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11 life hacks for help with being overwhelmed, even when you don't know why

  • Hazel Butterfield
  • 04 September 2018

What is going on? I keep on hearing this, we are in a state of shock as to what appears to be a lingering reality, that we are not quite keeping our shit together. It’s a mixture of being overwhelmed, not feeling in control of our emotional state and lacking our usual ‘joie de vivre’. It comes in fits and spurts and appears to have no rational reason.

11 life hacks for help with being overwhelmed, even when you don't know why


Even the other day I was chatting to a Pilates teacher, a vision of picture perfect life, impeccable ponytail and middle class personified. She was telling me how she can’t hold a thought for more than a few seconds and feels like she is living in an oblivious state at times. Not even picking up on really obvious signs and detail. A bit like spending a whole year not realising the colour of your front door since you moved in or that you’ve forgotten to text back your school friend for 3 months. 

I know so many of us are trying to give less of a fuck, failing, then trying again. However, we are not set in stone.

So in I’ve put together a few of my tips on how to try and combat these issues. I’ve aimed for non-wanky calmness. Gaining control and getting to grip with life as we know it. Some of them are obvious and yet sometimes we just need a reminder of what we need, a push to break habits.

  • Identify what resets your mood; cooking, running, Netflix. Then make time to do it.


  • Surround yourself with people that don’t stress you out. That don’t leave you feeling inadequate, paranoid or not as important as you should feel.


  • Be productive, save some money. Life is so expensive, knowing we have saved money can give us a boost! Phone your TV provider and say your leaving, are there any discounts for you to stay? Sell that coat, watch, blender etc, that you no longer need. Re-broke your insurances. Check what Direct Debits you have active (Bank & Paypal).


  • Create a mind map of what is overwhelming you, it’s a bit like therapy! Detail what you are feeling, the causes, needs, positive and negative elements in your life. Writing this down helps develop clarity rather than muddled about in our heads. 


  • Do something altruistic, be there for somebody else. Put the time in and be the person you want to be there for you.


  • Borrow a dog. It’s so incredibly simple.





  • Learn to check your phone less. I get it, not only do I love WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram etc. I need them for work, but I use this as too much of an excuse and get distracted. Time to make some ground rules. Spend a day logging how often you go on to each platform, depending on your results, trim your usage accordingly. Slowly or cold turkey due to how best you work as a human. They all just add to feelings of loneliness, Fomo, paranoia and before you know it you’ve been drawn in to hours of nonsense....


  • Laughter. What makes you laugh? Your kids? Milton Jones? Trashy telly? Make time for it. It releases mood boosting endorphins - but you already knew that.


  • Read. It’s a fabulous distraction and can train the brain to stop going in a loop. You can also learn something new, have a giggle or live someone else’s life temporarily. Here are a few of my fav’s.


  • Set yourself productive yet achievable goals; 10 minutes of yoga a day, 1 important task dealt with before you switch the telly on each evening, drink a crappy detox tea a day, etc.


  • Smile, even when you don’t feel like it! It’s hard to be as angry/sad/overwhelmed/knackered as you feel when you have a grin on your mush.


Be kinder to yourself...


Failing that: How to pretend you totally have your Shit together. 

Take your pick...

20 Ways You Pretend To Have Your Sh*t Together But Really Don’t

19 Ways To Definitely Look Like You've Got Your Shit Together