It is completely normal to feel overwhelmed by life or to struggle to make decisions. National I am in control day is on March 30th. On this day, we strive to get things under control in our lives on a day-to-day basis. In our new world, it can seem difficult to do this. However, there are some small steps you can take to move in the right direction. The discussion to follow are some suggestions on how you can take control for yourself.

Makes Lists and Tackle One Project at a Time

List-making is one of the easiest ways to organize all your information and to help provide you with structure. Imagine if you were to attempt to make a cake without a recipe. It would become very difficult, very quickly to remember all the necessary steps, ingredients, measurements, and timelines to make a delicious cake. Our brains can only handle so much information at once. If you break a task down into smaller tasks or steps, it is easier to process and get done.

In addition, it is beneficial to only tackle one project at a time. Working on one thing at a time allows our brains to dive deeper and do a better job at each task. In doing this, we do not have to spread our time, energy, and attention across many things at once. This will therefore increase your overall productivity.

Learn to Say No

Especially in a work setting, I may sound crazy for telling you to say no. However, if you agree to do everything that someone asks you to do, you can end up having too much on your plate. This can lead to feeling swamped and additional stress. Saying no helps to set healthy boundaries while still being able to maintain relationships. You will be able to provide others with clarity on what they can expect from you. It also helps to lead to a more well-balanced, intentional, enjoyable, and fulfilling life.

Talk with Someone

Talking about our issues or stressors is a powerful psychological benefit. When intense feelings begin to rise (i.e. fear, anxiety), the part of your brain that handles your “fight or flight response” is in charge and calling the shots. When this part of your brain is in control, it can override more logical thought processes. Talking to someone, or putting your feelings into words, can diminish this part of the brain when these intense feelings are triggered. Speaking from personal experience, this is an especially significant step to know when to take. Talk to someone you trust or feel comfortable with such as a friend, your significant other, a co-worker, human resources, or a therapist.

Let Go of What you Cannot Control

This can seem scary for some people since it is a normal reaction to want to be in control of everything. The unknown can always seem scary. I know I struggled with this when I was in school. However, you cannot always plan for or predict everything. Overthinking and worrying about every possible scenario or outcome can lead to unnecessary anxiety. Planning is still considered a good thing, but it should not put you into a state of panic where you are anticipating the worst-case scenario. If you can embrace change (or let go of control), you will find that uncertainty can feel a bit less stressful. It is also best to develop coping strategies to better manage the fear of the unknown.