Too much on our to-do lists can overwhelm us. It’s only natural that if we take on too much, we will eventually become overwhelmed.
I get overwhelmed when I overcommit myself and take on more than I should. I also get overwhelmed when I am wakened before my alarm clock goes off. Sleep is very precious to me because I have such low energy a lot of times. I need all the rest I can get at night.
When the paper being thrown at our door, my son rising early, or my husband stirring around wakens me, I immediately become discouraged. I begin to think of all I have to do for the day and I am overwhelmed.
So many times I have let being overwhelmed take my whole day hostage. On days like these I get nothing accomplished. Then the cycle starts of me feeling bad that I didn’t get anything done so I go to bed to rest then am wakened early the next morning only to start the day discouraged again.
So what can we do when we are faced with being overwhelmed?
As a believer, my first step should always be to stop and pray. However, so many times I fail to communicate with God. I try to do things in my own strength and fail miserably. When I pray and ask for God’s help, strength, and wisdom, I am much better prepared to handle whatever comes my way.
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While turning our burdens over to God is important, we must remember that He does not want us to just wait for Him to act. We are active participants in that we need to do our part in whatever He has called us to do.
Here are three practical tips for easing your burden when you are overwhelmed.
- Make a list of everything that absolutely NEEDS to get done. I stressed the word NEEDS because sometimes we take on tasks that we WANT to do but are not necessary at the moment. For instance, you may have committed to providing snacks for your child’s class one day this week so you decide to bake cookies from scratch. While homemade cookies are nice, if you have a ton of other things that need to get done, bakery cookies will work just as well.
- Prioritize your list. Put the tasks that have the shortest deadline first. Get those out of the way and you will have a huge burden lifted from your shoulders.
- If all of your tasks have the same deadline, attack the hardest tasks first. Again, if you begin chipping away at something you’ve been dreading or know is complicated, you will feel a great sense of relief when those tasks are done.
What do you do when you are overwhelmed?