Man hiding under laptop

Feeling overwhelmed at work stinks – you feel stressed, tired; mind is racing with 1000 ideas but restricted emotion; and you can not sleep well at night as your brain is continually worrying about how to get it all done and what happens in the event that you don’t. Sound familiar?

My 6 Solutions to release stress

I know this feeling well. Being an overachiever and a consultant for 12+ years, I’ve experienced intense stress at work – some real, some self indulgent – and have frequently felt helpless. The great news is that there are six practical solutions to prevent feeling overwhelmed at work fast. Some of the solutions might appear counter-intuitive but I know from personal experience that they work. If you’re reading this report, then you’ve accomplished the first step – recognizing that you’re overwhelmed and need help. Now, have a deep breathe and gain control again.

Exercise, breathe, believe

When we’re overwhelmed, our body naturally produces more nervous energy and our mind is nearly on over-drive littered with worry. Neither is healthy nor beneficial to us as we can reach a stage of becoming incapacitated. Our instinct is to rush even more rather than stop to eat, think, or workout. Additionally, this is not productive and may result in physical and psychological burnt out. The best way to prevent this downward spiral is to perform a physical exercise for at least 30 minutes (such as a run) which will make you sweat and allow your brain to unwind and think. Make the time. Your body needs to eliminate the nervous energy you’ve accumulated so you’re able to think in your best and get a great night sleep also.

Realize your worries aren’t real

Being overwhelmed at work is usually accompanied by excessive worrying about how your livelihood might be affected if the work isn’t all done. This type of stress is unhelpful, unproductive, and for the most part the figment of your imagination based on insecurities. Just do the best you can and allow the chip fall where they may. Focus on taking actions to get the job done. Once your brain is totally occupied with action, there’s absolutely no room to be worried about imaginary disasters.

Distinguish and fix your expectations

Many times we’re overwhelmed at work and do not realize that we’re the reason behind it. This is particularly true for over-achievers who places undue pressure on ourselves to be perfect. We implicitly form expectations and think they all have to be met to succeed. The fact is many times expectations could be altered to decrease the pressure. For instance, I’ve felt overwhelmed before because I had been attempting to deliver a final, polished presentation on the first attempt along with all my other work. Later, I found out that an imperfect draft was all that was needed by my supervisor that week. Examine the cause of why you’re overwhelmed, distinguish which ones are put by your need to over-achieve, and change those to decrease the pressure. You can not over-achieve if you’re overwhelmed at work.

Prioritize and utilize other solutions

Sometimes we are being too much of a perfectionist. Sometimes, 50 percent of list of to-dos are cosmetic changes which didn’t need to be done. Look at all that you must do and prioritize what is really going to make a major effects. Discard or postpone work which are perfectionist details. I’ve been able to accomplish more and work less ever since that job.

Communicate and negotiate

Don’t struggle alone on the job. When you are feeling overwhelmed, get support from your boss. If you’ve got a great boss, they would want you to be successful. Voice your concerns early about being overwhelmed and request advice. Also come prepared with everything you suggest as an alternative solution – maybe finish your job on A,B,C on time but postpone the work on Y, and Z for a week. Your boss will love being forewarned and may even give you better ideas about how to prioritize.

Share the weight

Also consider asking colleagues for help if they have the time or the knowledge that you want. We can all feel overwhelmed sometimes. You may ask for help this time and return the favor later on.


At the end of the day, feeling overwhelmed at work is often unavoidable when we like to challenge ourselves and progress in our careers. What’s important is catching ourselves early if we feel overwhelmed and utilize the solutions over to calm down, prioritize, and receive help.