Day 24: 17 Things to do When You Feel Overwhelmed

Overwhelmed

And now, our God, the great God, God majestic and terrible, loyal in covenant and love,
Don’t treat lightly the trouble that has come to us.
Nehemiah 9:32

Sometimes all the issues and details of life seem to pile up and bury me.  I can get so overwhelmed that I lose the ability to handle even the small things.  That means it’s time to stop, take a deep breath, and refocus.  How about you?  Are you feeling worn out, frazzled, and overwhelmed?  Here are 17 things to change you from “overwhelmed” to “over-comer”.

  1. Remember God is still on His throne. You may be overwhelmed, but He never is.
  2. Reconnect with God’s presence. God is always with us, but we can become unaware of His nearness when we are consumed by what’s going on around us.  Read your Bible, pray, or listen to/sing worship music.  You are not alone.  Remind yourself that God is with you.
  3. When life is anything but peaceful, tell yourself, “I am at peace with God because of Jesus and that’s what matters most” (Romans 5:1).
  4. Take a break. Do something small you enjoy that isn’t necessarily on your to-do list:  read a book, go for a run, take a bubble bath, do your nails, have lunch with a friend …
  5. Get outside. Go for a walk.  Fresh air and light exercise are so refreshing.  If you can go somewhere where you can enjoy and appreciate God’s creation, that’s even better.  If not, even a walk around the block will help.
  6. Know that God is more than enough. I am often overwhelmed because it doesn’t feel like there is enough of me to go around.  Truthfully, I am not enough, and that’s okay.  Lean into His all-sufficiency.  He won’t leave you hanging.
  7. Get together with a person in your life who is inspiring or encouraging to you. A new perspective can make a huge difference in how you feel about what you’re facing.
  8. Take all the stuff of your daily life to God. Dump it on His desk and ask for His help.  He’s waiting for you. When you are overwhelmed and burdened, even the smallest tasks or obstacles seem insurmountable.    Nothing is so small, ordinary, or routine that you can’t take it to God and get help (Neh 9:32).  I always run aground when I forget that and say, in essence, “Don’t worry God.  This is a little problem.  I got this one.  You go help someone who’s needier.” (as if the Infinite God can’t multi-task)
  9. Sound your trumpet and ask for help from family, friends, and church members.
  10. Lower your expectations. I can easily get overwhelmed simply because I am demanding too much of myself and others.
  11. Let it go. There are many things in life we can’t change no matter how hard we try or how much we dislike them.  Just accepting that fact can be freeing.
  12. Take care of yourself by nourishing food, plenty of hydration, getting enough sleep, movement/exercise, and mental/emotional rest. When we are overwhelmed, we tend to forgo taking good care of ourselves.  This only further depletes our resources making feel even further behind and more overwhelmed.  Focus on getting yourself healthy before you spread yourself too thin.  You are worth whatever time it takes to keep your body, mind, and emotions functioning well.
  13. Be still, even though it’s counter-intuitive.  God tells us what to do because He knows what helps us most.  Let’s not argue with Him.  Just do it.
  14. Don’t forget the Sabbath! God told us to take 1 out of every 7 days off for a reason.  We function better in all areas of life when we discipline ourselves to put down our work for a 24-hour period each week.  We don’t need to get all legalistic about it.  God created the Sabbath to serve us, not the other way around (Mark 2:27)
  15. Simplify your life by using the 3 D’s: Delegate, Drop, or Do
    DELEGATE as much as you can. If others are able to do it then they should.  This includes your children.
    DROP whatever is not essential.  My to-do list is always overly ambitious.  Cull any good-but-not-best activities.  You may be able to pick them up again in a less busy season.
    DO only the things that absolutely must be done, the things that only you can do, and the things that energize you.
  16. Don’t give up. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9
  17. Be overwhelmed by the greatness of God instead of the multitude of demands placed upon you and your own inadequacies.

Which one of these strategies are you going to try the next time you are feeling overwhelmed?
What else do you do when you are feeling overwhelmed?

I have three awesome songs for you to listen to today.
If you’re feeling worn know that God is more than enough and be overwhelmed by His greatness and grace.

“I wanna know a song can rise, from the ashes of a broken life, and all that’s dead inside can be reborn.”
Worn” by Tenth Avenue North

Never forget that God is more than enough to handle whatever you’re going through.
“More Than Enough” by Chris Tomlin

Be overwhelmed by God instead of your circumstances and inadequacies.
Overwhelmed” by Big Daddy Weave

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