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Overwhelmed? Here's how to get out of it.

goals less stress motivation productivity self-care Jun 27, 2021

Do you ever feel like you’re living in the weeds? Drowning in to-do’s? Not able to add one more thing to your list? Unable to take even an hour off?


One of the biggest things that can derail you in becoming 5-Star Future You is getting (and staying) overwhelmed. This used to be a common occurrence for me.

My inbox would get too full…

A bunch of my clients would need something…

My kid would ask me to do something…

And all of a sudden, I’d find myself lying on the floor of my office staring at the ceiling and thinking, “welp. I live here now. I hope my husband will bring me a sandwich.”


Overwhelm causes us to go into survival mode, which means flight, fight, or freeze. For me, it was always freeze.


How much work do you get done when you freeze? Or run away? Or get all worked up and angry? You’re right! It’s zero.

You get zero done and you get stuck in overwhelm.

It’s not your fault and you’re definitely not alone.


How can you get out of overwhelm? I’m going to give you my SUPER QUICK system:


Step 1. Do a brain dump.

Grab a piece of paper and just start writing down everything you can think of… 

that you need to do

that you’re worried about

that’s making you feel stressed.

Write, write, write until you can’t think of anything else.


Step 2. Turn your brain dump into lists.

Some of those things are items you need to take care of. Turn those into a to-do list. We’ll deal with this list in step 3.

Some of the items are things you do not control. Create a second list for those. At the top of the piece of paper write, “Things I don’t control.” 

Believe me, I know it’s hard to let go of stress and worry, even when you know you can’t control the thing, but knowing you don’t control it is the first step in letting it go. Take that list and post it somewhere you will see it all the time, every day. 


Step 3. Pick 3 things from your to-do list and do them.

Pick 3!? Mel, are you crazy? I need to do all of these things!

Listen to Mel… everything cannot be top priority. If everything is top priority, nothing is. CHOOSE ONLY 3 THINGS. 

Now, do those 3 things. 

Then, you can pick 3 more things.

DISCLAIMER: Don’t be silly… If it’s a giant project that you need to do over several months (like writing a book), then obviously you can only to do a portion of that project at a time. So don’t make “write entire book”  one of your three things and then think you can’t do anything else until the book is done. List “write 1 chapter” as one of your three things. Or “write 50 words.” Then, tomorrow you can add it back to your 3 things list.

Got it?


Being overwhelmed takes up a ton of time, energy, and brain space and it does not help you become Future You.

If you’re currently feeling overwhelmed, do these steps now. 

If you’re not currently overwhelmed, save these instructions somewhere Future You will be able to find them. I recommend you create a reminder in your calendar that goes off monthly or weekly and says, “Feeling overwhelmed? Follow these steps.” and then add these instructions in the notes of your calendar reminder. 

Eventually, the process will become a habit that’s triggered any time you feel overwhelmed and you won’t need the calendar reminder.


Staying overwhelmed is a destructive habit.

It can derail you for days, weeks, months… or longer. It takes up time, energy, and brain space and gets in the way of becoming 5-Star Future You.

But you can turn it into a positive habit by training yourself to use this system. 

You’ve got this!



Your 5-Star Life Coach ⭐️

P.S. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, use my 3-step system (above) to get out of it!

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