What to Do When You Feel Overwhelmed by Life

What to Do When You Feel Overwhelmed by Life

Laptop with Do Not Disturb hat

Feeling overwhelmed by life? Don’t worry, you’re not the only one.

Let me tell you about last week.

From the 29th of March to the 1st of April, I was visiting family. It was lovely, but it was busy. What was originally going to be a weekend with my sister turned into all sorts of adventures. It was worth it but, by the time I got home on the Monday, I was exhausted.

As much as I love seeing my family, I get the worst case of homesickness when I’m back. It can last for between two days to two weeks. With that in mind, I took the decision to extend my blogging and social media break.

BUT life had other ideas. At least for the blogging side of things.

See, while I was away, the whole Pipdig disaster kicked off. The only thing I could do while I was away was update their plugin to remove the malicious code. I was keen to change my theme following those events so, on Tuesday, I made a start.

That, in itself, would have been plenty to keep me busy. Between trying to perfect the look of my site and updating my posts/ebook to remove recommendations of their products, I had plenty to do. However, in my infinite wisdom, I decided it would be a good time to restart my mailing list as well. Which begs the question, why am I like this?

Of course, nothing worked. Nothing looked how I wanted it to. A plugin which was fine with my previous theme completely ruined my new theme. My integration with my sign up forms wasn’t working. By Thursday evening, I was just about tearing my hair out and ready to call it quits.

Throw into the mix the fact I decided I wanted to eat healthier so I was in a constant state of hanger, PMS, the 20th anniversary of my Grandma’s death and a year since I was diagnosed with anxiety/depression, I just felt completely overwhelmed by life.

I realise these are mostly the very definition of “first world problems”, but it was such an intense week. In some respects, it’s my own fault, and I recognise that. I shouldn’t have pushed myself. Other things were just very inconvenient mishaps that I could have done without.

Here’s What I Do When I Feel Overwhelmed by Life:

1. Get Some Fresh Air.

On Wednesday, I had to go out to the shop. I didn’t really want to but I didn’t have a choice. It wasn’t the nicest day but I saw some dogs on my travels and got some air into my lungs so I felt better for it.

It’s very easy to become trapped in your own little bubble. You become so fixated on the problem you’re trying to fix that everything else goes out the window. Or, that’s certainly the case for me. Going outside is a good way to physically step out of the situation.

2. Cry.

Oh, I do love a good cry! For me, it provides a great sense of relief. On Thursday afternoon, when I was convinced my head was about to explode, I stood up, walked away from my laptop, got into bed and cried. It was a short outburst – no more than 5 minutes at the most – but it felt good.

I wasn’t crying because I was sad, but because I was frustrated and fed up. I just needed a quick release of emotion so I could regain focus. Crying is one of the best ways for me to release some pressure.

3. Have a Treat.

My usual reaction to stressful situations is to go and buy the biggest bar of chocolate I can find then eat it all in one sitting. I don’t recommend that. And, given that I wanted to improve my diet, that was the last thing I should be doing. So, I went for the next best thing: a cup of tea.

You can have whatever you want but just press pause on everything to properly enjoy it!

4. Sleep.

This isn’t practical in all situations. If you’re feeling stressed at work, for example, I don’t think it would go down too well if you had a nap under your desk. Otherwise, I find it’s a good way to refresh your mind. Whether it’s having a nap or an early night, getting a little extra shuteye can give you a clearer perspective.

5. Prioritise.

The only thing I needed to do last week was change my theme. It didn’t even necessarily have to be perfect. It just needed to be something else.

Instead, this was my week:

  • Changed theme and tweaked it until I was 98% happy with it.
  • Updated posts and ebook to remove recommendations for Pipdig.
  • Wrote two blog posts.
  • Finished updating pins for popular posts.
  • Stressed about domain/hosting renewal costs.
  • Set up Tailwind queue for the week.
  • Integrated mailing list sign up forms.
  • Created a welcome email for subscribers.
  • Added a resource library for subscribers.
  • Created 3 resources for said library and started a 4th.
  • Cried a lot.
  • Contemplated giving up blogging.

Some of this stuff needed to be done. The majority of it, though, did not.

There was absolutely no need for me to restart my mailing list at that specific point in time. None whatsoever. If I hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t have felt the need to create a welcome email or resource library, either. Updating my pins could have waited, too. Happy as I am to know it’s done, these things were not a priority. Especially not for a week when I was “taking a break”. I only have myself to blame there.

If you feel you have too much going on, take a look at what needs to be done. Focus on those things and put everything else off until a more suitable time.

6. Talk to Someone.

I do feel a little hypocritical here. I’m always one to talk about things after the fact. It’s much better to discuss how you feel before you get to that overwhelmed state or during it.

If you’re the same as me, though, I’d still recommend talking about it – even if you think it’s all over and done with. Things were mostly resolved by the time I spoke to Neal. All the same, it felt good to acknowledge how I felt. Sometimes, it’s good just to say “this has been a stressful week” and have a natter about it.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by life consistently or on a regular basis, it could be an idea to contact your GP or one of these mental health organisations.

