Skip to navigationSkip to main content

Three Ways to Cope When Life Gets Overwhelming

Have you ever noticed that things all seem to come at once? Professional and personal issues come together to make everything more difficult for us. A poorly parent, conflict at work, money troubles, or a family argument. The first area that tends to slip is our relationships – we cancel that coffee with our friend, we don’t speak to our partners at the dinner table and that colleague seems to be annoying you even more than usual. So, when life gets overwhelming, we need to take the right steps to avoid burnout and rebalance our lives.


1. Recognise the toll it’s taking

The first step to take when avoiding burnout and regaining life balance is noticing and acknowledging when you are starting to feel overwhelmed. We often leave it too late to check in with ourselves and it’s only once we have already reached burnout that we recognise that the signs have been there for much longer than we realised. Early symptoms of overwhelm might include feeling rushed, lack of clarity and control or thinking negatively.


2. Take a step back

Identifying what triggered your overwhelm is the next step to recovering from burnout. Taking a step back means you have the space to process life’s “goings-on” more clearly. It feels counterintuitive because we are so busy with an endless list of “to-dos” but it only seems this way because of your perception of the situation so you have a few options. You can remove yourself from the situation causing you distress, you can change your perspective, you can change the situation, or you can find a way to cope.


3. Identify your strengths

You might not have realised it, but you have a whole host of resources at your disposal to help you cope with life when it gets overwhelming – and it all comes from within. So, the next step is a confidence exercise. Your “I Can” list is an acknowledgement of any strengths, skills, tools, knowledge and the support you have on-hand to help you cope with your situation more effectively. Books, mentors, coaches, counsellors, communities, friends and family are all key – use them as much as you can. Once you have your list, consider how you can use the things you have written down to make things less overwhelming. Can you break tasks into smaller chunks? Can you ask someone for help? Can you find a smarter way of working?


Denise Chilton Business Coach for Women


Denise Chilton is an executive coach, business coach, life coach, accomplished author, speaker and entrepreneur. She worked for in corporate banking for more than 15 years before launching her own coaching business in 2010. She has built a business working with women who want to make a change in their lives, empowering them to experience life to the full. Although based in Liverpool, Denise works with women across the world via telephone and Skype coaching.

In 2017, she published her first book Suddenly Single: How to overcome heartbreak and find your way to a new happy ever after. Suddenly Single is a guide written partially from personal experience to help women to heal healthily after a significant relationship comes to an unexpected end.

Denise was awarded ‘Mentor of the Year 2017’ by the Northern Power Women for her work with women and shortlisted for 'Diversity Champion of the Year' in 2018 by Forward Ladies.

Recent Articles

  • Songs to bring some inspiration into 2019

    #1 Songs to bring some inspiration into 2019 "Everybody’s been there, everybody’s been stared down / By the enemy / Fallen for the fear and done some disappearing / Bow down to the mighty / Don’t run, stop holding your tongue / Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live / Maybe one of the...

  • GUEST BLOG: So you want to be… #DramaFree by Caitlin Walker

    This morning I got frustrated with my 11 year old for writing his spellings down in illegible writing - lots of things led to me forgetting everything I know about learning, dyspraxia, ADD, my own child, how to have a happy morning, basic parenting skills - those things were: leaving things too late...