Day #257:When You’re Feeling Stressed, Overwhelmed & Want to Recenter

Ever find yourself staring at the computer screen in the middle of a crazed day, wondering:

How will I get all of this done?

What are my priorities right now?

Is there enough time?

What the hell have I been doing for the last few hours?

I have moments of overwhelm and fogginess. Most people do.

With inputs coming from all angles all day, it can be easy to get pulled away from what matters most.

In times of overwhelm and daze, here’s what what works for me, which may support you too:

Notice your breath. To get out of my head and back into the moment, the very first thing I do is notice my breath. When thoughts arise, I imagine them in a bubble and I envision myself gently tapping them with a feather. This slows down my thoughts and brings me back to the present. Sometimes I will stay with my breath for a few moments, and other times I will sink in for five or ten minutes, visualizing imagery that brings me peace. The vision of running barefoot through an open field or walking along the beach quickly brings me back to center.

Clarify priorities. Sometimes overwhelm is rooted in not knowing where to focus time and energy. Ten minutes spent revisiting the “Top 3” most important tasks for the day helps refocus what will bring a sense of joy and peace by end of day.

+ Revisit commitments. Liz D’Alto posted recently, “Never put off til tomorrow what you can straight up cancel today.” She added, “Sometimes we overcommit. Some may see canceling or breaking commitments as out of integrity. Is that less integrous than showing up, not being present, wishing you weren’t there, or giving less than your best?” Well said, Liz. So, what are you taking off your plate today?

Journal it out. To get to the bottom of what’s going on, I’ll often find peace in clarity by answering “What’s making me feel overwhelmed right now is…” or “My greatest sense of stress right now is…” By having a dialogue and addressing the overwhelm head on, I work through rather than avoid it.

Schedule space. Imagine uninterrupted space with no meetings, no email answering and no inputs driving you. Feels good, doesn’t it? Block off a chunk of time each week for thinking, creativity, writing, or whatever it is that you feel called to do. Follow your curiosities and let intuition and inspiration lead the way.

Artist Date. Speaking of creativity and space, a key part of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, a book dedicated to helping you unlock your highest creative potential, is Artist Dates—a two-hour block of time set aside for nurturing your inner artist (we all have one). The whole point of these dates is receiving—opening yourself to insight, inspiration and guidance. Ask yourself: what is the child within me craving? What play date do I want to take myself on? Schedule it in the next week and go do it.

And that is how I break free from overwhelm. What helps YOU get out of daze and into flow? Let’s jam in the comments below.

2 thoughts on “Day #257:When You’re Feeling Stressed, Overwhelmed & Want to Recenter

  1. What helps when I’m in a daze? Well, ‘switching everything off’ works for me sometimes… I’d say this is akin to the ‘schedule space” option in the list above. Then again, considering how worse things could have been or how there are some who would give the world to be in my position does the trick.

    All in all, very helpful list you’ve suggested here. I believe the artist date and revisiting of commitments will be welcome additions in my quest for achieving more while getting rid of unwanted despairing thoughts.


  2. @Oreoluwa, I agree with you. ‘Switching off ‘ works for me as well. Taking a break from technology, no phones or internet really helps.


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