I get overwhelmed easily. Mostly by own doing. I’m type A. I’m a perfectionist. (Don’t laugh! My blog is the one place I allow myself to not be a perfectionist – haha) If you’re into Myers Briggs, I’m an ESTJ. This combination creates one fireball supernova of high energy, fast talking, highly productive stress. The most annoying part of being overwhelmed for me is that I’ll be on the brink of tears 24/7 for no good reason. Stress makes me cry. Crying undermines whatever point I’m trying to make, and tricks people into thinking that there is something really, seriously wrong that they need to fix.
Nope, no, nothing. I’m just stressed. Because I am who I am and stress motivates me. When I’m not stressed I look for stress. I’m already considering taking German classes once I’m done my Masters, because working 40-50 hours a week and enjoying my social life just isn’t enough. I’m crazy, and sometimes I need to stop myself. So, I thought I’d share some ways that I calm myself down.
- It will get done because it has to.
When I was a co-op at Johnson & Johnson, my job had a lot of strict deadlines which would wig me out. One of my colleagues pointed out that I shouldn’t worry – It’ll get done when it needs to get done because it has to. Now this only works if you are a type A high achiever who would never turn in something late or half finished. If you’re not, then it probably won’t get done. But, if you’re like me, then saying “It’ll get done simply because it has to” removes the worry that it won’t get done and refocuses on the point.
- This will all be over in X days.
This one only works if your deadline is close. Otherwise it can add to all the feelings. Similar to the above, it forces me to take everything in stride. To not worry about the fact that I’m getting next to no sleep. To not count the hours I have available and compare it to the To Do list and proclaim that it’s impossible. It forces me to un-paralyze myself, dive in and start doing things and not care about no sleep or poor eating schedules or bags under my eyes – because it will all be over in 3 days.
- Take breaks! Treat yo self!
Only if you are able to enjoy the time away. Take a coffee break and get that thing on the menu that you never do because it costs $6 and 400 calories. You need it. Who cares about the rest. Buy that gingerbread latte and savor it for 15 minutes. Close your eyes. Put in headphones. Listen to one of your favorite songs. I really like creating 3 song playlists that will pump me up and refresh me when I’ve been working for 14 hours. None of these take a lot of time and, trust me, they are all worth it.
- If all else fails, massive TO DO lists.
When I’m overwhelmed with a lot of stuff that’s due in a short amount of time, my brain runs through all those things + all of the things that are due next week, next month, next summer, 2 years from now…literally everything. Things that have crossed my mind this week: I should make a packing list for my trip to TX in January, put money aside for the beach trip we’re taking in August, look up the days when the trash pick up does christmas trees. These are not things I need to be worrying about right now. I have imminent things to take up my brain space. I can’t waste brain space on things I can do later. This is where lists come in. I usually make three. One for THIS WEEK – separated out by day. One for Next Week as one long list. And one for Future, with blank lines to fill in the approximate due dates at a later date. Then I know I won’t forget them but they are not on the THIS WEEK list, so I don’t need to think about them.
Those are all my tips. Any of you have some good ones? Anybody else as high strung as I am? I can’t imagine not worrying about anything ever. I should ask my brother what that’s like.