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3 solutions to feeling overwhelmed

Tuesday, November 10, 2015  
Posted by: Barbara Francella
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By Melissa J. Nixon

Do you ever wake up in the morning with a sense of dread? Does your mind race as you think about your hectic schedule, your family obligations and all those deadlines and conflicts at work?   

Many of us get a heavy feeling when we consider everything we have to do. Most people act as nothing can be done about today’s crazy pace, a pace that’s seems especially fast for working women.

Related: If you're going to jump, take a parachute

Here are three reasons you may be feeling overwhelmed — and three solutions you can use to alleviate the stress.

Learn how to say "no"

"Can you attend this meeting?” "Would you mind helping us?” "Would you like to be on this board?” These are questions that cause us to overschedule ourselves.

It's great to be wanted and needed — and there are so many great causes. But just because a request is for a good cause, doesn’t mean it’s good for you.

Here are a few questions to ask before taking on one more role or agreeing to one more meeting:

  • Does it align with my core values?
  • Do I need to be there or can someone go in my place?
  • Does it help bring me closer to where I want to be in the next one or to years?

Learn how to ask for help

Has anyone asked you, "How do you do it all?" You may feel that question is a pat on your back, but it could be a sign that you need to ask for help.

Asking for help will reduce your stress immediately. Unfortunately, too many people don’t ask for help because:

  • They don’t want to admit they can’t do it all
  • They feel they are imposing
  • They feel they could do a task faster than explaining it to someone else

Ignore these rationalizations and ask yourself: Where do I need the most support? Who do I know that I can call, text or email right now? This person may be upset when they discover you needed help, but hesitated to call.

Learn to move on

Are you overwhelmed and stressed because your time in your current role or company has expired? Did you say "I'll give it five years," but it's now 10? Are you easily irritated at everything and everyone?

When a role aligns with our natural gifts, talents and abilities and we can make an impact, we get energized, not stressed. We can’t wait to go to work in the morning. When challenges arise, we know how to handle them with grace, instead being disgruntled.

There are seasons in our lives that are naturally more hectic than others, but before you settle into the "busyness" of life, reflect on ways to strike a balance for you and those connected to you.

Melissa J. Nixon, known as "The Courage Life Mentor," is founder of the Courageous Life Academy, a coaching and consulting firm specializing in helping visionary leaders, emerging c-suite executives, CEOs and women influencers to maximize their leadership, business and life potential. She formerly served as director of organizational development and learning at Delhaize. She is a contributor to The Huffington Post and Lifehack.

Views expressed in blogs, posts and user comments are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Network of Executive Women or its Officers, Board members and corporate partners.

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