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Finding Inspiration
When You are Feeling Overwhelmed

by | Jan 23, 2009 | Authentic Living, Inspired Living

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Finding Inspiration <br>When You are Feeling Overwhelmed

I had one of those weeks. A week when I just felt “off.” Everywhere I looked I saw boxes needing to be unpacked and reminders of things I needed to do. Everything felt URGENT. I felt disorganized, scattered, overwhelmed and uninspired. I think moving to a new state finally caught up with me! And for a couple of days this week, my life didn’t feel very beautiful. It felt, well, blah.

So, I asked myself, how do I find balance and beauty in spite of how I feel? I think that is one of the real struggles in life, how do you live the beautiful life you want when you are just not feeling inspired?

Give yourself a break.

Sometimes I just get bogged down in daily life and I need a break. When I feel overwhelmed and am not seeing the beauty around me, I need to leave my responsibilities behind and do something for myself. I go shopping, take a bath, have lunch with a friend, read a magazine or take a walk.

A break from the daily pressure does wonders for my emotions. It doesn’t take long and I suddenly can see life in color again. And, thankfully, I find joy in my routines all over again! The responsibilities and pressures might not change, but I can manage them so much better (and see them as BLESSINGS) when I have taken time to recharge my energy. I need to factor ME in to my balanced week!

It seems counterproductive at the time, but the quality of my life improves when I slow down and take time off for myself.


  1. edie wadsworth

    Hi Melissa,
    I love your site. I always find inspiration here. Thanks for starting this series. I had one of my hardest weeks ever since I started homeschooling and wrote a post a few days ago about it. After I read your blog this morning, I thought it’d be a perfect fit for this.

  2. Arleen

    Hi Melissa. I agree with you: “me” time is so critical to ensuring a balanced life and restoring ourselves, especially when there is much to do and we’re feeling overwhelmed. I have found that thing look more manageable when I return from that break because I’ve stepped away and, when I return, I have an uncluttered perspective. It’s just not always easy to stop for that break since we want things to get done, but it really couldn’t be more important!

  3. Kathy

    You are so right Melissa! Sometimes the only thing to do is get off the Merry-go-round until you find your equilibrium again. Getting off is hard to do though, what you feel so much pressure and have so many “urgent” things that need to be done.

    Kathys inspiring blog post..

  4. Kimba

    Hi Melissa! I couldn’t agree with you more. When I become overwhelmed and discombobulated, I need to disconnect. Step off the merry-go-round and reset my brain. I usually find that I am able to handle my responsibilities much more effectively when I reconnect after a time of rest.


    Kimbas inspiring blog post..You Are Not Alone

  5. Vee

    Some fine day, when I’ve actually achieved this, I hope to participate. One thing I know, I’m going to visit all of your participants before the weekend ends to see what they’re doing. Perhaps, I’ll get a clue.

    And, if anyone has a right to feel overwhelmed…it is you, my dear. Hope that you have some relaxing times over the weekend.

    Vees inspiring blog post..Wherein this Blogger Finally Comes Through

  6. Jennifer

    I can’t let go like that. I would sit in the tub thinking of all that is waiting for me or be distracted at lunch! Good for you for being able to let go!!!

    Jennifers inspiring blog post..Birthday Decor & A Tradition

  7. Debbie

    Although I’m not participating in your Mr. Linky this week, I wanted to tell you that I absolutely LOVE that photo with the flowers, candle, etc. I don’t know but something inside of me just smiles when I look at it. Isn’t that wierd? Anyway, I do agree that there are times when you need to simply give yourself a break. I find it helps me to get back on track the next day.

    Debbies inspiring blog post..Fitness Friday

  8. SoBella Creations

    I wish I would have read this post almost 3 years ago when we moved to Florida. My girls were 2 1/2 and barely a month old. I immediately started unpacking every box. I should have been focused on myself and my girls.

  9. Lauren

    What a timely post! Thanks for keeping it real . Sometimes when I’m reading and looking at all the beautiful photos I wonder how I can make any of it a reality in my life. Yesterday felt like a loss, so thanks for reminding us that those kinda days happen, and thats okay. The refreshment is so welcome!

