≡ Menu

Overwhelmed and Panicked about Everything You Have to Do?

Do you feel like you are being hammered with all of the responsibilities, chores and events that are happening in your life? There is a name for that, and it is called overwhelm, which can lead to a state of panic.  When you are faced with overwhelm, it is easy for a small thing to tip you over and make you feel like you can't get a handle on anything.  


Panic and overwhelm

Photo by Evil Erin


The Power of Five Minutes in Preventing Panic



One of the problems with overwhelm, is that it is takes over and is all consuming. It feels like a cascade, everything is coming at you at once. 

It is impossible to deal with overwhelm, until you step out of it. If you don’t stop the process, the state can lead to an even more non resourceful ones, panic and ongoing anxiety.

Don't underestimate the power of 5 minutes to change the course of your day.  Here are simple ways to take 5 minutes to put things into perspective.

First things first, make a list of everything that you have to do….putting it on paper takes it out of your mind and puts it where it belongs, in a to do list, concrete evidence of what you need to do. Set your timer!

Lay down!  Take 5 minutes to close your eyes and rest!! While you are there, take those pictures in your mind and make them dim and small…..turn off any voices in your head that are chattering at you about ALL the things you have to do….or make them lower…..

Take a deep breath!  When you are stressed, do you hold your breath?  Stand tall and take in that life giving, energizing dose of oxygen that you have deprived yourself of by being stressed.

Gently stretch!  Touch your toes, reach your arms over your head, do a gentle side bend or yoga move that you are comfortable with…..

Exercise!  I keep a hula hoop in my room, a large hula hoop, and 5 minutes of that certainly takes your mind in a meditative place! A five minute walk can work wonders, especially if you have a pet you can take with you. 


Replace Your Panic Button!


Instead of hitting the panic button, replace it with a recharge button! Focus clearly on something else, like a favourite picture or a great memory! Funny videos on YouTube or videos of rolling kittens work too.   (just don't get lost there!)

My recharge button is a picture of a serene mountain scene with bright blooming flowers and a stream of water. Perhaps yours is a pet.  People who have pets that they can touch, like a dog or cat, feel calm when they spend a few minutes with them.

Think about it. How can you incorporate this into your life, easily? What is your recharge button? 


Make a Happiness List to Change Your Focus


A great tool to have is a happiness list.  You have heard of a gratitude list.  This is similar except that instead of writing down why you are grateful, you write down what makes you happy. 

It's simple and it's very effective.  Take out a paper and a pen/pencil and list what makes you happy.

Is it a cup of hot steaming cocoa on a hot winter's day, your cold hands wrapped around a warm mug?

Is it the look in the eyes of a loved one?

The feel of soft, newly washed sheets on your skin? 

Put down the simple things……it has to be realistic. While we probably would love to win the lottery, it's not realistic to put on a happiness list, is it?  : D When you think of small and easy ways to be happy, the larger obstacles that are panicking you, fade into the background. 

Sample list

Being alive….how often do we forgot that just being alive is a blessing?

Your health…..even with health challenges, you can focus on one small aspect of good health that you have.

Your family….look for the tiny details that make you happy

and so on….. 

You might surprise yourself…..just like that….


Forgiveness is Essential to Prevent Panic


How does forgiveness come to play with overwhelm?  In order to create the state of overwhelm, at some point in time, you allowed yourself to say "yes" to more than you can handle.  Forgive yourself for that. 

Forgive yourself for having needs. We all do and it is very common to forget that we have needs and that is a normal and necessary part of life.  No super capes allowed!! 

Forgive yourself for being imperfect.  Perfection is a game that none of us can afford to play.  It is a game that you cannot win.  We are all imperfect and when you realize that, you won't allow yourself to be overwhelmed.  

I was talking to a client yesterday evening,when she was feeling overwhelmed and panicky.  I reminded her of the advice that we are given when we are flying in an air plane. The stewardess always reminds us to put our oxygen mask on first, before we help anyone else.

What is your "oxygen mask"? Unless you take care of yourself, you can't take care of anyone else. Remember that and smile!


The following two tabs change content below.


I am a Relationship Coach who helps others create happy, healthy, loving relationships…including the relationship they have with themselves…by breaking through those blocks and barriers to success. I use various techniques gathered through training as a Master Practitioner of NLP, timeline, hypnosis and common sense gathered through life experience.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Lisa Birnesser November 19, 2011, 10:25 pm

    Great article, Sherie! I love the happiness list tip. it’s really does help in a panic situation. Thanks!

