Dealing with overwhelm

Four mistakes you’re making when overwhelm kicks in – and how to overcome them

Life is busy. There’s kids’ schedules, sports, household tasks, and countless other things you need to cram into your 24 hours. And let’s face it — it can be a lot sometimes. 

I bet you’re too familiar with overwhelm. That sense of being mentally or emotionally overloaded, stretched entirely too thin. It can often lead to feeling stressed, snapping for the smallest things, or feeling overrun by constant pressure. The issue gets even worse when these negative feelings make it difficult to manage our responsibilities, and tasks start piling up.

I think it’s safe to say that if you are feeling overwhelmed right now, this is not the FIRST time in your life you are feeling this way. You have probably experienced this feeling quite often; I know I have. But here’s the thing: We develop a habitual response to anything we experience OFTEN. When you feel overwhelmed, you have a programmed response to it. Chances are you’re reaching for those fleeting comforts like an extra few minutes of sleep or that ice cream tub. The problem is that MOST of our habitual responses to feeling overwhelmed may relieve our stress at the moment but make it WORSE over time.

The good news is we have the power to change these patterns. We have the POWER and the CAPACITY to change, but it all starts from RECOGNIZING that there IS room for improvement. THEN, understanding that it is YOUR responsibility to do it.

Today, we’re going over four of the most common ways you may be self-sabotaging when you feel overwhelmed. Most importantly, we have PRACTICAL solutions to address your behaviors.


Raise your hands if you’ve canceled a workout because you figured you needed a full hour for it to be “worth” it.

The feeling of having too much on our plate can be paralyzing. So it’s no surprise that one of the most common ways to self-sabotage when feeling overwhelmed is to push things off or avoid them altogether. You may instantly fall into guilt or shame when procrastinating. Deep down, you know you NEED to take action, but it’s easier to stay stuck than to face your potential failure. 

Procrastination is one of the biggest signs of perfectionism. If you haven’t considered WHY you aren’t taking that first step, chances are you’re afraid of “failing.” When we have a lot to do and limited time, we might fear we won’t be able to complete everything — up to our self-imposed standards, that is. So the only reasonable response is to not do anything at all. Right?

Other times, we may put something off because we don’t know where to start. Instead of taking that first step, you feel stuck, which increases your discomfort. This all-or-nothing mentality helps no one. It keeps you feeling frustrated, unable to move forward. When this vicious cycle creeps in, remember that you don’t need to complete something, or do it perfectly, in one sitting. It’s better to work toward progress than to let perfection prevent you from taking action. So go ahead, take ONE step, do ONE thing to get closer to your goal.

Negative self-talk

Negative self-talk is another common side effect of overwhelm.

This negative self-talk stems from a lack of confidence in our abilities, bringing us back to the fear of failure. The thing with negative self-talk is that we take our words as FACTS. We start doubting ourselves and questioning whether we are capable of handling this situation. Listening to this negative voice is incredibly damaging and can paralyze you even further. 

What I want you to REALIZE is that just because you THINK something doesn’t mean it’s REALITY. It is not a TRUE reflection of your capabilities. You have the capacity to learn, change, and evolve just like everyone else.

So if you are feeling overwhelmed, check in with the story running through your head. Is there someone in there telling you that you CAN’T? Ask them, why not? What makes you the ONE PERSON who can’t learn how?

Then, flip the switch. It’s not that you CAN’T; it’s just that you HAVEN’T YET. Now, you get to learn how, one step at a time, because learning something new means that you allow yourself to be a beginner at something, just like every other person who became an expert.


Seeking perfection is a natural human inclination. I have met VERY few people who don’t resonate with the idea of wanting to do things perfectly.

When we unrealistically expect perfection, we become afraid of making mistakes. See the common thread? This fear can paralyze us and prevent us from taking action or making progress.

This perfectionist perspective can look like an all-or-nothing mindset. I didn’t have the perfect lunch, so why bother? I’ll just throw caution to the wind and eat everything in sight. Tomorrow is another day. Instead, a more moderate approach might be, I didn’t have the lunch I would have wanted, but we can balance things out with a nutritious dinner. Or maybe, it means going for a short walk in between errands if there’s no time for a full workout. Every little step in your journey counts toward your goals.

There’s no clear answer as to how to overcome perfectionism. Instead, we need to recognize that perfection is an illusion that MOST of the time leads us to AVOID and RUN AWAY from things that will allow us to grow. A single step in the right direction takes you a lot further than a mile in the wrong direction. 


We will always encounter opportunities, responsibilities, and obligations that seem too good to pass up…or it feels like we are UNABLE to pass it up.  What we fail to realize is that taking on too much can lead to feeling overwhelmed and burnt out.

When we overcommit ourselves, we leave little time and energy for keeping to the commitments that we made to OURSELVES. We are walking around with a full plate, except it is full of commitments that you don’t necessarily WANT or have the bandwidth to do. So you are doing these things out of a sense of duty, but you are neglecting the things that matter TO YOU in favor of others.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, take a really good look at what is on your plate. It is OK to offload things from your plate that aren’t serving you. Don’t doubt about prioritizing YOUR things vs. the things Others expect of you.

It may be time to clear off some of the OTHER things that you have been carrying around that aren’t bringing you joy anymore, the things that aren’t yours to carry in the first place.

Overwhelm isn’t a sign of failure. It is a sign that you’re pushing yourself too much

Even in today’s world, we see the ability to juggle a thousand things as a badge of honor. Sleep deprivation, 60-hour workweeks, packed calendars… all things we brag about more than we should.

While some commitments are inevitable, others are entirely within your control. It’s within you to identify which is which, and develop your ability to self-regulate and keep your priorities top of mind when making decisions about your life.

At MYLF Coaching, we don’t just tell you what to eat. Instead, we work with you to figure out what matters most and what you’re trying to achieve. From there, it’s all about educating YOU to make informed decisions that serve YOUR goals and life.

Give it a try!

Click here to choose the best plan for YOU.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© Fit HQ, LLC  |  Site Credit  |  Terms & Conditions  |  Privacy Policy