst there may be ‘many things bugging you’ – it might just be one thing you can fix that would reduce your anxiety (which annoyingly isn’t the case for me lol)

Prioritize Any List That You Build

Prioritize List

So as you can see – I’m doing that as best as I can above – by assigning (some timelines etc) to get things done in what I hope is a sensible order.

Figure out a combination of what is easy to action versus which the biggest problems are – and then act accordingly

Talk Out Loud About Your Feelings Of Overwhelm

Talk about feelings

This can really work well in tandem with writing things down – or if you’re not much of a writer than this is still very effective alone.

I’m watching a TV show at the moment with Strawberry that also talks about this technique which I think I inadvertently do as well.

These two old ladies get in front of a camera and talk out loud to themselves to provide counsel to their own minds.

And goddamn it’s bloody effective I tell you.

I’d highly recommend in those moments – that just talking out loud for 5-10 (or longer) minutes can be incredibly effective.

We often, or almost always have all of the answers to our own problems – we just need to organise our thoughts well enough to be able to work on them one by one.

And talking out loud about everything that’s going on becomes a highly effective form of self-coaching.

Do it.

I actually did this in my last coaching sessions with an actual coach and she just participated in my own speeches whilst I basically figured out all of my own problems!

Drop Everything Else You’re Doing Until You Solve These Problems

Drop everything else

If you’re anything like me and these problems give you low (or high) level anxiety – then it’s imperative you don’t take on any new tasks until you make sure that these tasks get done.

So if that means NOT checking email, NOT checking Whatsapp or whatever it may be – then make sure you focus on the problems at hand

Don’t Sensationalise Problems In Your Own Mind

Do not sensationalise problems

When you feel panic – it’s easy to add dread to it and ultimately go around in a negative spiral just feeling like it’s the end of the world.

This is something that I learnt in my CBT therapy several years ago – that it’s very easy for us to fall prey to black and white thinking without necessarily considering that there are many many shades of grey.

It also ties in very much with my learnings from the Landmark Forum alongside ‘The Power Of Now’ – i.e that ‘it is what it is and it isn’t what it isn’t.

[convertful id=”197358″]

So you have several deadlines all due at once – ok…that happened – let’s just take a breathe…and start working on them one by one.

Is your life under immediate threat?


Well then these problems are not ‘real’ problems – you’re going to be ok no matter what happens.

Following this line of logic can be powerful when you feel massively overwhelmed at work.

Stay Present and in the Moment

Stay present

I’ve echoed this several times – but it’s important to make sure you just focus on this very present moment and NOT think about the future – the future doesn’t exist – there is only now.

You can focus on your breathing, regulate your heart rate and ultimately work to calm yourself down, and then take action.

Let These Negative Feelings Wash Over You – Don’t Get Attached To Them

When I feel overwhelmed and emotions flood my mind…it’s easy to try and ‘take actions’ about those feelings or to try and ‘get rid of them’.

In fact, the most effective way to get rid of those feelings is to let them come, and observe them – just being there, give them the room to sit and wash over you, and then slowly wash away.

By focussing upon trying to ‘fix’ or ‘remove’ or ‘change’ that feeling – you actually amplify it and give it energy.

I’ve found that just being still, and observing it, much like you can ‘listen’ to silence – that it slowly becomes an object that’s separate to you – and the mantra that ‘you are not your thoughts, and you are not your feelings’ rings true.

Avoid Self Judgement and Instead Be Accepting Of The Situation

In circumstances where you are behind on work, or something has gone wrong – it’s very easy to get into the space of negative self-talk.

Try and be mindful and aware of what you’re saying to yourself at all costs and look at this mishap as an opportunity rather to get better.

‘Oh great I’m overwhelmed – it’s normal, it happens – I’ll recover and get through it’

Take Massive Action

Take massive action

This is perhaps in some ways the most critical part of this process – that once you’ve calmed yourself, become accepting of the situation – now it’s time to work to fix problems and find solutions.

So sit down, close everything else out – and begin getting sh*t done.

Outsource or Delegate

Outsource or delegate

Remember with problems that arise – you are almost always not alone. Especially if we’re talking about the world of business.

In my instance, I’ve asked the team to join me in brainstorming about what to do with the potential for future negative review attacks.

Given there are several SaaS applications that all have varying deadlines – I’m asking one of my team members to step up and take charge of the overall situation.

I’ve also told my Head Of Internal Growth to look at hiring a reputation management service to assist us with our already growing internal activities to prevent against issues recurring or at least drown out all of the noise

Take Preventative Measures

Take preventative measures

What can you do to avoid this situation happening in the future?

In some respects – some of these things happening are good for me because I can learn from this – and build structures and strategies to avoid them happening again.

So in my case, that’s looking at building in positive PR to protect our brand in the future and building more discipline with getting some of these videos pushed out.

Keep In Mind The Bigger Picture

I think this is easy to lose sight of when you’re feeling overwhelmed.

How much do these issues actually matter to the bigger picture?

What is the worst-case scenario if none of these things got done?

It’s almost always not as bad as you think – we just (as I discussed before with the whole ‘black and white’ thinking thing) make it worse in our own minds.

Go For A Walk

Go for walk

I find this to be quite helpful at times.

When you’re feeling rubbish and overwhelmed, you could literally just go for a walk – or pace back and forth as I do for a short stint.

It’ll help ‘clear your mind’ – which basically means, giving you literal physical and mental room to ‘thrash out’ your feelings and then get to a place of more calm

Final Thoughts


Well, these are a smattering of ideas I have about things that I’m doing/have done/am planning on doing to help me feel less overwhelmed at work and my life.

Checking the time now:

Current time

It’s taken me around 2 hours to get this blog post put together.

And here’s the wordcount:


Given I wrote this entirely from scratch based upon my feeling of overwhelming 2 hours ago and I’ve managed to resolve some things along the way I’m feeling like it hasn’t been a bad little ‘2-hour adventure at all’.

And yeh – I hope it gives you some real-world insights on how to deal with the overwhelm you feel (or rather we all feel) at times in your life.

Thanks so much 🙂