    • Sherie November 19, 2011, 11:40 pm

      Thank you, Lisa! The happiness list is one of my favourites! : D

  • Susan Preston November 19, 2011, 9:46 am

    I love this article, Sherie! Your suggestions are wonderful. I will give myself a “Time Out” for 5 minutes when I am starting to feel overwhelmed and just let myself just ‘Be.’ This, as well as staying in the Now and being grateful works well for me as well as I am already incorporating your great tips into my life. Thank you!

    • Sherie November 19, 2011, 11:18 am

      Thank you for your lovely comment, Susan!

  • Norma Doiron @Living|Healthy|Wealthy|Wise November 18, 2011, 7:16 am

    Recharge! Love it… (-_-) Thanks for sharing. x0x
    NormaDoiron @ The LEARNED Preneur ╰☆╮

    • Sherie November 18, 2011, 10:34 am

      Thank you, Norma!

  • Solvita November 17, 2011, 11:04 am

    Thanks Sharie …great list from a masterful coach! We all have to replace the panic button with recharge one! 😉

    • Sherie November 17, 2011, 11:20 am

      Thanks so much, Solvita!! Yes, replacing the panic button with a recharge button can make such a difference. : )

  • Dr. Daisy Sutherland November 17, 2011, 8:18 am

    Excellent post with tips that are definitely doable! Love the recharge button…I actually do that and find myself completely recharged…not letting overwhelm take over..no ma’am! Not here:)

    • Sherie November 17, 2011, 11:19 am

      Awesome, Daisy!! We all need to keep a recharge button handy! There you go, kicking that overwhelm in the pants!!

  • Anita November 17, 2011, 8:04 am

    Super information! I love the happiness list…working on mine right now.

    • Sherie November 17, 2011, 11:17 am

      Thanks, Anita! Glad to hear you are working on your happiness list!! : D

  • Nancy Olson, The Celiac Warrior November 17, 2011, 8:02 am

    Great article! This is me at times and the next I feel so controlled for a long streach of days and then boooom, so thanks for the tips!

    • Sherie November 17, 2011, 11:16 am

      Thanks, Nancy! It does get like that sometimes, doesn’t it??

  • Michele November 17, 2011, 5:34 am

    I love the comparison to the oxygen mask. We do need to care for ourselves first.
    Thanks Sherie

    • Sherie November 17, 2011, 11:15 am

      : D Thanks, Michele! We really do need to take care of ourselves, first!!

  • Stephanie November 17, 2011, 2:38 am

    Sherie you must have written this for me! It occurred to me 2 days ago, I wouldn’t be so overwhelmed if I had a list! Thanks for a great post!

    • Sherie November 17, 2011, 11:15 am

      Glad to help, Stephanie!! Thank you!

  • Lorii Abela November 16, 2011, 11:10 pm

    Great article! Thank you for sharing this! Very nice advices and insights!

    • Sherie November 16, 2011, 11:17 pm

      Thanks, Lorii!

  • Edmund Lee November 16, 2011, 8:28 pm

    Hitting the *Recharge Button*. Love it!

    • Sherie November 16, 2011, 11:17 pm

      Thank you, Edmund! : D

  • Julie Weishaar November 16, 2011, 5:11 pm

    Hi Sherie, Are you sitting here next to me? LOL Man you are so right! Just dragged myself away from my computer for a little while to get some shopping done and I do feel re-refreshed! Panic button – GO AWAY! 🙂

    • Sherie November 16, 2011, 6:11 pm

      Julie, your comment is hilarious!! Love it! Yes…..I am sitting next to you! ; )

  • Anastasiya Day November 16, 2011, 1:17 pm

    Great article! Love this – … Instead of hitting the panic button, replace it with a recharge button! 🙂 Very good insights and advice!

    • Sherie November 16, 2011, 2:38 pm

      Thank you, Anastasiya!! I appreciate your comment!! : D

  • Lorrie November 16, 2011, 12:35 pm

    Very good insights and advice. Amazing what a gift our breath is when we remember to bring our full attention to it.

    • Sherie November 16, 2011, 12:38 pm

      It certainly is, Lorrie!! Thank you for coming by and commenting, I appreciate it!

  • Rob Hodgins November 16, 2011, 5:09 am

    The first two paragraphs describe where I’ve been so many times!!
    Thank you for showing me how to change the way I look at “overwhelm.”

    • Sherie November 16, 2011, 11:17 am

      You’re welcome, Rob! We’ve all been there, haven’t we??

  • Jennifer @ Apps for Homeschooling November 15, 2011, 4:11 pm

    Whew. I’m off to lay down right now in that case!!

    • Sherie November 15, 2011, 4:47 pm

      Yes, go do that, now!!! : D