Life isn’t a smooth ride along the beach on a perfect summer day. Oftentimes, it feels more like a turbulent roller coaster with ups and downs from every angle imaginable. A career can very well be the same, having moments along the way that are challenging, humbling, and seemingly downright unbearable. Virtually every successful career has followed a path that has been marked by setbacks, failures, and adversity that had to be overcome. Feeling overwhelmed simply comes with the territory of the challenge of managing a career.

Natural Stress Relief Can Be Achieved in the Mind

Identify The Source of Stress

So what’s making you feel so overwhelmed? That should be the first thing to figure out. The source can often be one of the following three categories in nature:
1) Interpersonal
2) Financial, or
3) Work-related

Are you going through a difficult situation with someone in your family? Have you been hit with a major financial setback recently? Is the type of work you’re doing too difficult to handle at this point in your career or is it altogether unsatisfying and not what you originally signed up for? Identifying and lasering in on the root is essential.

The Short Game or The Long Haul?

In addition, you need to ask yourself, am I feeling overwhelmed by immediate circumstances or by a long-term situation? Your boss might have just given you two, three times your normal workload. Your landlord might have just upped your rent out of your price range, forcing you to spend your off hours looking for a new home. You might have just been assigned to work with, or even work for, someone that you struggle to get along with. These are examples of situations that could take a few days, weeks, or months to deal with.

Being overwhelmed can also come from a long-term issue as well. You may have hundreds of thousands of dollars you owe in student loans. You might be burnt out from years and years of working long hours. Or you may just simply be unhappy in your line of work and dream of making a change. Whatever the case may be, it is critical to have the self-awareness necessary to identify what’s making you feel this way and what it’s going to take to alleviate this feeling.

Make a List to Take Steps in the Right Direction

Your list should include the following:

1) Write down what’s bothering you right now. This will help you identify the problem and realize if this can be dealt with in the near future or if your issues will take years to resolve.
2) Make a list or mind map what you want your career to look like. There’s a Point A: your current situation, and a Point B: your ideal situation. Comparing these two lists will help you.
3) Figure out exactly what you need to do to get from Point A to Point B. Sometimes, you’ll realize that all you need to do is stay the course and things will improve. Other times, you’ll realize that you want a radical change in your life. Someone’s list can be three lines long while another’s can be twenty lines long. Once you write it all out you will see what kind of actions you need to put forth.
4) Work towards getting where you want to be. Now that you know what you need to do, set deadlines and start calendaring your first steps you want to take. Make yourself accountable whether it’s confiding in a loved one or hiring a coach.

Start Your Natural Stress Relief Journey

There is no one-size-fits-all cure to feeling overwhelmed. It all depends on your own individual reasons and obstacles that are in your way. You may simply need to make one adjustment to your lifestyle or work habits to feel relieved, or you may need to grind for a while to find career success and happiness. Take heart in the fact that it took many successful people years to figure things out and that their roads were difficult, full of setbacks and adversity. Big or small, it’s never too late to start and make the change.

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