Overwhelmed at work - how do you bounce back?

When you come across something that trips you up at work, leaving you overwhelmed and feel like you can’t make it through the day, what do you do?

I’ve tried listening to music and singing my heart out to the songs, drinking tea, and stretching. But some days we need different things, so I’m keen to hear what others have tried :smiley:


I’ve found a change of environment helps lots. If you can get outside for 10 mins, it provides both a breath of fresh air but also a mental switch to ponder things.

I always recall speaking to the Mental Health Foundation who had a buddy programme. People had randomly assigned “buddies” who they could reach out to if they were feeling overwhelmed. The idea wasn’t to necessarily share or solve the problem, but to change the environment and just have a mental break to chat with someone about something different for a short while. They really found it useful so wanted to share.

@darren I agree that some sort of break is essential but I also recognise for some health and care workers, they are overwhelmed AND still in the middle of something overwhelming, and you have to wait for something or someone to come along and take over.

So one thing that helps me is trying to hold on to why I am doing what I am doing. I also try to connect with memories that in similar times before, I got through, and most of the time things worked out. So it’s almost like looking at a reminder…some people keep inspirational pictures and quotes on their phones, which they can look at when things get dark…perhaps that would be my tip.


Great thoughts here @RDG.

Really like the idea of a hook (picture, quote, etc) that’s a reminder or memory of something held fondly, or something inspirational. It’s amazing how effective that can be. I have a few paintings my daughter has done at school pinned behind my monitor. Sometimes if I’m feeling overwhelmed I let my eyes wander to them and zone out for a few mins thinking about what they represent. Always helps

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It’s funny, but I wonder how often we think something particular is the cause of feeling stressed? I’m pretty sure I caught the ‘super’ cold when lockdown ended, and a month or so later, I feel so much better, even though work is much the same, and that I should have given myself some slack when I was feeling stressed. A lot was probably just down to having a bad cold!
Powerful argument for making sure you get some rest when you can, and allowing healing of body and mind.

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