    Laurens inspiring blog post..The Piano Table

  10. Pretty Organizer

    Focal points around the house that are beautiful are key to me as I manage life with 8. Realistically I will always have laundry in some state of undone and fingerprints will abound but if I have a beautiful focal point in a room that brings hope and peace for me. This week I was a wallpaper nut because I love the unique personality that it brings to a room. My linked post gives a few great project ideas for wallpaper and a funny photo of “real life” for me. Have a Super Day!

    Pretty Organizers inspiring blog post..Don’t Fear the Wallpaper (Projects part 2)

  11. gina

    I had one of those weeks too, we are only a few weeks into our homeschooling journey with my 4 and almost 7 yo. I found inspiration in a quote of Elizabeth Edwards and I took action. I linked to it.

    ginas inspiring blog post..Gianna loves Pastry – but young love is fickle.

  12. We are THAT family

    When I read your post and saw the words ‘seeing in color again’, I knew I had to link up my post. Thanks for inspiring us, Melissa.

    We are THAT familys inspiring blog post..The Coffee Club {Sincerely ‘Fro Me to You}

  13. PamperingBeki

    Why is it so hard for us to find that time for ourselves, when we KNOW we need it?
    I’m a better mom, a better wife, a better person when I take a few moments for myself now and then.

    Have a beautiful and COLORFUL weekend, Melissa!

    PamperingBekis inspiring blog post..Fingerprint Friday

  14. Thirkellgirl

    I’ve had my overwhelmed moments myself, lately. We had a washing machine flood in our finished basement almost three weeks ago. It was completely full of inherited furniture, twenty years’ worth of assorted Stuff, and boxes and boxes of books. In the past three weeks we’ve emptied it all into a pod, removed the old carpet and backing, primed, painted, had new carpet installed, and moved BACK a small percentage of furniture, reorganized my office, gotten rid of dozens of contractors’ bags full of stuff, and made it a bright and beautiful *usable space (it wasn’t bright, beautiful *or usable this time last month). I’ve broken every nail on both hands, strained my shoulder, twisted my knee, and missed my hair-color touchup, lol. Sometimes life isn’t beautiful, or inspiring. Sometimes you slog through a boatload of hard work and that makes you appreciate the beautiful peace more later. (I check your blog every morning for inspiration, though, and think your new house is *beautiful, just the way it is, boxes and all).

  15. Kim

    Hi Melissa! I know what you mean! Yesterday I just felt like I needed a little break and decided at the last minute to visit art galleries around lunchtime. It was just what I needed and I even took some photos for my post. I think getting out of the house and treating yourself to a break for even an hour or two can really lift your spirits and make everything look a little brighter!
    Have a great weekend!

    Kim @ Forever Wherevers inspiring blog post..Colorful Art – Matlacha Style

  16. jennykate

    I took a little “me” time last weekend and let me tell you it was so refreshing. I’ve had a stressful week this week…like you said, I’ve just felt “off”. For me, I keep remembering what a great time I had last weekend and then I look forward to things coming. It helps me see the light at the end of the tunnel. Plus, I always take a moment each day to be grateful for my most precious blessings…life, my faith, my sweet boy, husband, family, friends, house, job…it puts things right into perspective.

    jennykates inspiring blog post..Friday Confessions

  17. Shawn Stratmann

    I love your statement above where you said that “Quality of Life improves when you slow down your life.” Our family is spending some time slowing down to think about the way we act…we are “Choosing Civility”!

  18. Stacey

    I’m with you, girl! Left a linky today :), do you have a button made for this??

    Stacey @ The Blessed Nests inspiring blog post..My Junk Drawer Secret

  19. Katie at

    Well this week left me thinking much like you, Melissa. But my statement changed slightly:
    I asked myself, how do I find balance and beauty in spite of the things I cannot have from back in the US?
    Thanks for another great Friday thought!

    Katie at makingthishome.coms inspiring blog post..Watching the Water Meter & Forgetting to Breathe

  20. Gina

    Rest assured, you’re not the only one overwhelmed. Sometimes life is just like, isn’t it? Thanks for the reminder to take time out, it does wonders!

    Ginas inspiring blog post..The Power of a Positive Attitude

  21. teresa

    Great advice- I think as women we tend to forget ourselves as we lose ourselves in the care of others-
    I understand completely ….. Big Hugs-

  22. Myrnie

    Melissa, thanks for posting this every week. It really is a great chance to calm down and reflect on everything we’ve been given. I’m glad you were able to slow down a bit this week- it really helps!

