Feeling overwhelmed? Why I need to heed my own advice right now.

Feeling overwhelmed? Why I need to heed my own advice right now.

I must admit I feel a little bit foolish right now. Here I am chasing my own dreams, getting ahead and thinking that things couldn’t work out any better. Until I sat at my chiropractor’s office and going over my test results that show clearly that I have been running at full speed without refueling for a bit too long. I am feeling overwhelmed. Big time. My body is telling me to slow down.

Why is everything a bit too much all of a sudden? Why am I feeling so overwhelmed? Am I not following my dreams with this blog, with going riding, with the dream job that I have, with starting to work out more, with daily affirmations, bullet journals and social media channels that want to be updated every day? Typing this all out it becomes obvious to me, doesn’t it? But I love all those things and they make me happy. As I said, I am feeling a bit foolish right now.

Maybe for the first time ever, I am extremely driven and determined, because I am following my dreams. I was and still am utterly surprised that this let to an impasse. Isn’t following your dreams the ultimate goal? Sigh, yes, but it needs to be sustainable. My mind tells me “blah blah” right now and all I want to do is poke my tongue at myself with every sentence I write. I should heed my own advice for a change and do all the things I write about. I usually do, but I clearly have not taken good care of myself in the last little while.

What to do when feeling overwhelmed?

So what would be my own advice? Taking a good look at my older posts about self-care, time management and all the bullet journal prompts, I came to the conclusion, that yes, they were all valid. So I decided to get to the root of the problem and assessed this whole mess. Where to start? Glad you asked.

Be gentle to yourself

Take a moment to breathe. Or a day, or two, or a week. Whatever you feel you need to catch your breath. Don’t judge yourself or how you are feeling. This feeling of overwhelm is there to protect you, as weird as it sounds. If you would not have noticed somehow, you could have developed a serious condition. We are experts at fooling ourselves and talking us into thinking that everything is fine when we should take it slow.

I was, and still am a little bit, convinced that everything was going fine, and I felt great. Honestly, this came as a shock to me. I’ll try not to feel defeated by this realization and rather use it as an impetus to tweak and grow.

Brain Dump

Let’s start with a Brain Dump, where you dump all your tasks or any stray thoughts onto a page. I used my bullet journal for this. *winkwink*. Get it all out there. Let it sit and just look at it. Overwhelming? Go figure.

You could compare this to a download of information from your brain onto a page. You become more calm, regain mental space and quieten your mind that tried to hold onto every thought and task, running like a hamster in it’s wheel.


Categorize all your tasks into the following categories (or any that make sense to you):

  • Necessity (don’t forget to add sleep and eat)
  • Wants
  • Nice to have
  • Health etc.

This practice will help you see a clear big picture. After putting everything on paper, it will become more evident what is important to you, what has to be accomplished and what could be postponed until some later time.

Strategize and cut back excess

Create, your daily schedule, because after all, a day has only 24 hrs. I followed Matt Ragland’s 15 Minute Block system. Fill in the hours with the necessities like work, sleep, eat, commute and family. Then add your wants as they are what make you happy: friends, hobbies, working out, ME TIME. Start with your current schedule and look for ways to optimize it, then run with it for a week. After a week of diligent tracking, you might have gained valuable insights on how to tweak things. Make sure you add breathing room or small pockets of me-time. Can you optimize your daily schedule or cut back to work on your dreams for one hour a day. You can achieve a lot in one hour per day. Check out my article about time management.

Get help

It is always a good idea to reach out to others and seek help. Simply acknowledging the fact that you are feeling overwhelmed is a good step in the right direction. Talk to your partner, a friend, a doctor or practitioner. You will know what is best for you. By noticing, acknowledging and working on the challenges that presents itself before us, we grow into an even better version of ourselves.


Keep focusing on the end goal, reducing stress and the feeling of overwhelm. Test out your new strategy or schedule and run with it for a week. If it doesn’t work, go back to the drawing board and change it. This needs to work for you and nobody else.

What I am doing about all of my mess?

I started to slow down. Then I decided to share this with you as it feels the most authentic to me. I would not be authentic if I couldn’t share that I too get overwhelmed sometimes. So finally, this past week, i heeded my own advice and assessed my own to-do list, daily tasks by using the brain dump method. Scaling back my own expectation was the biggest challenge for me. Now, I committed myself to the 15 Minute-block time-track challenge to assess the use of my time and see how I could optimize it. In addition, I prioritized going back to a regular Pilates routine and seeing my chiropractor to get back in shape. Even though I feel like I’d rather be an ostrich putting my head in the sand, I keep repeating my affirmation – you could also call them a mantra – “You can do this!” 

feeling overwhelmed pin | https://westcoastdreaming.com/feeling-overwhelmed/

And now?

