Burned out and under-resourced: tips for dealing with overwhelm

dealing with overwhelm

If you had been at our place on the weekend, you would’ve seen a lady hunched over the bench, stifling a scream with a batch of flatbread dough. Not dealing with overwhelm in an awesome way.

I basically hit the wall and had just had enough. I felt REALLY tired. Burnt. Out.

It was one of those moments where a little thing pushes you over the edge. I had blended up some ice block mixture using kiwifruit that were about to turn. Then I couldn’t find the ice block holder things anywhere and only five of the 8 handles had turned up. It really pissed me off. I’M JUST TRYING TO DO THE RIGHT THING WITH LEFTOVER FRUIT, PEOPLE. WHY DOES IT HAVE TO BE SO FREAKEN HARD.

I was really overwhelmed. I wanted to sink onto the floor and whisper ‘hold me’ into its shiny woodenness. It seemed that everywhere I looked there was a mountainous pile of rotten crap that needed to be cooked, cleaned, sorted or in some way administered.

Our crap.

And I had heaps of shit to do (in an hour) before we could leave the house to visit friends. So I did what any self-respecting overwhelmed person does. I had a beer, even though it was only 2pm.

Then I continued to make my flatbread pizzas and take things one step at a time. Like a person from the asylum, learning how to weave a basket. Step-by-step. With the occasional bit of rocking. All with the helping hand of husband making sure I was OK (and didn’t chuck another hissy in front the of the children).

I know many of you are like me, we take on too much. And then get overwhelmed. It’s important to know how to be resilient to these times as they happen to most of us at some time or another.

Here’s me a few years ago in the shell of our house. Somewhat overwhelmed at how much had to be done before the sprog arrived. Because why wouldn’t you start renovating seven weeks before you’re about to give birth. What a Very Good Plan.

Here are some tips that might help you to bounce back and get shit done when you’re unmotivated and struggling with burn out.

1. Eat the elephant one bite at a time

If you’re in one of those freakout moments, take a deep breath, then just focus on one tiny thing at a time. Be 100% present, in the moment and do your job bit-by-bit. Don’t think about the big picture or what needs to happen next. Focus on the now.

2. Know what is important to you

Know what pushes your buttons and create a contingency plan. I don’t care so much about things being super clean, but being organised and able to quickly find things is important (and then tidiness tends to be a side effect which is awesome). And when I can’t find things I lose the plot.  My plan involved writing down a list of the key areas around the house that I needed to organise and I am sorting through the areas in the lead up to Christmas. It’s about prioritising your time to focus on the things that are most important.

3. Don’t procrastinate

I have a long list of to-do’s at the moment. It keeps getting longer. This week I’ve decided I’m going to focus on knocking a bunch of stuff off the list. To help me I’ve instigated Sonia’s amazing sanity folder. Mine is really ugly, nowhere near as glam as Sonia’s (note the peg in the absence of being able to find a bulldog clip). I’ve called it the Control Freak File and I think its awesome.


4. Remember you’re not a robot

Just because we are adults/parent doesn’t mean we have to enjoy doing the crappy jobs. Sometimes you just don’t feel motivated to do some tasks. That’s cool, you’re not a robot. Accept they suck and then just do them (refer point 3). Get them done when you know you are at your best, which for me is first thing in the morning. And then take a few minutes to congratulate yourself for a job well done.

5. Simplify and be grateful

Don’t forget that in the bigger scheme of things, none of this stuff really matters. You can only do your best and try as best you can to get along in this busy life and busy world. Be grateful for what you have and try not to focus on the negative. And give simplifying a go too, the less stuff you have, the less you have to organise! 😉

6. Rest

Once you’ve done what you need to do, have a rest. When you’re feeling burnt out you need to look after yourself!

The wrap up

I focused on these 6 things over the weekend and had had implemented 2,3 and 6 by the end of the weekend. I cracked through three areas of the house the needed sorting. I can truly say I felt so much better. I slept really well on Sunday night and walked into Monday feeling a lot better. Ready the face the world 😉

Here’s some other posts you may be interested in if you are feeling overwhelmed:

Written By

Gillian is a marketing savant and brand strategist with over 20 years of experience in above and below the line marketing, digital strategy and creative direction. She is an exceptional people person who loves to collaborate with clients every step of the way to achieve the best possible outcome. Gillian is also a successful makeup-artist and make-up obsessive who loves to share her tricks of the trade and help women to look good and feel great.


    • So true Malinda, I wish I had been proactive! I definitely had overloaded myself…… Good reminder, thanks!!

  • Oh my goodness ladycakes. I. Am. With. You.
    My house is currently in a chaotic state and although I’m at work right now, it’s all I can think about. But I won’t have any time to deal with it until sometime over the weekend. In the meantime, I’ll just do little jobs I can squeeze in – like doing the dishes, putting my husband’s shoes away, making the bed.
    And breathe! Mustn’t forget to breathe. Better add that to the list… x

    • Thanks darling, but I’m sorry you are going through it too. It’s frustrating isn’t it! I just like things in their place and I get really freaked out when everything is out of control (maybe we should write a blog “ControlFreaksRUs” hahahahaha). I hope you get lots of time over the weekend to get sorted! xx MWAH

  • Fantastic and spot on advice! Glad to know I’m not the only one who loses the plot sometimes! I’m working hard on prevention these days (I made a mental health promise to myself). It’s definitely a work in progress but I think I’m doing OK!

    • Well done you!!! Prevention is so important but sometimes it’s hard to remember how to not overload. SIGH. Very good idea though to make a mental health promise! I love that!!!! xx

  • I hear you, Gillian. Been feeling quite overwhelmed myself lately and like you the smallest thing has potential to push me over the edge. Thanks for the great tips x

    • Aw I’m sorry to hear that Renee 🙁 I mean it’s not to be expected as we’re nearing the end of the year hey! It seems we are not alone. But please look after yourself lovely lady and make sure you try and get a few Champagne Moments in during this crazy silly season!!! Hugs xxxx

  • It’s the photo you told me about! Sweetie sometimes all it takes is an ice block thingy. For me the other day it was the heat and the other half leaving the screen door open that pushed me almost to the edge, then I opened the cupboard to find he’d put the wine glasses in the wrong pissing cupboard, even though I tell him all the time where they go. I yelled and swore like a crazy wharfie and then I cried.So I went to Aldi and bought myself a bunch of roses, but I digress. Lists are my friends and allies, if I have a list I function better. I love your peg look, no need to apologise, bulldog clips are overrated.

Leave a Reply