What To Do When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed

‘Busy’ is a word many of us employ to describe our state of affairs. Some people complain about being busy, for others it is a source of pride. Between our obligations as either a worker or a student, which in themselves demand copious amounts of attention, we have to balance some form of social life, exercise, errands, the occasional bit of ‘me-time’ to prevent burnout. Life in the modern world is increasingly characterised by never-ending to do lists and a search for how to master productivity while leaving room to unwind and actually enjoy the human experience.

What to do when you're overwhelmed

Granted, I am someone who likes being busy. I like a clear goal, a multidimensional schedule that raises the significance of quieter moments. I think many of us can relate to the restlessness which goes hand in hand with unforeseen boredom. However, ‘overwhelm’ is also a phenomenon most of us are familiar with. It signifies the fine line between a healthy level of bustle, and our life coming apart into infinitesimal pieces, making us wish for the power to be in two places at once. You find yourself working 24/7, fuelled by four hours of sleep and oceans of coffee. You question: ‘why does nothing get done despite all of this effort?‘ Perhaps, you have a few projects scattered about, each half way to completion, and you spiral into the trap of trying to do them all at once. In the meantime, empty boxes desperate for a tick loom next to each item on your to-do list and your workload keeps piling up and up and up. Nothing you do delivers a sense of accomplishment or enjoyment. You lie awake at night, cursing the constraints of a 24-hour day and weeks that seem to conclude before they’ve even started.

How to not feel overwhelmed

At such moments, the risk of you burning out or voluntarily giving up is at its highest. Overwhelm is a common trigger of anxiety, insomnia, scenarios of failure and unmet deadlines rushing through your mind. Thus, I would recommend laying down a clear strategy of not only recognising spikes in your daily activity, but also preventing a normal level of stress transforming into something malicious and damaging. As I discuss later in the post, we must also acknowledge that we are susceptible to unnecessary pressure both from ourselves and society at large, learning to distinguish what genuinely requires a sense of urgency within a puddle of things the futility of which you may only recognise with the power of hindsight.

Overwhelmed what to do

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So, yours truly is here to share some of her wisdom, and a few honest tips that may help you plough through a period of overwhelm. Stress, while impossible to eliminate in its entirety (and, trying to do so is counterproductive), does not have to reach unprecedented proportions.  View Full Post

Bullet Journaling For Productivity – 5 Spread Ideas

Most of us have an ambiguous relationship with bullet journals. We love them because they enhance our productivity, give us a place to track our thoughts and tie our lives together in a visual formal. Yet, we envy the presentability and aesthetic appeal standards set by Instagram and Pinterest. For this reason, I would like to preface this post with a reminder: your bullet journal absolutely does not have to look pretty in order for it to be effective. In fact, 90% of my bullet journal pages (in particular, weekly spreads) are covered in unsightly scribbles and take under five minutes to configure in the first place.

The are a couple of reasons for why the bullet journal images you see on my blog linger above the threshold of presentability. Firstly, in light of a pre-planned blog post, I want to create a better experience for my readers. Secondly, hand lettering, doodling and implementing colour schemes on a couple of my bullet journal pages acts, for me, as a creative outlet, which is something I believe most of us need. My study notes or anything destined to remain hidden from public consumption paint a different impression. And as an inherently ‘messy’ person with handwriting that can only be described as abysmal, I need reassurance that I do, in fact, posses a hint of artistic competence (lol). In short: do not be put off from starting a bullet journal because an obligation to make it look objectively aesthetic does not exist, unless this is something you wish to do for your own enjoyment.

Now, this post is a collab with Mia, who runs a lifestyle blog called Beautiful, Inspiring, Creative…Life. Not only is she is a super talented blogger with a very unique style and content (featuring many things including productivity, fashion and life advice), but also the loveliest person with an attitude all of us can admire. We bonded over our mutual love for many things, bullet journaling included, and decided to share our favourite spreads used to further productivity and personal development. You can check out her post HERE.

And now, let us have a look at some of my ideas, which you may wish to try out if you haven’t already.