  23. Eric Da Plumber!

    What a great link up this week. These are fun to share. I posted my beauty post and what I am doing to get a break this weekend. Thanks.

  24. Nicky

    I hear you lady …. stepping back and not beating ourselves, not trying to be super men and women is definitely necessary to create balance, to create beautiful lives.

  25. Valerie

    Thanks for the beauty of this blog. Your pictures, your inspiration and the opportunity to read others’ cool things through Mr Linky. He’s such a cool dude.

  26. Tamra

    Wonderful post, coming at the perfect time. Thank you.

    Tamra @ It all started with a kisss inspiring blog post..A time to rest

  27. Heidi

    From time to time, I go through being discontented for whatever reason… I just hate it when I feel that way~ but alas I can’t even complain about that too much because soon enough my grumbling brings me to a place of gratefulness where I realize just how incredibly blessed I am (a bit of a contradiction, this I know). On Monday, I was pondering the ‘bloom where you’re planted’ idea and it has sustained me.

    [email protected] inspiring blog post..In Love and War

  28. Maven

    I loved this one and related to all of it. A good reminder for me to slow down. It’s something I’m not very good at ;)

    Mavens inspiring blog post..What Your Mother Never Told You About Aging Gracefully – Reworked and Reloaded

  29. Fifi Flowers

    How about a weekend filled with things that make for A Beautiful Life… pop over if you get a chance. Hope all is well with you! Your site looks so wonderful!

    Fifi Flowerss inspiring blog post..Weekend on its way…

  30. heather jane

    Yes. I am totally overwhelmed. And I didn’t even move!! The photo in this post makes it all feel almost better. Thanks for letting us share links on this subject. I need all the inspiration I can get to get going on my beautiful life goals this year.

    heather janes inspiring blog post..Here’s the plan

  31. kathysue

    Melissa,I think it is that time of year for everyone.After the Holidays and getting off the treadmill of life and then the “I am realllly tired”,hits.Then we feel as if we should be doing something but we really don’t want too and then we feel guilty and then and then…..STOP!Years ago I made a pleasure list.Little things that cost nothing or as little as $5 that made me happy to look at or be with or use.Candles,soft music a flower in a vase a new nail polish a new lipstick.A cup of tea and a half hr to enjoy it.Sometimes when we are down in the trenches it is hard to think of anything that will relieve the stress ,The Little Pleasures list is very helpful to take a peek at and be reminded how easy a half hr will be to take and Oh the wonderful benefits.Kathysue

  32. Gennaro

    I found beauty in learning about t he traditions of the upcoming Chinese New Year. The rituals for cleansing their environment (homes, dinner table, etc) heading into 2009 (4707) and the Year of the Ox. Tradition can be beautiful especially when it involves food :)

    Gennaros inspiring blog post..6 Steps To A Lucky Chinese New Year

  33. Zoe

    What a relief to know that I’m NOT flawed or inadequate; other women feel overwhelmed,too!! I often feel all alone in my self-critiques. Nice to read other’s coping suggestions, although Melissa’s photo alone was spirit-restoring. We ADDivas (those of us with ADD and “piles everywhere”, etc) need lots of reassurance. We easily lose perspective and then FREEZE getting no where! Absolutely LOVE this website (and those fabulous links from other responders)!
    Thanks for being there….and Stay Blessed!

  34. Sheila

    When I feel overwhelmed and can’t take a physical break, I tend to take a step back and do something I love to do for a mental break, and that is read! I loved to read. I will seek out books that I call “old friends” and spend an hour or even a day with them. Somehow that lifts my spirits and gets me pointed in a better direction.


    Sheila :-)

    Sheilas inspiring blog post..Pink Saturday: Shopping Day

  35. Sheila

    When I feel overwhelmed and can’t take a physical break, I tend to take a step back and do something I love to do for a mental break, and that is read! I loved to read. I will seek out books that I call “old friends” and spend an hour or even a day with them. Somehow that lifts my spirits and gets me pointed in a better direction.


    Sheila :-)

  36. Savory

    I’ve always found moving to be stressful. I believe it’s on that top ten list of most stressful life experiences. There are too many decisions to be made quickly, too much change – emotional, physical and logistical. It can be a bit disorienting. You seem to have put your finger on what you need to do for yourself. I hope this week is better and all those that follow. Savory

    Savorys inspiring blog post..Morning Ritual

  37. Elizabeth

    Hi, Melissa!

