How To Beat Overwhelm and Move Forward Even Without A Plan: The C.A.P.E.S. Method

how to beat overwhelm and stress

If you’re anything like me, your life is filled with to-do lists.

And they seem to only get longer once one thing is accomplished (hello bills and car payments and grocery runs).

Sometimes, you’ll have to stay up into the wee hours of the night just to get everything you need to get done, well, done!

And guess what?

Overwhelm is a real and constant struggle and is super emotionally difficult (for the perfect humans out there who might not be aware).

Especially when you go over everything you need to get done for the day over and over again nonstop (which is a really bad habit of mine).

You end up feeling like you just aren’t living and it makes you want to crawl under your covers again in plain daylight.

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But you have to learn to beat it! So I sat down one day, after an especially crappy day, and came up with a system that I go over every time I feel overwhelm starting to creep in again.

It’s helped me TONS to gain clarity in my life and keep it together through deadlines, endless bills, and responsibilities.

So here we go!

How I Came Up With The C.A.P.E.S. Method and Why It Works:

The C.A.P.E.S. method was a way for me to make it through all the life muck and make it so that at the end of the day I could look back and see that I made real progress.

Read: Made Progress.

NOT: Got EVERYTHING done down to a T.

This helps me (and possibly you!) tons for two reasons:

  1. You guarantee you are moving forward EVEN if you don’t get everything done that day
  2. It keeps the ball moving enough that it keeps you motivated (as you’ll see results the more you stick to it).

The C.A.P.E.S. method simply helps me put everything into perspective daily, and helps me tackle the day as best as possible.

Remember, we are aiming for progress and NOT perfection.

So, let’s get started with it!


Cry it out and breathe

We are only human.Being told to suck it up and keep it moving isn’t gonna help anyone! Emotions are real and, well, you’re gonna feel em’ a lot sometimes!

Being told to suck it up and keep it moving isn’t gonna help anyone! Emotions are real and, well, you’re gonna feel em’ a lot sometimes!

So if you’re feeling particularly overwhelmed sulk it out. Cry, kick, take long breathes, let it out!

After I do that for a couple of minutes I start to feel silly (yes, silly) and I start feeling some tension release. Congrats to me (and you)! I know I’m already preparing myself to the next step in my C.A.P.E.S. method.

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Ask why

This is important and you shouldn’t skip it. It’ll only serve you well to get down to the core of it and ask yourself why you are feeling overwhelmed in the first place!

I find that often it’s because my expectations and standards are way too high at the time.

Maybe they are too high because I’m asking too much of myself that day, or maybe they are too high because I’m simply not there yet in my own life’s journey.

But you have to face that truth first and snap out of it.

So, next time you’re overwhelmed, ask yourself, why? Why am I letting myself feel this way? Is it because my expectations aren’t my own? Or are my expectations too high?


Pick out your top three things this way

This is another huge and important part of it all.

It seriously works. When I say it works is because it works. I keep trying to tell my friends about this and why it works and no one seems to listen (their loss).

If you are constantly feeling overwhelmed, an awesome yet oh-so simple thing you can do is pick out the TOP THREE most important things you need to get done that day.

Top three, no exceptions, no bs, things that HAVE to get done or else.

Also, when you pick those three things, forget about the rest!

Yup! Forget about the other million things on your list and focus on those THREE things.

Write them down in your planner, on a sticky note, your phone app, whatever it takes, and then get determined.

Next, you’ll want to—


Let’s get those three things done!

For me, this helps me so much with blogging. There are a bajillion repairs and revisions my blog needs that I haven’t gotten around to doing. It makes me lightheaded to just think about it.

But if I pick out the three most important things my blog NEEDS to have done that day or else (…or else I feel like a failure, we don’t want that!) and I just put my focus on those, by the end of the day, somehow, 90% of the time they always get done.

Sort out the smaller things

how to beat overwhelm

So what about all the smaller things you need to get done? Do you just forget those? No, silly.

Here’s the scoop. Picking out the three most important things you need to get done that day helps you make overall progress forward.

The little things stay the little things because, while it may be nice to have them all done (and if you can, by all means do!) they aren’t necessarily vital to your daily progress forward. They’ll help but they aren’t life or death factors. See what I mean?

So you can still make a to-do list of all the little things and then find time for them, but they aren’t pressing priorities (as you once thought they were when they were all jumbled up in your head!).

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Also, it helps TONS to then look back at what you’ve achieved. Whether that’s on a weekly or daily basis.

It simply helps give you that little push forward! It really does!

If you blindly go through your week or your month and you forget (which is REALLY easy to do) everything you’ve worked hard to accomplish then you’ll get to the end FEELING like you’ve accomplished nothing (this happened to me countless times before my C.A.P.E.S. method) which then leaves you all sad and depressed.

Hands down, this has seriously helped me gain more clarity even if I don’t have a strict set of goals set out (I don’t seem to be able to function well that way)

There you go!

My C.A.P.E.S. method all laid out for you!

I really hope this helps someone beat overwhelm and get ahead in their daily life as it did for me. I can’t tell you how many more things I’ve been able to get done when I slow down and go through each of these steps (sometimes the night before, sometimes the day of).

Anyway, try the method and see how it changes the quality of your day. Go tackle those to-do lists smartly!

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