1. ‘Reading, listening, watching’

Five bullet journal spreads to use for productivity - inaccordance

(Gotta love my attempts to recreate my favourite ‘Brusher’ font, lol)

I know that many people often set themselves a goal of reading more books, whether fiction or non-fiction, listening to particular podcasts or watching interesting films. However, achieving this is tricky unless you are keeping yourself accountable. This is the main reason for why you may want to dedicate a page of your bullet journal to some sort of reading list, whether in the form of a space to jot down books you come across and may wish to read in the future, or a more structured ‘to read’ page with tick boxes next to each item. View Full Post

The Ultimate Guide to Setting New Year’s Resolutions

I could write a dramatic account of fireworks blazing through the sky, cheers and the champagne glasses of my friends colliding as the clock strikes midnight. However, a much more realistic New Year’s Eve scenario in the life of Maria is one in which the protagonist is laying in bed, not wanting to miss the onset of 2018, while longing for the magical hour when it is (more or less) socially acceptable to go to sleep on that particular night.

New Year's Resolutions

Regardless of how you wish to enter 2018, the start of a new year is always monumental. On the first of January, we awaken feeling the same, but fundamentally altered at the same time. It is enshrined in our society as a turning point, as the sort of fresh start a new week or month are incapable of delivering, a blank canvas from which we, as humanity, can work to create a better joint experience for us all. The previous year’s misfortunes are left behind and we hope the upcoming twelve months will feature more ups than downs. Of course, this is often subverted as time as merely a social construct and a shift from one year to the next will not in itself stop bad things from happening, but my point is that New Years Eve holds immense symbolic value in all of our minds.

Undoubtedly, many of us have been writing down New Year’s resolutions over the last few weeks – a process which will intensify now that the pressures of Christmas are over. Me personally? Yes and no. There are certain personal things I wish to work on in the upcoming year (concerning, for the most part, my emotional wellbeing and habits) that I’ve been procrastinating on because I know I will have to fundamentally alter my mindset to tackle them. However, many of my goals are very ‘long term’ and my individual preference is reiterating them whenever the need arises, as opposed to waiting for a new year, and setting shorter term objectives on a monthly, weekly and daily basis. In addition to that, 2018 is the year I officially start university, meaning that as my life undergoes an upheaval so will the nature of the things I wish to achieve. View Full Post

Five Reasons to Take a Break From The Internet

While sighing like a conservative old man at the excesses of young people culture, I think we should abandon a cynical, pessimistic attitude towards the digital age in the past. I can proudly declare myself a lover of the internet. It brims with memes and assurances that at a given point, you aren’t alone in your existential crisis. On a more serious note, the internet enhances public knowledge and fuels our economy. Educational environments are energised and diversified through online resources. It creates opportunities for anyone, from entrepreneurs to average citizens wishing to showcase their talents.

Take blogging as an example. Through an online platform, we can share our opinions and start conversations. We can capitalise on the knowledge of others and in turn, turn our own into advice and information. Moreover, connecting across the world with likeminded individuals would be much slower via messenger on horseback; the world is faster and more immediate on the internet. This isn’t for everyone. I, however, and other people from my generation thrive in an environment of constant change and growth. Moreover, as much as people like to separate the internet from the ‘real world’, they are increasingly interconnected and influence each other on a daily basis, often for better rather than worse (for instance, the proliferation of delicious vegan cafes and cruelty-free products reflects increasing awareness of ethical concerns among the general population).

That being said, the online world has many drawbacks. Moderation must be practiced; the occasional break is beneficial to virtually all of us. Of course, digital entrepreneurs, influencers and the like rely on the internet for their wage – whether you agree with such a career path or not, time off equates to less income. But these people are likely to have found their thing. Provided they’re doing what they love, extensive breaks are rendered unnecessary, except for in extenuating circumstances

A few months ago, a friend of mine told me that she has little to no internet access for two-three weeks throughout her annual holiday to France. My heart skipped a beat; I thought hard but could not remember the last time I stayed offline for more than a couple of hours. Sure, the internet adds value to our lives, for the reasons mentioned above. I disagree with people who shower technology with blind hatred because it contrasts with ‘the good old days’. However, a balance must be struck with everything. Spending excessive hours online impacts our mental and physical health, reaching the proportions of an addiction for many. And it’s hard to deny the existence of unreasonable pressures and a tendency to compare yourself to others among innovation, self-help resources and solidarity in times of hardship.

Internet detox

Taking an internet break need not be switching off for months and retreating into a cave or living in a forest (ironic because I am in a forest of sorts in these photographs, but that is entirely coincidental). In my case, a weekend, a couple of hours each day or evening is all I need. So, for what reasons may such a break be beneficial? View Full Post