This post was updated on 03/09/23

Maybe life feels complicated, you’ve taken on too many responsibilities or you’re going through a difficult or testing time. It’s exactly then that you could show signs you’re overwhelmed.  You can feel out of control, helpless and like you just don’t know what to do next. The pressures of life can just get too much.

We all feel overwhelmed at times. But when the feeling is ongoing, it can lead to chronic stress and physical and emotional symptoms that can affect your wellbeing. So its time to take action. This blog post details 5 signs you’re overwhelmed and what to do about it.


1. You Have Difficulty Sleeping, or You’re Sleeping Too Much

One of the signs that you are overwhelmed is a change in sleeping patterns. You may notice you are restless throughout the night, and unable to get a good night’s sleep, despite how tired you may feel. On the other hand, you may be sleeping too much. You may find yourself sleeping in too long or yearning to spend any downtime asleep.

Try these self-care strategies:

  • Wind down from the day. Tick off items on your to do list. Reflect how the day has gone. If you didn’t get everything done, accept this and move on. Move to tomorrow or where it best fits.
  • Is your bedroom somewhere you can relax? If not its time for a sort out.
  • Develop a soothing, relaxing bedtime routine. Herbal, fruit tea, reading. This will teach your mind and body that time to relax and sleep


2. You are feeling stressed and irritable

If you are overwhelmed, it may be that you have high stress levels. Small things might be getting to you, or you feel you just can’t cope. You might be snappy and irritable or even over-emotional (the smallest of things making you cry.

When you start to feel like this the most helpful thing to do is to stop. What you’re doing isn’t working for some reason, so it’s time to take a breather. Make sure you are taking regular breaks throughout your day, then you can go back to what you were doing with a fresh focus. The second thing to try is to get active, go and have a walk and experience nature. If this isn’t possible for some reason, then simply spend some time in your garden


3. You have difficulty focussing

When we’re feeling overwhelmed, the tendency is to try and multi task and it’s also quite typical to struggle with concentration. You might flit from task to task as your mind is working overtime. If this is you then this is the message; multi-tasking doesn’t work. You cannot fully concentrate on two tasks at the same time.

So the solution is to do one thing at a time; revolutionary I know. It’s so much better for your stress levels.


4. Your head is constantly buzzing with to dos and worries

A number of things I’ve already mentioned will also help with this, so revisit these. Also, when I notice that my head is whirring, this is a process I go through:

  1. Stop: I take a pause from whatever I was doing, obviously I couldn’t concentrate or was stressing me out.
  2. Journal-get the ideas, worries out of my head and on to paper. Or you might find it useful to call a friend.
  3. Plan: Then from here you can devise a plan of action, with the tasks broken down.


5. You Are Keeping to Yourself More

You might notice that you withdraw from people and crave more time on your own. Being around others may begin to feel like an effort or a chore and just too much to deal with. This is a perfectly natural reaction to stress, especially if it’s the cause of your stress and overwhelm.

So why not use the opportunity to take some time for you in a positive way. There is nothing wrong with taking some time off for yourself You deserve time to relax and recharge and even indulge in some pampering. Use the time to do activities that you enjoy, such as reading a book or watching a series on Netflix. Self-care is all about doing activities that fill up your cup and bring you joy. 


Can you relate to any of the signs above? I love reading your comments, so why not let me know in the comments what you’re going to do to overcome overwhelm.


Always busy and on the go? When you are living a life filled with activity, noise, and hurry, it is incredibly difficult to feel healthy and rested. Maybe you know what to do, but can’t seem to do it. But you know what, you can slow down, take and breath, ditch the drama. You can focus on what’s important to you, and live a life you love. Download this PDF for 7 ways to mentally press pause and start today.

About Tina Russell

Tina Russell is a Mindset and Wellbeing Blogger and Coach who helps busy women to calm the chaos in their mind and life, prioritise themselves and shine in all they choose to do. After years of not valuing herself and being a perfectionist, Tina suffered from anxiety and exhaustion and knew something had to change. She set about retraining her brain and getting her shine back, making self-care and self-development her passions. Now happier in her life, Tina uses her coaching and influencing skills from her corporate HR career, and years of experience in making positive changes to her life, to inspire and motivate other women to do the same.

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