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Can you pass the overwhelm test?

Updated: Mar 1, 2022

If I was to ask you what you have on for today, what would your answer be? Are you looking at a breezy day, where you get to engage in meaningful tasks, have some fun activities, play with your kids?

Or would you tell me to go away, because you can’t possibly remember everything that you have to attend to from the endless tasks on your to-do list?

Whatever the answer, you are not a stranger to overwhelm. A lot of us feel overwhelmed if not permanently, then from time to time. But the distinction is how do you manage it, so you can still have a life?

In today’s blog post I uncover a thing or two about overwhelm and what to do to manage it better.

Why do you feel overwhelmed?

You may feel stressed and pressured but that does not mean that automatically you will feel overwhelmed. It is true that stress and overwhelm are interconnected, and often one cannot exist without the other. But both can make you feel out of control. And that is what makes you feel overwhelmed in the first place.

Certain events in your life may bring some traction, but they won’t cause you overwhelm until they all pill up. In simple terms, overwhelm happens when the demand for our time and energy exceeds our resources.

It is easy to feel overwhelmed because there are always demands on us. And they can come from many directions, but ultimately, they all lead to the inside of us. Striving to be perfect, to not disappoint anyone, and to meet all expectations are classic signs of overwhelm. The need of being all to everyone, to have all are all ingredients in the overwhelm mix.

The biggest distinction between stress and overwhelm is where it comes from. Stress is a biological reaction and as such cannot be stopped. However, overwhelm comes from our perception of what is important.

Letting go

I suspect that you have been living an overwhelmed life for a while now. You most likely tried different strategies to take hold of it. But somehow you always ended up right where you started.

I used to re-arrange the tasks on my to-do list trying to figure out the best way to complete them all. None of the prioritizing techniques work until I realised that I can’t do it all. We often think that we need to attend to every possible thing that is thrown our way, that we need to say yes to every question asked, that we need to be in every place. But the trick here is to apprehend that we shouldn’t and let go.

The concept of letting go is widely popular in a lot of spiritual schools of thought. Letting go is an act of understanding our own limitations and embracing them. To let something go means to accept it.

Can you accept that it is not attenable to be all and have all and let it go?

How important is it?

Now that you embraced the concept of letting go, we need to check on your importance level.

It is in our human nature to want to be the best, to show that we can and that we are capable of juggling many tasks at the same time. And I am certain that some of us can. But what is the price you are willing to pay for it? And why do you feel that you should?

Wouldn’t it be better to focus your precious time and energy on what is truly important to you?

Overwhelm creeps into our day because we no longer know what is truly important to us. Maybe for many years, we have been doing things that were important to others, without even asking ourselves if they carried the same weight to us. Asking ourselves what matters to us is not selfish. It is a path to letting go of what is no longer serving us.

Say no

I like to think that things happen sinusoidally. They come up and go down and then go up again. When we were kids, we heard the word ‘no’ many more times than the word ‘yes’. It was simply for our protection: don’t touch the plate, it is hot, don’t cross the street on the red light, don’t talk to strangers. And then we grew up and somehow, we started saying yes to everything: yes, I will pick up that dry cleaning, yes, I will work extra hours on that project, yes, I will look after your kids, yes, I will.

Now, our days are filled to the last minutes with all the ‘yes-es’. It is time to flex our ‘no’ muscle a little. Are you saying too many ‘yes’ to things that don’t excite you and out of obligation when you know you need to be saying ‘no’?


We live in fast-paced reality. There will be always demands on our time, energy and we will often find ourselves feeling overwhelmed. When you feel that the tasks are piling up, but your time and energy are shrinking, it is time to do something about it. Living in a state of overwhelm is not sustainable.

Can you see that you don’t need to be all and have all? Are you putting extra pressure on yourself because you feel it is expected of you? Accepting that you don’t have to do it all and letting go can be very liberating.

What is important to you? Are you directing your resources towards what matters to you or are you attending to everything that comes your way? Only because something is important to somebody else, doesn’t mean it is equally important to you. And that is fine.

The more ‘yes’ you say, the more overwhelmed you will be. We often say yes due to obligation but saying ‘no’ to things that drain us is not selfish, is an act of self-love.

How about you? Can you pass the overwhelm test?

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Having problems with managing your stress? Go on: to find out more about Anna Doktor Wellness Coaching and how I can help you to beat the overwhelm once and for all. Alternatively, send me an email at or call to have a chat to see how we can work together tel: 0498016440.

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