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Young Voices- How I Handle Overwhelm

Welcome to It’s Possible Project’s Young Voices Series, the words of today’s teen and young adult.  Young voices have powerful stories to share, stories that resonate with teens who often find themselves in similar situations. Empowering stories empower their readers. Young Voices offers a monthly professional platform for teens to speak their truth and inspire their readers.  If you, or someone you know would like to be featured in our Young Voices Series, please contact us:

Today’s feature is Maya Grunauer. Maya is a graduating senior at Marymount California University, receiving her BA in Psychology. She is embracing the possibilities that come from graduating college and deciding on a path that best suits her creative and jubilant personality.

Read Maya’s advice on how to manage an overwhelming schedule.

Do you frequently feel overwhelmed by the amount of work you have?

Mayas badge (1)I, for one, am 100% the type of person that gets weighed down and panicked when I have a lot on my plate. Here are a few tools I have collected over the years that have helped me get through days like these.

How do you choose what to do first when you feel like you have to do it all?

My advice:  step back for a minute

Sometimes I simply do nothing. Honestly, I just stop with what ever I’m doing and sit with my thoughts in a mindful meditation. By doing this, it gives me some time to think, process, and become aware of everything I have experienced that day. Sometimes thoughts flood in; when this happens I allow them to swarm my consciousness. As the time passes they begin to settle. I also have moments when my mind is so overwhelmed that I can’t think of anything right away. When this happens I let my thoughts gently wanders through the nothingness. And sure enough, when I least expect it, thoughts that are most important to me at that moment will emerge. As they make themselves known, the prioritizing comes into perspective.

Then I’d make a list

After I collect all my thoughts from my mindful meditation, I make a list. This list consists of all the ideas that were brought to mind during the relaxation practice. The list has no order or construct yet, just a scrabble of words on a paper.

Now it’s time to narrow down your list

You have all your ideas on paper, now its time to categorize and prioritize!

To-do Lists: These lists are key for good organization, time management, and prioritizing tasks. The list of everything that you have to do is written out beginning with the important tasks at the top, and the least important tasks at the bottom.

My advice:  spend sometime writing the To-do List the night before (at the end of the work or school day). This will increase your ability to complete the tasks more effectively. Throughout the night our subconscious mind works on the list. As a result, we are more prepared and efficient the following day as we work through the list, gradually checking off each task.

Instead of focusing on having to complete everything all at once, focus your attention on the first task on your list.

My advice:  concentrate on one thing, until it becomes solid. Then move onto another one thing and become good at it.  Focus on One thing and do it well.

I hope this post inspires you to look at your day-to-day routine. I want to help you set in motion a time management process that will help reduce stress in your daily life.

Thanks for reading!


11752445_10155923098415386_444256913763007760_nMy name is Maya Grunauer, I am 22 years old and am in my last year, receiving a BA in psychology at Marymount California University.  I am currently an intern for It’s Possible Project.  My goal for this post is to share my knowledge and offer simple ways I have learned to improve my well-being in my everyday life.


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