Top Tips to Overcome Overwhelm – Guest Blog by Michelle Reeves

My Top Tips to Overcome Overwhelm

By Michelle Reeves of Michelle Reeves Coaching

There is nothing worse than the feeling of overwhelm.Michelle Reeves  

When I think about the times I’ve felt completely overwhelmed I get all sweaty and uncomfortable – like I’m reliving the whole thing over again. Churning stomach, tumbling thoughts, rising panic… eurgh it’s a horrible place to be.

For example, in 2009 I hit rock bottom. After a successful career in the City I was struggling to get through each day. I was an expat in China, with a premature baby daughter who struggled to feed or sleep, and I didn’t really care what happened to me. Overwhelm hit me like a brick. On the day I was diagnosed with Post Natal Depression my new start – my journey back to ME – began.

And step by step, day by day, I found myself again.

I started sharing my story through blogging around this time and having a creative outlet was definitely an essential part of my therapy. But while I became a positive person on the outside – full of energy and busyness on the inside – my glass was still almost permanently half empty.

I strongly believe that negativity can become a habit – it was for me. Through therapy, time and support I recovered from postnatal depression but even so negativity was my first reaction to a situation, with negative words often tumbling out of my mouth before my brain had time to engage and stop them. And whenever I felt overwhelmed in a situation it would rear it’s head again.

When I feel overwhelmed I want to run away, I want to escape, bury my head in the sand, or at least in a good book or an afternoon of trashy tv. But I know from experience that it really doesn’t help… the reasons I feel overwhelmed in the first place are still there lurking in the background ready to bubble back up to the surface again.

One of the questions I’m asked most is how I broke this habit of negativity and how I continue to stay positive and overcome that horrible feeling of overwhelm on a daily basis.

As a life coach, business owner, ambassador for brands and the MIND mental health charity and a mum of two, it’s sometimes tough to find time in the day for ME, let alone anything else!

But I DO find the time for me. Every. Single. Day. And I feel passionately that every woman should try to do the same. As busy mamas, wives, sisters, daughters, colleagues so much of our daily routines revolve around everyeone BUT ourselves. I was in that exact, same place. Wanting to take a time-out (without feeling guilty about it) to discover my more positive, happier and successful self.

My default negativity took time to build up and become a part of my life. So if I wanted positivity and joy to be part of my every day, it followed that they needed to become habits too. To break the habit of negativity I realised I needed to create a new normal – a new routine that would interntionally create the space in my day to help me practice my positive habits – my 8 happiness habits – every single day and help to overcome that feeling of overwhelm.

So I created one. A routine that gives me time back for ME. That boosts my positivity and self-esteem every day. That helps me reach what I call my ‘I’m-a-mama-but-still-me’ goals. That sets me on the right course, with purpose, every morning and puts me to bed with gratitude.

And it worked. People started noticing the new, more positive me and I knew that I had to share it with others. So I urge you, make time in the day for YOU. Even just 15 minutes to

yourself can make all the difference to your wellbeing.

Michelle’s top 5 tips for overcoming overwhem: Taken from her free 5 day challenge – How to Overcome Overwhelm (sign up at 

#1 – Identify your overwhelm triggers

What sets off that feeling for you? Once we know what starts us down that path we can look at how to anticipate those triggers and put plans in place to stop them before they start

#2 – Clear the mind-clutter

Stop your mind whirring with to-dos and get a fresh start by writing everything you need to get done in one long list – on paper or sticky notes, in your phone using an app like Evernote, Keep or Google Docs or on your laptop.

When everything’s out of your head take a mental time out. Go for a walk, drink a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy the feeling of being ’empty’ for a few moments. When your mind’s been in overdrive you need to take a moment to let those cogs stop whirring!

Then, when you’re back and ready to move forward, you can start prioritising your list.

#3 – Practise self-care

Eat healthily, sleep, take time out to enjoy something for YOU every day, learn to say ‘no’ if you have a habit of taking on too much and ditch perfectionism if you can!

#4 – Plan ahead

Being organised, planning ahead and allowing enough time to get things done can help to keep overwhelm at bay – particularly as doing anything with kids can take twice as long as you think! Identify your ‘time-suckers’ – the things that sap you of precious time like the internet and social media – and make a mental note to avoid them when you need to get things done.

#5 – Practise perspective

When we feel overwhelmed even the smallest challenges can feel like huge obstacles! Taking a step back to see the bigger picture reminds us that this is just one moment in time and that it will pass. How to do this – look forward a year or two and think how important this issue will be to you then or think back a year or two and think about how much has changed. 

Michelle Reeves is a life & goals coach, MIND charity ambassador for West Essex, entrepreneur and busy mama of two under eight. She is passionate about helping busy mamas rediscover the positive, passionate, powerful and productive woman they were before Motherhood. Michelle is also the creator of the Happiness Habits Routine TM an 8- week eCourse to help busy mamas create their own simple daily routine using her 8 happiness habits. You can find out more about the course at and browse Michelle’s free resources at