Handle Overwhelm With These Three Tips


Manage overwhelm this New Year with strategies for relief.

It’s a brand new year! Fireworks, parties, days off from work, New Year’s Resolutions; you can read about my opinion on those here. So much excitement! And yet, so much overwhelm lurking just beneath the surface.

Happy Hogmanay! Happy New Year!

But what if New Year’s secretly stirs up anxious feelings of overwhelm for you? The worry that the initial motivation and willingness to get it all done, peters out come February 1. Okay, for some of us, come January 3. Um, yeah, I’m in that group.

New Year’s: A set up for Overwhelm?

While everyone else may seem full of New Year enthusiasm, today I want to offer you three ways to handle overwhelm, so you don’t go down the rabbit hole, or if you do, you can come back out quickly.

The Trap: “I have to…..”

Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow and you hear 6 more weeks of winter, and if you’re like me, you want to hibernate all your “have to’s” ASAP. 

Winter can be a time for nesting at home. We can take time to learn a new language, organize our closets, catch up on reading and enjoy winter sports. Or – race to the nearby hospital for stitches…as we did, one year, on our first family ice skating escapade.

I had just gotten divorced, and I thought “I have to show everyone that my little boys and I are fine. The three of us will manage better than ever…even if I have to make us have fun!”

On the ice at the local indoor ice rink were Me (Mama), Tyryn and Skylyr: ages 6 and 4. I had ice skated a scant handful of times. The boys, never. I paid for and watched my kids skate in a half-hour beginner class first. Then we were off in exhilaration on our own!

Five minutes in, I was wrapping one baby blue legging round Ty-Ty in an attempt to staunch the blood, generously flowing like wine, from the gash in his forehead.

We three raced in my car to the hospital for stitches. Tyryn bears the scar just above his eyebrow.

Imagine playing in the background…“You’ve got to change your evil ways,” by Santana

Gym memberships surge to record high sales, and the motivation to get in shape, lose weight, get healthy, get a new job, grow your business, ” become a better you…become someone else…the list goes on and on…

How to handle overwhelm tips:

     1. Take it one “whelm” at a time

As you feel the panic start because you have a To Do list longer than your allotted time on earth…take it one overwhelm or “whelm” at a time.

Honestly, I actually say to myself, “Take it one whelm at a time.” It helps me focus my energy and actually figure out what is important at this very moment.

     2.  Avoid The Trap of “I have to…”

Instead, practice catching yourself every time you say or think to yourself, “I have to _______.” and change it to, “I choose to.” It makes a world of difference for our mindset, how we feel and our ability to take action.

     3. Create support

Most of us have too much stuff, too much to do, too many “have to’s” and a myth we should be able to get organized on our own. Says who? 

Try engaging a supportive friend or support group as you climb out of overwhelm.

Hire a professional. Jessika Toothman sheds light about professional organizers and hiring one, in her article, “How Professional Organizers Work: When Should You Hire One?” 

Contrary to what some people may think, even the ones hiring me, you don’t have to do things on your own, especially getting organized. In fact I believe, unless organizing is your passion or area of genius, it’s much wiser to hire help.

Having support from a professional organizer who is able to think you out of the Overwhelm Box will give you relief and lifelong knowledge of how you can manage overwhelm when it happens.

Your turn now! I want to hear what brings on that feeling of overwhelm for you? What have you found helpful when you feel overwhelmed?

In deep gratitude; I love helping you and others one whelm at a time!


I’m a mindset focused professional organizer. I help entrepreneurs, busy moms and attorney clients simplify their papers and spaces. Let me help you go from clutter bug to freedom.