Feeling overwhelmed is never a good feeling. However, that you notice what is going on is a huge step forward. You can only get better when you know that something is not going right. Give yourself a pat on the back for it. I mean it. Do it now. That’s nice.

Don’t forget to breathe and take it slow. As slow as you need. You will be able to get back on track!

12 Monthly Pages about Self-Care to include in your Bullet Journal

12 Monthly Pages about Self-Care to include in your Bullet Journal

12 Monthly pages about self-care for your Bullet Journal 800x400 | www.westcoastdreaming.com/12-self-care-pages-bujo

Are you overwhelmed by your daily to-do list and could use a break? Do you feel guilty about not feeling happy despite all that goes well in your life? You are not alone and you might not schedule enough “me-time” into your daily and weekly routine. Here are 12 monthly pages about self-care that you can include in your bullet journal. You can also download these FREE printables. 

Spending time with yourself is one of the most important things you can do for your mental and physical well being. Studies have shown that self-care or “me-time” not only reduces stress and depression, it also boosts creativity, productivity, happiness, gratitude, and empathy.

Even though you might feel you are taking time “out” of your schedule, you are actually putting energy back “into” your life.

Chances are, if you are using a bullet journal, you are already dedicating time to yourself. Great job. Keep at it.

Include these 12 pages ideas in your Bullet Journal as a “Me-Time” challenge:


Simple pleasures

Simple pleasures | Self-Care | Bujo

  • What songs do you turn on to boost your mood?
  • What movies never fail to put a smile on your face?
  • What friends always know how to make you feel better?
  • What items such as blankets or cozy socks can you always turn to?
  • What never fails to brighten your spirits?


Loving the age you are right now

Reasons to be happy about my age | Self-Care | Bujo

List all the reasons why you are happy to be the age you are right now.


Unexpected Beauty

Unexpected beauty | Self-Care | Bujo

List all the times when you discovered unexpected beauty in a seemingly ordinary moment.



empowered | Self-Care | BuJo

Write “I am” statements that make you feel empowered.

  • I am enough.
  • I am creative.
  • I am a strong.
  • I am full of ideas and vision for my life.


Anything is possible

anything possible | Self-Care | BuJo

If anything was possible, what would your life look like?


Happiness list

my happiness list | Self-Care | BuJo

List all the things that make you happy, or smile:

  • Smelling flowers
  • Seeing the sun breaking through the clouds
  • Watching my child sleep
  • A home-made meal that I receive praises for
  • Sipping tea with my best friend and discussing love, life and Bollywood movies


Practicing Gratitude

line ups | Self-Care | BuJo

There are probably very few of us who enjoy waiting in line for something. Think of all the lines you wait in and write about why you are happy to be waiting in them.


Thank You

Thank your body | Self-Care | Bujo

Thank your body for all it is capable of.


What makes you feel strong?

feel strong | Self-Care | BuJo

List everything that makes you feel strong. If negative thoughts pop-into your mind, push them away and tell them they have no power over you.


This is so me!

This is so me | Self-Care | Bujo

What items & rituals make you feel most uniquely you? Here are a few ideas:

  • Wearing scarves
  • Your favourite belt
  • Your favourite jewelry


Adventures await me

Adventures await me | Self-Care | Bujo

What adventures would you like to someday embark on?

For this page I used Japanese Keyboard-memos and layered them on the bottom of the page. Aren’t those cute?


What colour captures who you are?

What colour captures me | Self-Care | BuJo

Fill this page with cut-outs, colours, and tapes of that colour.


Wow, that was a blast. By including these self-care practice pages into your bullet journal you will have gone onto a self-discovery journey by the end of the year. Each month, it might not seem like you put anything into your journal that you don’t already know, but putting words to your thoughts and feelings will let you get to know yourself even better, giving you inspirational prompts throughout the year and for the year ahead.

12 Monthly pages about self-care for your Bullet Journal | www.westcoastdreaming.com/12-self-care-pages-bujo

12 Easy Ways to Reduce Stress this Fall

12 Easy Ways to Reduce Stress this Fall


The fall is usually a very hectic time: school is back in session; the workplace seems to be at its busiest time, traffic is worst between September and December (at least here in Victoria, BC) and before you know it is only a week until the winter holidays: presents need to be bought and wrapped, the house should have been decorated and you were supposed to enjoy the slower fall season with pumpkin spice, baking and cozying up with a blanket. Does this sound familiar?

Check out these 12 ways to reduce stress this fall and stay happy and healthy:

1. Get the right amount of sleep

This is what many people struggle with, but there is no way around it, the more quality sleep we get, the happier we are. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults between ages 26 – 64 should get on average between 7-9 hrs of sleep per night. If you struggle with this as I do, try to set realistic guides on when to go to sleep. Challenge yourself every week to do better than last week and don’t be hard on yourself when you have not changed your habits in one week. It takes time.

