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Why do I stress about having a lot of things to do, even when I have almost nothing to do?

15 Answers
Last Updated: 11/16/2020 at 8:11am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Amelia Winsby, PsyD

Psychologist

I often work with clients who experience a wide range of emotions and difficulties. I am non-judgmental and enjoy working with individuals from all walks of life.

Top Rated Answers
Kjarra
April 10th, 2015 3:56pm
Maybe you lost the habit of being kept busy. Meanwhile, as everything isn't forcibily right at the moment, you wish it was. Therefore you tend to be a little perfectionist about ideas, assuming it will take much time and efforts : it will be difficult. What causes the stress is the fear that things won't be done properly.
Noah88
March 24th, 2015 9:07pm
Sometimes even the thought of having to do something can feel so imposing that it triggers a stress reaction. It may be that you're nervous about upcoming events even if they're not relevant yet, that you have home situation or work situation triggers besides activities and projects, or you may even be feeling guilt or frustration about putting things off and causing a stress reaction that way. When you are stressed and can't avoid it, it's important to either alter the situation (what can you change about the situation to make it less stressful?), adapt to the situation (how can you change to make the situation less stressful?), or accept that the situation is a certain way and learn to work with it in the best way you can.
duckslikerain
June 8th, 2015 8:24am
It certainly depends on your situation, but this is how some people experience anxiety. Speaking from personal experience from dealing with anxiety and depression, I've realized that I sometimes have a lower tolerance of what I can handle than some other people do... and that's okay! I've had to learn how much and how little I can handle in daily life. I've learned that in order to function in a healthy manner, I need to take care of myself first. That means making sure that I've eaten enough, that my personal hygiene is okay, that my house is in enough of a liveable order, etc. Also, with these little things, try to celebrate your small victories. Lets say you got out of bed and ate breakfast today. Depending on the day, that might be a huge accomplishment!
Anonymous
July 4th, 2016 10:50am
Try completing your tasks on time, multi-tasking can also be stressful but sometimes it helps ( well for me that is) . When free, you can do the things that you have been meaning to do ( I am sure there is ;) ) then there will be nothing for you to be stressed about.
EtherealHedonist
May 11th, 2015 11:03am
I usually love to procrastinate so I kinda panic with the amount of work I have to do. But right now I stress about the things I have to do even though I have nothing to do because I have this case when I want to do something but for some reason I can't summon any motivation to do them. I have art to finish for friends and yet I haven't started on them. It's a stressful thing, that I'm keeping them waiting. I don't want to give them a bad impression of me. Loss of motivation is one reason why I stress about these. I'm working on this problem of mine. Small steps .w. I'd usually try and listen to music I love that pushes me to do these things.
Anonymous
March 24th, 2015 10:56pm
It sounds as if you feel overwhelmed with the things you do have to do. Sometimes even the smallest task can seem the hardest.
HelenTheWiseOne
September 28th, 2015 5:12pm
I do this all the time! I think it's probably because when we are anxious little things can send like such torturous tasks. Also I find that it can be very difficult to get motivation to do things so even though there isn't much to be done it can feel very overwhelming.
Anonymous
August 15th, 2015 7:38pm
Humans like to be busy or to have their minds occupied. If you can find something that you enjoy doing or that you need to be doing, just do it. Sometimes we need an extra push to do something that has been put off like cleaning, or organizing. Just do it a small step at a time, then you dont have to tackle it all at once.
Heartbeat99
September 21st, 2015 7:26pm
Anxiety works in weird ways and different for everyone. for me personally i can get an anxiety attack from as little as one thing. just try and breath and don't let it consume you
Blaine62
January 26th, 2016 9:17pm
Have you always had this problem or is it new? You may just need to look at your time management skills or you may need to speak to someone about your stress
Anonymous
March 8th, 2016 5:21am
You could be suffering from an anxiety disorder, or chronic stress. You could also be dealing with school-related stress
meghan3
August 2nd, 2016 8:27pm
Sometimes I find that my thoughts tend to repeat themselves. It makes it seem like I have so many things to worry about, but in reality I am just worrying about the same things over and over again. It usually helps me to write down each worry that comes to mind - I call it a "Worry List" - and then I notice that it is really less than I thought.
Noisylou3
November 8th, 2016 1:57am
Sometimes when you don't have a lot to do, your brain tries to find things for you to do to keep you from being bored.
BubblyBee2015
May 22nd, 2017 11:54pm
Everyone's tolerances are different. I feel overwhelmed if I know that on my days off work I'll have to visit someone and perhaps remember to post a letter. I can only cope with a few things at a time before I get stressed out
sushmaramesh
November 16th, 2020 8:11am
Sometimes even the thought of having to do something can feel so imposing that it triggers a stress reaction. It may be that you're nervous about upcoming events even if they're not relevant yet, that you have home situation or work situation triggers besides activities and projects, or you may even be feeling guilt or frustration about putting things off and causing a stress reaction that way. When you are stressed and can't avoid it, it's important to either alter the situation (what can you change about the situation to make it less stressful?), adapt to the situation (how can you change to make the situation less stressful?), or accept that the situation is a certain way and learn to work with it in the best way you can.