How to Slow down When You Are Feeling Overwhelmed

February 25, 2021 in Wellness - 6 min read

It is so normal for us to be all over the place, mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. This is something we easily blame on how fast-paced the world we live in today is. There is no way we can slow down the world. If anything we need things to progress faster than they already arewe want solutions to every problem today and justice today! However, we physically cannot catch up with all that is happening, no matter how hard we try. Instead, we get worn out and lose focus of what is really important.

So today, that’s what we are here for – we are here to slow ourselves down. The year just started and there are all these goals we have set for ourselves. The pressure is on because we really do want to feel accomplished and we will not back down until we get what we want! I am here for that, 100%! But on the other hand, what I am also here to do is to stop you from getting burnt out; from constantly chasing what you want and where you want to be. So here are some ideas to try out when you do feel overwhelmed…

Do one thing at a time

One of the main factors that lead to us feeling overwhelmed is doing too many things at once. And you might be thinking that the solution to this would be getting everything on your to-do list done; but that’s really not the case. Surely you have found yourself doing one thing and while you are doing it, you remember there is something else that’s urgent you need to take care of. Then while doing that you get a text or email notification about something else you need to do. This all sounds familiar right?

The gag about this is that it’s a constant cycle of you thinking you are getting things done meanwhile they are actually piling up. So do one thing at a time, I know it might sound difficult but depending on the kind of person you are, you could either do the easiest tasks first then the hard ones or start with the hard ones then tackle the easy ones.

Spend time away from social media

Now I know you are probably rolling your eyes because you have heard this over and over again being preached by literally everyone around you especially the ‘woke’ fam. But I am here to tell you that you are thinking too deeply about it, it’s not about being woke or being better than anyone else, it’s really just for the stability of your mental health.

The reason why social media makes you feel overwhelmed is because people are constantly posting/showing you their wins – their accomplishments and them living their best life. This then makes you feel like you aren’t progressing in your life merely because you either currently don’t have the energy to be productive or not inspired to be creative or to work on your goals which is also perfectly okay and normal too. So taking time off social media then helps your realign yourself with what you need to be focusing on and it’s also just reminds you that you have your own life to live and it cannot, in anyway, be compared to anyone else.

Taking time off social media then helps your realign yourself with what you need to be focusing on and it’s also just reminds you that you have your own life to live and it cannot, in anyway, be compared to anyone else.

Do something creative

One thing that I honestly feel like is important is to have a creative hobby – it doesn’t have to be just one, it can be 5 but do something creative. One of the important things you learn from having a creative hobby, from my personal experience, is being able to think on your feet and come up with solutions instantly and creatively.

One of my creative hobbies is coloring and sometimes I try to stick to a certain color scheme or pattern then when I accidentally use the wrong color and cannot undo it, I simply switch it up and you could never tell what my initial plan was and it all works out in the end. Setting some time to be creative can help you unwind and reflect. Go for a hobby that doesn’t require much thinking and planning, go for something where mistakes are welcome.

Eat without distractions

This probably doesn’t make sense to you if you are used to being on your phone or watching TV while eating but let me explain it to you. This is somewhat related to doing one thing at a time but also different. Eating is a form of refueling. In this case, think of yourself as a car, it goes everywhere, running around in circles, getting things done with you and then it gets to the point where it is tired and runs out of energy – that’s when you know you need to go to the gas station.

When you are at the gas station, to pump gas, you completely turn off the car and let it rest until it is completely refueled right? Then it’s back on the road because the car will be feeling all good again. That’s you! The best way for you to slow down and gain motivation again is to focus on refueling – when you are eating, let that be the only thing you do.

Practise yoga

You probably anticipated on this one coming up when you read the title of this article because it’s in all the articles about feeling overwhelmed right? Well, that’s not it. Yoga and meditation (which will be the next and last point) are really one of those mindful activities you have to do intentionally to actually understand the ‘hype’ of it all. I have been reluctant to practicing yoga for years now because just like you, I just thought it was weird and pointless.

Until about 4 weeks ago when I set a goal to do 20 minutes of yoga every weekday and I can tell you that it is definitely an activity that makes you zone out and calm down. If you are a skeptic, just give it a try – not to ‘see what this hype is all about’ but because you really want to do it and know that it will change how you feel.


My current favorite mindfulness activity is meditating. Again, this is something you have to want to do, you have to want to understand it and you have to know that it’ll have a positive effect on your wellbeing. Do not do it to ‘test’ it or because you have been pressured to do because trust me, you will not enjoy your experience and you will continue seeing no point in doing it.

Meditation helps when you are overwhelmed, feeling anxious and when you cannot sleep – I have become dependent on meditation through every ‘season’ of my life. If you are an absolute beginner, start off with guided meditations and meditate for about 5 – 10 minutes a day. Just that. Start where I started, with the Balance app, it has been so helpful to me and it will for you too.

Like I said, it is so normal for us to be all over the place – we want to stay up to date with everything while also getting our lives together. Doing all that at the same time can be tiring. Listen to your body, you low-key know when you need to rest or refocus your energy so do not ignore that cry. Keep in mind that taking care of your wellbeing ultimately maximizes your performance on things that are important to you. 

1 Comment

  • […] do I mean by that? Pay attention, close attention, to every little thing that you are doing. When you eat, eat without distractions, focus on your food. Look at your food, notice the texture of it in your mouth. Is it healthy or […]

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    About Me

    About Me

    Hi and welcome! My name is Mbalenhle K but everyone calls me Mbali for short (say: mm-bah-lee). I am a freelance copywriter who loves all things art, experiences and aesthetics (big time Pinterest gworl 🧚🏽)! I am the founder of Budding Regardless where I talk about mindfulness, self-development and self-nurturing for creatives. Read More

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