5 Ways to manage overwhelm, stay stress free and still get things done

5 Ways to Manage Overwhelm and Stay Stress-Free.png

The OVERWHELM is real. We have probably all had times were we crumble under the pressure of doing it all. The tears flow. The frustration is real. 

I was recently asked to speak at my local specialty store, Runner’s Alley about “how I do it all?” The manager there invited me to talk about balance and “lift the curtain,” so to speak on how I’m able to run competitively, run a business, manage a household and homeschool. 

In this social media-dominated world, it can be easy to feel like everyone else is “doing it all” and doing it all well, except for you. It’s that pit of comparison we sometimes fall into because what we see is often times the “highlight reel” as it is so often called.

I shared my five guiding principles for managing overwhelm and staying stress-free when it comes to demands on my time and energy.

Don’t strive for balance.

Our best lived lives are unbalanced.Think about the moments when you are most at peace, happiest and most fulfilled. Are in balance in those moments? Chances are you answer is no. Often times peace, happiness and fulfilment come as a result of complete focus. So if the moments that are most important in our lives are when we are out of balance then why the heck are we striving for balance over the whole of our lives? Striving to “balance it all” is going to create a lot of conflict. 

Homeschooling is demanding and requires an “all-in” kind of focus—balance and multitasking don’t work here. Photo Credit: Raya on Assignment

Homeschooling is demanding and requires an “all-in” kind of focus—balance and multitasking don’t work here. Photo Credit: Raya on Assignment

Be honest with yourself

What are your expectations? For yourself, for family, for relationship. Are they realistic? If your expectations are unrealistic then you’re setting yourself up to feel overwhelmed and experience a lot of conflict. 


If you are currently feeling conflicted, be curious about the conflict, are you unhappy? What has to change? A lot of times we feel the conflict and we gloss over it, ignore it and move on. But what if we figured out what is the conflict trying to teach us?

Be honest with yourself about your expectations and let go of perceived expectations of others. Photo Credit: Raya on Assignment

Be honest with yourself about your expectations and let go of perceived expectations of others. Photo Credit: Raya on Assignment

When conflict and discomfort causes us to grow and change, we tap into crafting a life we really love: a life of happiness, a life of peace, a life of fulfillment.

Ask for help

We don’t ask for help unless we value ourselves and our ideas. 

Let that sink in. For a long time I didn’t ask for help. I was too worried I was inconveniencing my family and friends. 

Now I have a team. A mix of hire help and help from family. This team of people allows me to pursue my goals and dreams. It comes in the form of childcare from family and our babysitter, a virtual assistant, and women who comes and cleans a few times a month. 

Photo Credit: Raya on Assignment

Photo Credit: Raya on Assignment

And that’s just the physical help with schedule management. I work with a running coach and spent some time last year working with a business coach. I’ve seen therapists for mental health and physical health. From time to time there’s a massage and visits to the chiropractor. There’s also a group of ladies who I chat with monthly about all things running and business, you might call it a ‘mastermind.’

I’m constantly emailing people who know more than I do for advice. I ask brands to sponsor my retreat. 

I am always asking for help. I’ve heard “no” more times than I’ve heard “yes.” But I keep asking.

You won’t get what you want unless you value yourself enough to ask. 

There is no shame in having a team. 

Stay grounded in ritual and habit

For me that’s my morning routine: espresso, journal, read, meditate, run. I think a morning routine is critical, but even if you’re not a morning person you can find time to create ritual and habit in so many places.

habits like journaling and meditation are key to managing stress. Photo Credit: Raya on Assignment

habits like journaling and meditation are key to managing stress. Photo Credit: Raya on Assignment

Maybe it is your run or maybe you take a few moments before bed to reflect. Whatever form you habits or rituals take, those moments are important because that’s when we have the mental space and margin to be honest with ourselves, to figure out who to ask for help and to ultimately find peace. 

Get help creating a sustainable morning routine with this FREE guide and template.

Love yourself first 

We toss around this “self-love” and “self-care’ thing casually, it’s a popular buzz phrase that at this time is borderline annoying. But if we pull all the popularity of it, the hype and overuse, and get to the truth of it, it really is important. Really important.

Photo Credit: Raya on Assignment

Photo Credit: Raya on Assignment

Love is the key to every life choice and learning to love myself has unlocked so much confidence and clarity, bringing me to a place of peace. It’s when we truly love, value and honor ourselves that we are able to be who we were always meant to be. And once we settle into who we were always meant to be the people around us and the world as a whole benefits.  

If you don’t have a solid foundation in love and caring for yourself first then you won’t have compass to navigate the conflict, you won’t have the confidence to ask for what you need, and you won’t be able to know really brings you peace because you won’t be at peace with yourself. 

The overwhelm will keep coming back unless you know who you are and love who you are.

How do you handle the overwhelm? Do you have a personal philosophy towards stress, responsibility and life demands?

-Sarah

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