2. Soak up the sun

As the days are getting shorter use any moment you can to spend outside. Sunlight triggers the brain to release serotonin, which is thought to help reduce stress, increase your mood and overall happiness.

3. Be active

You will likely not be surprised to see this point here. We all know that we should probably exercise more, but most of us struggle to incorporate time for working out into our hectic days. Try to think less exercise and more being active. Go for a quick walk during your lunch break. Park the car further away from work, run around with your children for 10 minutes before dinner is ready.

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4. Schedule regular “Me” time

Yes, you can do it. Assess how you spend your day and find a pocket of time that you can dedicate to yourself. Start small and make your way up to one hour per day. When you work until late, being it either for work, your own business, or for household chores, you might start to feel resentment for not having time for yourself. Dedicate at least 30 minutes before going to bed to yourself. This will help you unwind and make you more productive the next day. Check out this neat infographic on “me time” by happify.

5. Start a project you wanted to do for a long time

Is there a DIY project or any other project (around the house, or a trip you wanted to make) that wanted to do for a long time? Schedule time for it now! It feels good ticking off one item off your list, whether it’s a chore or something that you are interested in.

I found a really cool vest on Pinterest that I wanted to crochet. Mind you I had learned to crochet when I was in elementary school and never done it since, but so what. Once it’s completed, I’ll post a picture.

6. Incorporate healthy eating habits, but treat yourself once in a while

If you are just starting out with healthy eating habits, track what you eat for one or two weeks. You’ll be surprised by what you’ll find on your list. I always am, even though I have been very health conscious for years now. Once you have figured out who the culprits in your diet are, try to substitute them with something healthier. Go easy on yourself. People find it rarely easy to change everything about their diet and then stick to it. Take a little bit less sugar in your coffee or limit the number of sweets you eat or pop you drink. I am certainly not an expert enough to go into lengths about healthy eating, Lauren and Alex over at Avocadu.com do a way better job at it. Check them out.

7. Give gratitude

This is a big one for sure. Giving gratitude will solve so many things for you. My favourite activity is to note down – at least once a week, but ideally every evening before going to bed – the things that I am grateful for. This will shift your focus on the things that you already have in your life. Once your mind is shifted to positive, you will notice more things to be grateful for or things that make you smile. The more positive vibes you send out there, the more you will receive back.

Give thanks to people around you, they might need to hear it more than you think.

8. Surround yourself with things that make you feel good (decorate your home/space)

When I think of fall, I think of cozy scarves (I LOVE scarves and even wear them in the summer), fall clothing (which is by far my favourite), blankets, hot tea, a fire in the oven, and fall decorations. Indulge yourself and shop for an item or two, but don’t get into a shopping frenzy. Material goods won’t make you happy in the long run, but surrounding yourself with a few key items that will make you feel good, can do wonders.

9. Do something for others/Give back

Much as with giving gratitude, giving back shifts your focus to the positive while knowing you made a difference in somebody’s life. Help a friend in need, or offer to help them without them asking, volunteer with a local organization if your time permits, or if you are hard pressed for time, consider donating. Every dollar counts. Even if you can only spare $5, your local non-profit organization will use it to help someone in need. Whatever makes your heart sing when you think about all these possibilities, choose that one. If you can, become a monthly donor, if not, one-time donations are just as much appreciated.

10. Your happy soundtrack

I bet you know exactly what music makes you happy. Have you ever tried to compile a playlist of those favourites? If you are like me, you like a wide arrange of music, but there are just a few songs that you connect with on deep level. They make your heart sing, so to speak. Have this playlist on your phone and whenever you need a dose of happy, put it on. Works like a charm anytime, trust me.

11. De-clutter one area of your home per week

Organizing and de-cluttering are liberating for the soul and mind. But again, don’t overwhelm yourself by trying to do everything at once. Start one drawer at a time and see how your home is being transformed. Plus, when you go slow, there are more items to tick off your to-do list. And that’s a good feeling any day put that special check-mark on your item list.

12. Start a bullet journal

Have you also seen these wondrous things on Pinterest or on the internet in general? The beautiful journals people seem to create with ease and in no time? And they look like so much fun. Besides the therapeutic creation of the journals, the content you put into these journals will help you with a lot of the above-mentioned points:

      • You’ll get organized
      • By creating these journals, you will spend time on yourself
      • You can list the things that you are grateful for or went well. You’ll automatically focus on the positive.
      • You’ll start ticking things off your to-do list because you can put your to-dos in there.
      • You can track spending, eating habits, your mood, chores and so much more.


Stay tuned and find great resources here to help you create your own journal. It will be extra simple and fun!