Overwhelmed by Life

Feeling Overwhelmed
Restore Balance
Dealing With Overwhelm


  • Sheila Anderson 8th April 2019 at 6:58 pm

    Hi Ruth,
    just read your blog. It is hard when you were planning a break that was meant to be relaxing……. Then family events take over. Never froget the wonderful surprise you, Neal and Trudie gave me last weekend. It was superb. Your presence really gave me a boost. I agree you can get overwhelmed I love your advice. Very measured and sensible! Still think you need to get a dog!! Ha Ha! I want you to know how much you are loved, valued and amazing! Keep on blogging I am sure you are making a difference. God Bless Love from the Mothership!!

    • ruthinrevolt 9th April 2019 at 10:51 am

      Thanks Mum! I wouldn’t trade the family time for anything – it’s just a shame that the rest of the week after I got back was very stressful when I wanted to take it easy. I’m so glad I could be there to spend Mother’s Day with you and the look on your face was priceless. I love you so much xx

  • Bexa 9th April 2019 at 3:12 pm

    So sorry to read about your stressful week Ruth, thank you for sharing your suggestions – this is exactly what I need to read right now! These are fab ideas, it’s amazing how much better I feel after going for a walk and getting some fresh air. I agree, a nap and a cup of tea makes life much better too ๐Ÿ™‚ Btw, your new theme looks awesome, great work! I know how frustrating these things can be, I’ve been trying to work on mine but arrrgh *head exploding emoji* haha. I hope this week is much calmer for you and you get some well deserved time to chill & relax. Thanks for sharing, brilliant post as always <3 xxx

    Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

    • ruthinrevolt 11th April 2019 at 9:50 am

      Awww, thank you so much, Bexa! I hope you feel better soon as well! The whole theme situation has just been such a nightmare and I can’t wait until the dust settles!

  • Sofia 10th April 2019 at 5:34 am

    I get overwhelmed super easily! Iโ€™ve come to a point where, instead of going against my nature and trying (and failing) to change that aspect of myself, to accept it and give it the space it needs. Most of the time, it looks like putting only one task on my to-do list and waiting until Iโ€™ve completed it before adding more. Or, if I know a day is going to be challenging, scheduling something special, like a coffee run to my favorite shop. Life can feel uphill at times, but itโ€™s always good to be good to yourself. Thanks for sharing! ๐Ÿ™‚

    x Sofia

    • ruthinrevolt 11th April 2019 at 9:54 am

      Those are great ideas! I occasionally do the same thing with my to do list or I’ll do a reverse one so I’ll write down everything I did during the day rather than making the list first. It helps me to see I’ve done more than I think! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Taryn 10th April 2019 at 8:23 am

    I’m tearing up because your Mom commented on your blog. That’s so nice! Colleagues are looking at me. Will have to excuse myself and try to compose. Great tips. And you’re right, sometimes you just need to cry or get that piece of cake. Wishing you a smoother week ahead.

    • ruthinrevolt 11th April 2019 at 9:59 am

      Awww, bless you! Thank you for reading and commenting! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Sarah 10th April 2019 at 5:25 pm

    I’m sorry to hear that your week away with family turned into a stressful one. These are all great suggestions on what to do when feeling overwhelmed and stressed. I definitely find getting outside helps a lot when I’m stressed. It’s like that change of scenery and fresh air really does wonders. Also chocolate, that helps, even if it is temporary.

    • ruthinrevolt 11th April 2019 at 10:02 am

      Thank you, Sarah. The change of scenery can really help to give a new perspective and clear your head! And I’ve got to agree on chocolate… that always helps, too.

  • Macey 10th April 2019 at 5:44 pm

    You managed to be so productive despite how overwhelming everything was! I feel like when I’m stressed out, I only tackle the biggest problem and try to get that taken care of. By the time that’s done, I’m usually all worn out :’) This is honestly pretty inspiring xx (and crying really does make the world of difference, I feel both so much better and still a little bad when I’m through haha)

    • ruthinrevolt 11th April 2019 at 10:04 am

      Aww, thank you, lovely! I think tackling the biggest problem is the best approach and a good way to prioritise what NEEDS attention. I feel like I sometimes just attempt to do everything all at once and it’s not always the most helpful way to go about things.

  • Kim 11th April 2019 at 7:49 am

    I’m sorry your week with your family turned out to be a stressful one. That plus the Pipdig situation, I’m not surprised everything got on top of you. I get overwhelmed fairly easily too and overthink everything. Relaxing is something I struggle with when I do get stressed out, so these tips will definitely helps. Thanks for sharing.

    • ruthinrevolt 11th April 2019 at 10:07 am

      I’m the same way with overwhelm and overthinking. I become overwhelmed particularly quickly if I don’t understand something very well, too, which made the Pipdig situation seem more intense. I was either thinking “what is going on?”, attempting to understand Neal’s explanations or feeling like my head was caving in.

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    About Me

    About Me

    After being diagnosed with depression and anxiety then receiving treatment, I wanted to turn my situation into something constructive. So, with a lifelong passion for writing and a renewed sense of determination, I took a step out of my comfort zone and began putting all my efforts into creating a positive space online.

    I talk openly about mental health and also share blogging/social media tips to help others on their journey.

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