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5 Tips to Combat Feeling Overwhelmed

By: Nina Cassinello

1. Stay organized

Often times the feeling of being overwhelmed stems from being disorganized. I’ve found that by laying out all your tasks and their deadlines at least two weeks prior from when they are due is extremely helpful. One way I do this is by putting all of my assignments and responsibilities into a spreadsheet in chronological order based on the date they’re due, and cross them out whenever I’ve accomplished them. This helps to make all assignments visible and keeps you on track to completing everything on time.

2. Set internal deadlines for yourself

Setting deadlines is crucial for success. These deadlines create a schedule for yourself to follow, which forces you to adhere to a timeline for completing your work in a timely manner. Internal deadlines should be as prioritized as external deadlines. Even though there may not necessarily be an immediate “consequence” for missing a deadline set by yourself, there will be the long term consequence of your work piling up and you feeling behind.

3. Tackle hard tasks first

When looking at responsibilities that overwhelm you, the very best thing you can do is dive right in and tackle them. By doing the hard tasks first it minimizes the bulk of the challenging work, and gives you a sense of accomplishment that translates into confidence. Also, the hardest tasks usually require the most time and the possibility of raising questions. By looking to finish these first, you give yourself more time to answer questions and get additional help if necessary.

4. Don't be afraid to ask for support

I’ve learned that asking for support is nothing to be ashamed of, sometimes it might even be necessary to get yourself back on track. Everyone gets overwhelmed, but it's important not to focus on that feeling and become discouraged, but rather to focus on what you can do to improve yourself. Confide in a professor, friend, trusted advisor, or whoever else you’d be open to sharing your challenges with in order to get their insight and support.

5. Incorporate self care

Do not let whatever is overwhelming you, end up consuming you. What I mean by this, is that it’s important to sometimes take a step back, relax, and reset yourself. Do what makes you happy, whether that may be going for a walk, watching your favorite TV show, eating a home cooked meal, or even online shopping. Sometimes the perfect remedy for feeling overwhelmed is giving yourself a break from the tasks on hand.


About the Author:

Nina Cassinello is a junior from Revere, Massachusetts studying Public Relations. She’s currently an Account Supervisor in PRLab for Ben & Jerry’s Boston and OFoundation Rugby Ayiti. Nina also co-hosts a podcast titled “Proceed With Caution” through WTBU that streams on all platforms! Outside of Boston University, Nina can typically be found shopping on Newbury Street, trying new restaurants around Boston, or drinking an Iced Cinnamon Dolce Latte from Starbucks.

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