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Wellness > Mental Health

5 Survival Tactics For When You Feel Overwhelmed

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Oregon chapter.

It’s not a question of if, but when, in regards to stress in daily life. There’s no way to avoid those moments where you realize you have five million things to accomplish and simply no time or motivation to do them, and just because you’re busy taking over the world doesn’t mean you should have to suffer from the stress of a busy schedule. Although these times are unavoidable, they aren’t unbearable, and there are certain things you can do to alleviate yourself of all the stress. 

1. Prioritize your time

Take five minutes and work through your schedule in an agenda or just on a piece of paper, and realize what’s important to finish that day. There will always be a lot of little things that need to be done, and it will easily overwhelm you to think about everything that needs to be done that week or month. Remember that short-term progress will lead to overall success in the end, and you can pace yourself in finishing that to do list. 

2. Put yourself first

You are the most important thing in your life and no work, project or assignment is worth compromising that. Mental health is a reality and if you are not content mentally then your work will reflect that. It’s also a matter of motivation and the fact that you won’t want to do anything you need to if you’re unhappy. So, take an hour or two out of the day and focus on yourself. Go to the gym, grab your favorite treat, take a hot bath, whatever it is, take some time and put yourself first. 

3. Learn to say no

You don’t need to be the hero every day and take on those 7 extra credit assignments or your co-worker’s extra shift. Some days you need to focus on what is necessary and be content with completing those tasks. Don’t be afraid to take on the extra work if you have the time and mentality to do so, but don’t guilt yourself into needing to be the best in every sense because you’ll run yourself into the ground. 

4. Shut out noise

Don’t feel bad if you need to be a shut in for a day. Take refuge in a quiet place that makes you happy and gets things done. Even when you’re taking time for yourself, know that finding a place just for you that allows your mind to wander without distraction is the best cure for stress. Don’t focus on a tv or a crowded room because it’ll only allow more noise into your head and cause you to feel even more overwhelmed. Shutting out the noise will give you the time and space you need to survive the stress. 

5. Step away

Amid the chaos of checklists of have-dones and to-dos, don’t forget to put everything into perspective. Will this matter in two days? Two months? Two years? Realize that you’re doing the best you can, but if you’re not enjoying it, then it’s not worth it because you should be doing what you love. So, take a step back and analyze your situation because it’s all about perspective in the end and what that means to you in the now. 

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