    I linked twice because the first link ended up being a wierd addy to BBC News! I have no clue how I did that!!

    Anyway, this was a really good idea. I can’t wait to read everybody’s posts.


    Elizabeths inspiring blog post..A Beautiful Life post

  38. Lalena

    This is beautiful. I agree! Taking time to refresh is so important. We cant give out of an empty jar!

    Lalenas inspiring blog post..

  39. Kim Swales

    I have followed you for a while and want to offer some encouragement. Like you—I love being surrounded by beauty. I am very into making my house a beautiful home. We custom built our dream house only to leave it behind a few months ago. I felt SO overwhelmed trying to unpack (I have 3 kids and one of them is 2). I looked around and saw disorganization and boxes and to do projects…not beauty (although it is a beautiful home). We also had a MAJOR gas leak that was making me feel even more lethargic and sick. But after being in the house a few months (almost 3) it is starting to look like our home. I am ordering window treatments (wish I could sew) and tweaking art and furniture to make it all work. It will take a while but I know you will put BEAUTIFUL touches on your new home. I made sure to invite friends over even though it was not “done.” I find fresh flowers and friends inspire me. I hope you find inspiration and feel at home soon.


    Kim Swaless inspiring blog post..Too much for a title.

  40. DebbieW

    My sweet BFF,

    I just linked, but I will have to go back tomorrow to mention your name in the post. My brain seems to be shutting down for the night. I have been thinking about you and praying my little heart out that things are going smoothly for you and your family.

    I love you, dear one!

    DebbieWs inspiring blog post..Leaning into Each Other

  41. Pat

    It’s always nice to stop and smell the roses and count our blessings at the same time.
    Last week, I added more of my photos to the walls of our condo. I believe it was one of the most fullfilling projects we accomplished while working toward the redo. It was also simplest. Preparing the photos caused me to take advantage of the time, to become more aware of the beauty outside on the lake and around the wooded areas.
    I’ve kept you in my thoughts and prayers throughout your transition. And continue to do so!
    All the best, Melissa!

    Pats inspiring blog post..~Art at the Condo, Old & New~

  42. Miss Sandy

    Hi Melissa,

    I am a little late in joining the Beautiful Life post this week. I had an off week too so I must have been in very good company! About the only beauty I could find was light reflecting off a glob of plastic and sunlight on a pile of sheets! We are in the middle of a room re-do and I truly sympathize with your being in the middle of a whole house re-do! Wishing you a wonderful, productive, and blessed week as you continue to settle into your new home.

    Miss Sandys inspiring blog post..Serendipity Sunday: Faithfulness That Reaches The Clouds

  43. arline

    I try to remember the choices that I have made in my life. If those choices are not working for me, I take a deep look, and see what I can do differently.

    I am learning everyday, how to love myself more, and what that means.
    Not ego love, (the ego is not bad, by the way), but an inner love that can radiate out.

    When life gets too busy, and It can, it can be difficult to see what is right in front of you, let alone, what is needed for the soul.

    For me, breathing is the key, along with Yoga, meditating, painting, and connecting, even if it is for a few precious minutes a day. Time is not as important as intention, and focus, so taking just a few moments to breathe, and listen to what the heart wants is where its at.

    HEARTS <3

    arlines inspiring blog post..removing obstacles and letting go…

  44. Melissa Lewis - Off The Wall

    Sure hope you are feeling better:)

  45. Fiona


    I have always wanted to see what you were up to!!! And this is exciting to me because it feels like we have traveled a similar road.

    After ending up in the ER, the doctor said “slow down and unstress”. So this is a suject near and dear to my heart. David sat with me in the ER while I was hooked up to the machines, and he said “Let’s make a list right now of the things you can do to unstress, and the things that slow down your pace.” So we came up wth a list of probably 25 things that I keep in the back of my journal so I can flip to it anytime. I also try to put one of two of those things into the week somewhere.

    I have also found that teaching my kids how to do that is important. School plays, finals, and young adult drama etc are all great reasons to slow down, refocus, and keep your sanity and sense of humor intact.

    God bless, Fiona



  1. You Are Not Alone - [...] you’re feeling overwhelmed and need a bit of inspiration, visit Melissa at The Inspired Room for a wonderful post…

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