7 ways to move from overwhelmed to overjoyed

Woman drowning, overwhelmed and over it
The water’s over your head, you’re overwhelmed, and you’re over it.

You’re overzealous. Or overambitious. Maybe you’re overemotional. Or you make yourself overbusy. And of course all that leads to you being overcritical, overwrought, and overwhelmed.

Now you’re just plain over it. But what do you do now?


Do you need to be juggling all the balls all by yourself? You’re Overdoing it.

You don’t have to iron love into your husband’s shirts. Or bake your heart into every casserole. You don’t have to take on all the child rearing, laundry, or dishes. Even if you’re a single parent, there are other people who can do those things for you. 

Your kids can have chores – even the toddlers. Your spouse can take on some of the household responsibilities. So can a babysitter, a dog walker, a housekeeper, a personal chef, the list goes on.

You might even find there are things that don’t need to be done – that you’re making yourself overwhelmed. Maybe you’re the only person who cares if the baseboards are sparkling clean. Maybe nobody else is interested in decorating the house for every major holiday that comes along. And when was the last time somebody complained about the fingerprints on the light switch plates?

Delegate to others

It’s way Overdue.

Your wife can handle laundry just as well as you can. Your babysitter would probably do the dishes for an extra $5 or $10. The dry cleaner will do the ironing. And there are plenty of small business owners who’ll deliver frozen, home-cooked meals to your door. You can even grocery shop online at 10pm, after the kids are in bed, and have them delivered on your timetable. There are plenty of people who will do things for you.

Clay figurine of a man holding a baby and the hoze of a vauum cleaner, wearing a suit with baby stuff sticking out of every pocket
Don’t know where he’s going in that suit; he’s obviously needed at home!

For some tasks, you could even hire someone on Fiverr, TaskRabbit, or Upwork to do for you. Don’t want to spend the time on that grocery order? Send your list to a worker on Fiverr and pay them to put in the order.

Decide what’s important and ignore the rest

You can Overlook a lot more than you think you can.

Vacuuming the floor takes the same amount of time if you do it once a week or once a day. Same goes for dusting the china hutch. Keep your kids’ bedrooms closed, and you can ignore the messes in their rooms. 

Of course, some of that might be important to you. So you can vacuum every day and let the dust pile up. Or hound the kids to clean their rooms and avoid dealing with the mess in your master bath. Whatever you decide to care about is okay. It’s your home. You do you in your home. Just so long as you aren’t keeping yourself overwhelmed.

One thing – some things accumulate and take more time the longer you ignore them. Dishes and laundry are the big two. So make sure someone stays on top of those and ignore something else. 

Prioritize yourself

It’s time to get Overindulgent with your self-care.

Hire a babysitter one night a week and go get a massage, then hit your favorite restaurant for a kid-free dinner. Bribe, I mean, hire your kids to do chores so you don’t have to, and – this is important – accept their level of competence. If you expect them to do it to your standards, that’s a recipe for staying overwhelmed.

Decide that one night a week, you get to watch what you want to watch on tv. Or that Tuesdays are Dance Party Tuesdays and blare your favorite tunes. Drink plenty of water, eat healthy foods, treat yourself like you’re your best friend, and get your self-care game going.

Other quick self-care ideas: exercise, do some arts and crafts, take a luxurious shower, meditate, get outside and soak up some rays, take a nap, or phone a friend. Anything that makes you feel more you again, go do that.

Woman pole dancing  with a stunning mountain view behind her
What do you mean you don’t have a pole installed on your patio?

Plan your day, then follow your plan

Get an Overhead view of everything that’s going on.

Floundering from one task to the next isn’t anybody’s idea of fun. Take 15 minutes the night before or first thing in the morning to lay out a plan for the day. It’ll help you feel on top of things and totally organized. And who doesn’t want to feel that way? (Make sure you schedule those Dance Party Tuesdays and your Chicago Fire nights!)

One tip – overestimate how long things are going to take. If you schedule the Bloomberg project, and you think it’s going to take an hour, put it in your date book for 90 minutes. Anything involving your kids? Double the amount of time you think it’ll take.

Do a brain dump to get everything out of your head

Stop Overcompensating for forgetting things.

With everything that needs doing running around in your brain, you’ll stay overwhelmed and overwrought. But if you put it down on paper, you don’t have to keep trying to remember it all. The paper’s doing that for you. Don’t try to edit or organize, just put everything down on paper. (Or in an app, that works, too.)

The next step is to start categorizing them. I do two sets of lists – one set each for business and personal. Under each broad heading, I use an Eisenhower box to figure out what’s important or unimportant, and what’s urgent or not.

Organizing your brain dump

After that, I use paired comparison to determine the order in which I’m going to do things. For example, let’s say on my urgent, important list, I need to write a blog post, email my list, create some new social media graphics, and decide on my next five podcast topics. I’d make a list, like this:

A blog post

B email list

C create social media graphics

D decide next five podcast ideas

Then I start comparing. Is A – blog post more important than B – email list? Yes, because I write bonus content on blog posts for my email list. So I write down A to the right of blog post. Is A – blog post more important than C – create social media graphics? Yes, because I want to make some graphics for the blog post. So I write another A to the right of blog post. Is A – blog post more important than D – No, because I want to make sure I’m getting podcast episodes set before anything else. So I write a D to the right of blog post.

After comparing B – email list to C and D, then C – create social media graphics, I have this:

A blog post AAD

B email list BD

C create social media graphics D

D decide next five podcast ideas

Now I start counting. I have 2 As, 1 B, 0 Cs, and 2 Ds. Since the As and Ds are tied, the tiebreaker is the comparison between A and D – where D won. So I put the tasks in this order:

D decide next five podcast ideas

A blog post

B email list

C create social media graphics

Journal every day

Write down three things you’re grateful for, two things you did well, and one positive affirmation. Get Overjoyed about your life.

The key to keeping your mood, mindset, and motivation in place is to keep track of the wonderful things in your life. On hard days, it’s tough to remember what you’re grateful for. When life’s beating you down, it’s a challenge to keep in mind that you can do things well. And for those times people are telling you that you suck, you’re no good, you’re horrible, having those affirmations will remind you that you actually totally rock. 

Your gratitude journal can start out simple. I’m grateful for the roof over my head. The food in my belly. The ability to read. There have been times when my gratitude journal has been that basic for days on end. 

Your rockstar journal may begin plainly. Today, I ate breakfast. I kept breathing. I did my job. But then, you can start to notice things you are seriously amazing at. Today I counseled a friend who was in a crisis. Today I created 10 styles of on-brand graphics for 5 social media platforms for a client. 

Once you’ve made the journey from Overwhelmed to Overjoyed, you can get over anything that comes along. You have seven tools to help you  Overcome whatever life throws at you. 

Overjoyed woman sitting on a couch
May all your days be this overjoyed!






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