What to Do When You Feel Overwhelmed
We all have those days – when the chores have piled up, the deadlines are looming, the kids are sick and you’re not feeling well yourself, someone’s harsh words are ringing in your ears, or you’ve received bad news one after the other.
When you feel such overwhelm and the emotions get too much to bear, it’s essential to know how you can release the built-up tension and stress to feel better again.
So what are some practical, tried and tested tips, both Islamic and psychological, for when you feel overwhelmed?
1. Know that there’s a time for everything.
One of my favorite Hadith is this one, the conclusion of which is:
Time should be devoted (to the worldly affairs) and time (should be devoted to prayer and meditation).[Sahih Muslim]
So the Prophet (saw) advised the Sahabi that there’s a time for everything. There’s a time for focusing on your spirituality by doing consistent Ibadah, and there’s a time for relaxing with your family. There’s a time for work and there’s a time for playing with your children.
There’s a time for everything.
And the key takeaway here is – when you’re focusing on one thing, don’t let a different aspect worry you or diminish the joy of the present moment. Practice mindfulness and focus on the moment.
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2. Reevaluate your priorities and think about what you can drop, delegate, or delay.
Time management is an absolutely essential skill that should be mastered as early on as possible, to help you hold on to your sanity and achieve your goals in all areas of life.
The art of time management is closely tied to learning what you need to prioritize, drop, delegate, or delay.
- At all times, prioritize your own health, faith, and family.
- Drop whatever isn’t serving you in terms of your Deen or Dunya.
- Delegate tasks and chores whenever possible so you have freed time for more useful and important tasks.
- Delay what’s causing overwhelm and can be just as conveniently addressed at a later time. (Delay but DON’T procrastinate if it’s important.)
3. Pray 2 Nafl and make heartfelt Dua.
It comes in a Hadith that whenever the Prophet (saw) had to deal with something troubling, he’d rush to prayer.
Hadhrat Hudhayfah (ra) reported: If the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, was distressed about anything, he would pray.[Sunan Abi Dawud]
Make the prayer mat your refuge. When you feel burdened by everything that needs to be done, entrust your affairs to Allah (swt), take a deep breath, and get started, even if it’s with the tiniest step.
4. Allow yourself to cry.
Suppressing the urge to cry can damage your mental wellbeing. Crying should come as naturally to us as laughing does. We rarely stop ourselves from expressing joy, so why are we always trying so hard to put on a brave front and keep the tears from rolling down our cheeks?
When you try to bottle up your emotions without releasing them in a timely and healthy manner, they can cause a horde of issues. Not just mental health problems, but physical ailments are proven to manifest as well as a result of unexpressed emotions.
[Read: 9 ESSENTIAL DUAS EVERY MUSLIM MOM SHOULD KNOW]
5. Talk to someone you trust.
When you feel overwhelmed and don’t know what to do, it can be very helpful to talk to a trusted friend, family member, or counselor.
Not only will you feel much better by chatting with someone you trust, you’ll also be able to gain clarity through their guidance and insights about the best course of action.
6. Give Sadaqah/charity.
Giving charity has so many benefits. It wards off calamities and invokes the special Mercy of Allah (swt). Even if it’s just a few cents, make it a habit to set aside some money for charity as soon as you begin to feel distressed.
7. Write it out.
Sometimes, the situation can seem far too scary and intense to even voice out loud.
In such cases, one foolproof method for dealing with emotional strain is to write down everything you’re feeling.
You can either write in a journal and keep it or write on pages that you destroy later, but writing down everything you’re experiencing and thinking, without censoring your thoughts, can be an extremely powerful form of self-expression.
Journaling is proven to help you feel grounded and balanced during times of emotional upheaval.
I hope you found these tips beneficial, insha Allah! What helps you feel okay again when you’re overwhelmed by life? Leave a comment below to let me know.
Khadija Khan is a wife, mommy, certified life coach, and Islamic counselor. She is passionate about helping Muslim women reach their goals in all areas of life. She writes about things like Islamic spirituality, relationships, parenting, and personal development. Continue Reading…