What happens when you are feeling overwhelmed?

November 30, 2020


Dr. Keira Barr

Did you know upwards of 80% of all doctor’s visits are for stress? And that skin issues are the #1 reason people go to the doctor? Translation: stress and skin issues go hand in hand. So, how does one stop feeling overwhelmed?

In my mid-to-late 30’s, I was burning the candle at both ends. There was my academic career, two young kids, and training for consecutive ultra marathons. I really wanted to point a finger at my crazy schedule!

But as my health started to crumble with mood swings, chronic pain, bloating, and menstrual irregularities; I found how stress was a significant contributor to it all. And that if left unchecked, it can really disrupt every system in our body; from hormones to the skin, sleep, and more.

After discovering I was in perimenopause and diagnosing myself with melanoma, I quickly realized how EVERYTHING is connected.

Are hormones to blame for everything?

Pushing through and striving for constant productivity is culturally ingrained in us. And it makes us feel guilty or that something is wrong with us if we can’t keep up. But when you’re going in a million directions at once, you wind up ignoring your body’s natural rhythms. Shifts in your hormonal biochemistry have significant repercussions on your hormonal health. Poor hormonal health will impact your mood and wreck your skin. It will tank your ability to exercise, making you gain weight. Your periods become irregular and your relationships become strained.

You may feel anxious like your foot is constantly on the accelerator and you can’t fall asleep. It’s such a vicious cycle!

As women, we often blame estrogen and progesterone for all the crazy sh$t that starts happening in our mid-late 30’s. Yet it’s true, our diminishing hormones have a lot to do with the crazy sh$t that happens. That is because, for many of us, perimenopause begins during this time. 

But those symptoms you’re experiencing:  hot flashes, anxiety, weight gain, irritability, and breakouts are a lot harder to manage if you can’t manage your stress. So what steps can you take to stop feeling overwhelmed?

3 Tips To Help You Stop Feeling Overwhelmed

If you feel like you’re doing “all the things” but still struggling with symptoms, feeling constantly stressed, and don’t feel like yourself, consider the following:

Strip it Down

Instead of trying to fit it all in, ask yourself what is the most important thing (at most top 3 things) that needs to get done today. Prioritize your tasks. Additionally, break down your most important tasks into bite-sized chunks. By doing this, you will be able to complete your to-do list with ease. So, get ready, and set yourself up for success.

Negotiate Your Non-Negotiables

 What do you need for YOU daily so that you experience joy? That feeling that you are aligned with your bigger vision? That sense of satisfaction when you know you are working towards your goals? These things are your non-negotiables. Anything not on that list – delete or delegate.

Tap into Your Village

You are used to shouldering the load when it comes to juggling kids/homeschooling, career, household, and connections. However,  you can’t do it all alone. It does take a village and there is one waiting to support you. Could you ask a friend or colleague for support? Or for a referral to get that support to lighten your load?

We can’t get rid of stress. In small doses, it’s actually good for us. So how can you leverage it to work for you not against you?