We all live in the real world. And unfortunately, that sometimes means our plates are full to overflowing with appointments, tasks, feelings, and stressors that come with being human. Maybe you’ve also had moments in your life where you felt overwhelmed with gratitude or joy. But when we say we feel overwhelmed, we usually equate the feeling with stress or negative energy. No matter how well adjusted or organized we are, we are all prone to feeling overwhelmed.


Feeling Overwhelmed By Your To-Do List?

When life seems to pile up, you might have so many things on your task list that you don’t even know where to begin. No matter the cause, when you’re truly feeling overwhelmed you might be so stressed that you’re enveloped in negative energy. You might feel frustrated, angry, or confused. And of course, if you can’t quite process the stress you’re under, any of those feelings could become trapped.

Right now we are in the middle of the holiday season, and with all its joys and fun times, finding balance in the midst of it all can be difficult. If you’re feeling overwhelmed right now, you’re probably in company with many friends and family members — but that doesn’t mean you should just swallow hard and accept it. While feeling overwhelmed is common, it’s important to look out for your emotional and physical health by eliminating or reducing that negative energy.


A Few Tips for Finding Balance

There are a lot of different ways to relax or take a break. But those methods will probably be more helpful if you work on finding balance overall. Here are a few tips.


Learn to Say No

Oh boy — is this easier said than done or what?! Even if you’re already feeling overwhelmed, there are things and people you want to say yes to: social activities, service opportunities, your boss, your kids. But ask yourself if all those obligations are really necessary. If it’s going to stress you out, politely say no. If your boss is expecting an unrealistic deadline, remind her or him of everything on your plate and propose a different solution. If you need a personal time out from being with or helping people, take one. It’ll help you be more effective when you’re back at it!


Let Go

Lin Yutang once said, “besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone.” The house won’t always be tidy. Sometimes the turkey is dry. That’s life! Sometimes we need to learn to let go of the need to control everything or have it all turn out perfectly. No matter what people choose to show (and filter) on social media, nobody’s life is perfect. Let go of the thought of being the ideal family, spouse, or parent. Setting realistic goals is one thing (and a good thing!) but expecting perfection of yourself, others, or the circumstances of life can easily lead to feeling overwhelmed.



Especially during busy times like the holidays, take regular stock of the ways you might be needlessly complicating your schedule, expectations, or day-to-day living. What can you cut loose, at least for now?


Free Yourself Emotionally

Letting go of emotional baggage like stress and overwhelm can reduce your tendency to fall back into those feelings at the drop of a hat. Especially during busy times in your life, check yourself frequently for Trapped Emotions that could be triggering you to feel buried. Releasing that energy could be key to breaking free from feeling overwhelmed — a potentially damaging pattern that may affect your emotional and physical health.