Top 10 inspirational videos

Top 10 inspirational videos


For Mimi: thinking so much of you these days and of all our conversations about staying motivated, positive and following your dreams. This is for you.

Are you feeling stuck or low on energy with the fall rolling in? Are you sometimes plagued by the evil little being called DOUBT? Are people in your life telling you, you cannot do something?

Then I got a list of my top ten videos for you that will get you inspired and back on track.

It is ok to feel low at times, but use this period to rest and then get back up again and be stronger than before. Don’t let others or even yourself stand in your way to fulfilling your dreams and the life you were meant to live.

Sometimes all we need is a little push. So here you go: *push*

If you have seen them before, great. If you are working on living the best life you possibly can, it is worth watching them over and over again.

1. Shia LaBeouf “Just Do It”

2. Never give up on your dreams!!!

3. The Law of Attraction explained by Denzel Washington
Powerful testament by celebrities on the law of attraction and how it affected their lives.

4. Have the courage to follow your dreams

5. Leadership from a Dancing Guy
Never thought that a amateur video from the Sasquatch Music Festival could be so very enlightening!

6. A Pep Talk from Kid President to You

7. Follow your Dream

8. Misty Copeland  – Under Armour
Yes, this is advertising, but a very motivational and true story nonetheless. Love Misty Copeland and her determination to not let anything stand in her way of becoming a prima ballerina.

9. Don’t allow your Life to be Controlled by these Five Things

10. The Secret to You
Last but not least, my absolute favourite from the one and only Rhonda Byrne.

Three signs you are onto something

Three signs you are onto something

Three signs you are onto something: If an idea stays with your and keeps inspiring you, might might be onto something | https://westcoastdreaming.com/three-signs-you-are-onto-something/

How to Listen to Your Gut?

You have probably heard that advice one too many times before. This is obviously one of the many things easier said than done. What I often ask myself is something along the lines: “What the heck does that mean?” or “My gut is not talking to me at all”! But all in all, there is something so fundamentally true to that statement that we should not overlook it, just because our “gut” is sometimes confused.

The more you check in with Mr. or Mrs. Gut, the easier it will become to listen to them. If it is dead silent (not necessarily a bad sign) it could be translated to “Not too sure about this one, please come again”. Eventually, if you will keep trying to listen and to follow your dreams, it will talk to you. Loud and clear.

Here are three signs how your gut might try to tell you that you are onto something:

1. The idea keeps percolating in your head

Your idea stays with you for a long period of time and you will get back to it over and over again. You will probably start feeling very excited when thinking about your idea and you will start reading about it, researching, daydreaming and talking to other people about it.

2. You see ways to achieve your goal

Another dead-on sign that you are onto something would be that you can see how you can achieve your dream. Or, you see yourself taking the necessary steps towards it.

In the case of landing one of my jobs, I did not hesitate to write my application. I was that excited about this opportunity, it almost wrote itself. I thought of easy ways to keep myself in the mind of my future employer, following up with them at the right moments, without being afraid of being cumbersome.

When I had the idea about starting this blog, I had mentally made a list of things that would need to happen for this dream to become a reality. I knew I was able to create a website and maintain it, I had an idea what to write about, I knew what I needed to learn more about and I had a pretty good idea how to find all that information.

So after percolating this idea for about six weeks, researching the topic and the technical side of things and seeing myself doing each individual task, I took the leap of faith and purchased a domain and started setting it up. I am still freaked out about it. In a very good kind of way, believe me.

3. You start telling people

You might find yourself telling people about your plan. Maybe in parts or maybe the whole idea, but you might find yourself telling your friends and/or family about bits and pieces of it just to test out your idea and hear what they might think about it. Will they be supportive of your idea? Or will they share their experience of having gone through something similar? Will they give you good ideas on how to tweak things?

Whatever you do, whatever your signs will be, your gut will tell you when you are onto something. Just trust it.


One more thing:

Don’t underestimate the power of talking about your dream.

You might be shy about it, not sure if you ready to share it with the “world”. I certainly was. What I just recently learned is the following: You need to tell people about your big dream. Or the one you are currently working on. You might be surprised on who shares in your dream, who can help you get started and who can connect you with people who are already living the dream.

If I had not opened up about wanting to get back horseback riding, I would not have had the opportunity to go with my daughter’s daycare provider. I would not have learned about the co-worker whose family owns horses might be interested in leasing one out. I would not have connected with a woman who used to train horses while both of us enjoyed a Zumba class and I would not have been told by a stranger I met walking to hold onto my dream and fulfill it.

Granted this stranger turned out to be a woman who walked her two Icelandic Horses *love* on a local trail while I was out walking the baby in the stroller. Nevertheless, I think of her often and she is an inspiration to me. So go out and talk in whatever form feels comfortable to you. Good luck.