Lists to Make when Life Gets Seriously Overwhelming + FREE Printables

Life can get overwhelming, seriously overwhelming, sometimes. It’s important that we’re prepared for it and knowing how to calm yourself during times of overwhelm can be crucial. Something that can help, no matter what, is making lists. It allows us to ‘brain dump’, reflect and often times gain a different, more positive perspective.

Life gets loud. It can get messy. Organizing our thoughts can curb that mess. If you find yourself overwhelmed, stressed, struggling with mental health or just need to take some self-reflection time – making lists can quiet that over-thinking mind. Curious as to what type of lists may help in times of crisis? Check out these ideas! Here are lists to make when life gets seriously overwhelming: 

“Things I’m Grateful For”

Practicing gratitude can be life-changing for many. Often, we can lose sight of what it is we have and focus more on what we don’t have. This isn’t a good way to think. The best way to curb that type of thinking is to take some time, (whenever you can), to write down things you are grateful for. Seriously, you have more than you realize. It’s nice to put that into perspective sometimes.

If you want to try “Morning Pages”, click the link for the FREE download below:

Morning Pages Printable

Bucket List

Discussing and thinking about the things we want to do in the future is a great way to relax. It’ll help get your mind off of whatever it is that’s ailing you.

Stumped on what to add to a bucket list? Here are some ideas: 

  • Places You want to Travel
  • Financial Moves You Want to Make
  • Activities You Want to do (Skydiving, scuba diving, etc.)
  • Items You Want to Own
  • Things You Want to Learn

Literally – anything and everything you want to do in life – list it.

“Things that make me Happy” List

I like to add a bit of ‘flair’ to these ones like – “Things that make me uncontrollably happy.” Either way, writing down things that make you happy will allow you to focus your energy on positivity rather than negativity. What’s a better way to calm a worried mind than have yourself focused on happiness?

“Things I’m Good at” List

Worried that you’re lacking in some area of your life? Don’t worry – we all go to that mental place from time to time. A great way to combat those thoughts is to focus on what you’re good at. Make a list of things you know you’re good at it. This will help move your mind away from those negative thoughts.

“Times I’ve Succeeded” List

Writing down our personal accomplishments can be a great self-esteem boost. This is particularly helpful in times of stress. Make a list of all the times you’ve succeeded. Go ahead, boast about those accomplishments! Remember, it’s for your eyes only.

“My Core Values” List

If you’ve ever had a moment where you feel like you’re veering away from your core values, you certainly aren’t alone. We all worry that we are doing something, or contemplating doing something that isn’t exactly in line with our core values. This could mean that some of those values you thought were extremely important aren’t so much. Need perspective? Make a list of your core values and go back through them and analyze what each one really means to you.

Want to break this one down further? Try making these lists: 

  • “Things I would never do”
  • “Things I Strongly believe in”
  • “Things I would never compromise”

“To Be Read” List, AKA “TBR”

My TBR list is basically a novel all it’s own right now because I’ve never really stopped adding to it. Reading is healthy and having an on-going list of books you want to read isn’t the worst list to make. It can help you keep track of your next book purchase and can help relax you.

Here are some novels I LOVE: 

  • The Woods – Harlan Coben (Almost everything by this author is fantastic.)
  • Needful Things – Stephen King
  • The Ruins – Scott B. Smith
  • Left to Die – Lisa Jackson

Grab your TBR printable, FOR FREE, below: 

“To be Read” FREE Printable

“To Do” List

Having a to-do list is one of the best ways to keep yourself organized in daily life. You can have them for the day, the week, the month, the year – any way you like to do it.

FREE Daily To-Do List

More List Ideas:

  • Goal List
  • Store Lists
  • Wishlists
  • Gift Ideas List
  • Special Events List
  • Playlists (Make many, listen often.)
  • Acts of Kindness List

When Life gets Loud, Write it out.

Sometimes, focusing on writing out our thoughts is a good way to keep them under control. We all get overwhelmed. Make use of lists to quiet a loud mind.




Krissy October is a professional freelance writer, aspiring novelist and knowledge nerd who is dedicated to consistent self-improvement and finding clever ways to solve everyday problems.


  1. Yaay! Love this! I love writing lists (my phone is just full of them) for just about everything. Thanks for giving me ideas on positive things to jot down. Things are especially stressful nowadays with the COVID-19 around. This is very timely. 🙂

  2. I agree with that. I tried the methods before and they worked wonders. Now i teach them to my kids. Thanks for such amazing article

  3. I absolutely agree on writing out a core values list! There’s something in articulating your feelings (vs just knowing) and then reading them in black & white. It makes them more real and impactful!

  4. I’m a big fan of making lists! They help keep me sane, especially with being stuck indoors lately.

    Make Life Marvelous

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