Stress & Anxiety

Pause and Refresh

Stress builds on itself when we’re overwhelmed with all we have to do. Stop and regroup with this proactive approach to get things under control.

Stressed woman with ADHD holds head in hands over paperwork and bills
Stressed woman with ADHD holds head in hands over paperwork and bills

I am stuck in overwhelm as if it were quicksand. I am so stressed that I forget my own advice: “When you are overwhelmed, stop and regroup.”

Between crashing my car, computer problems, and feeling exhausted, I am stretched thin. I have four briefcases full of notes, reminders, and to-dos. The sense that I am missing an important fact, or have forgotten to make a call, adds to my stress.

What to do? Sort through my work, page by page, and reorganize, re-prioritize, and re-energize. The trick for me is to make quick decisions, like an ER medic:

[Free Download: 10 Ways to Get Organized This Weekend]

Which sticky notes are too late to address or are no longer relevant? Off to the shredder with them! Which tasks need to be addressed in the coming hours or days? Collect them in one place — in a notepad — and schedule them on the calendar.

This leaves the tasks that are due in the coming weeks and months. Organize the items by the date they will be addressed.

Many people with ADHD feel too overwhelmed to take this kind of time-out. But this is not another impulsive act you can’t afford. Taking time to sort it out will:

  • Keep you from worrying about, and staring at, things that no longer matter.
  • Reduce the likelihood of forgetting important tasks on the horizon.
  • Clear your thoughts — so you can focus on the most important task in front of you.
  • Keep your fears from getting the best of you, so you’ll be able to rest easier and sleep better.