Feeling Overwhelmed; Make It End!!


Our first truly fall-day here in New England; cold, drizzly, generally bleak. It’s easy to forget that this is a large portion of the glorious season; cold and drizzle. It’s not all sunshine, sweaters, and apple cider, ya’ll. It’s easy to get stung by the seasonal depression bug during this time also, we wake up in the dark, drive home from work in the dark, eat in the dark… Are we sensing a theme here? Oh, and it’s cold. But some people love that, hey.

Anyways, I’m not here to talk about how much I detest the cold. I’m also not here to tell you how difficult it is to write from the comfort of the couch when there is a baby within arms reach, who has made it his sole purpose in life to bang on the keyboard and scream whenever you look the slightest bit comfortable. Because those would be excuses for not writing in two months, and I’m not in the business of excuse-making.

Feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and anxious can be really super debilitating, and I am more than familiar with all three. Generally, the three emotions are stemming from the same thing, or lead to one another. Example, I’m feeling overwhelmed which makes me stressed out, and this pattern gives me anxiety. How. Do. We. Deal?

Feeling overwhelmed

stop feeling overwhelmed pinterest

Life is overwhelming sometimes, especially during a change of seasons, like now. Mother nature begins a new phase, and my subconscious mind decides I need a change too! But not just a change, an improvement. Unfortunately, I can’t just ‘improve’ as spontaneously as the leaves falling off the trees. So things start building in my mind and they sit there making me feel incapable. How do I stop feeling overwhelmed.

Identify the causes.

Seriously, like write them down. When I do this I’m sometimes shocked to see how silly certain things are and wonder why i was letting them affect me so much! Here’s an example of a few things I wrote down when I did this step. (Keep in mind I work as a bartender).

  1. I’m not a good enough mother.
  2. I don’t know how to make very many specialty shots.
  3. I have a ton of split ends, and no money to get my hair done right now.

Yes, there were a lot more to this list and most of them were more serious. Some common themes are probably money, my career path, my life, relationships, etc. However these three were literally on my list!

To worry about being a good enough mother is unavoidable. It’s always going to be a thought in the back of my mind and I think most mothers feel the same. This one I have to accept. To worry about not making enough fancy shots at work, or having scraggly ends is ridiculous. These thoughts pop up in my mind so quickly and contribute to my stress without me even having a chance to identify how silly they are!

Decide which things you want to focus on.

Some of the list is cross-off worthy immediately, but there will probably be a lot of important stuff on there that is either super important to you, or crucial to your survival/the people you are responsible for. So obviously we cant cross-off the later, but what about the stuff that is really important to you? Maybe we can’t cross it off, but we can prioritize it and decide to focus on certain things now, and other things later.

For example. Two things that are really important to me; spending time/supporting my friends and spending time with my child. Child won, that one was easy.

Now let’s take another one! Spending time with my child and building my career. Ok these two things are really important to me and, honestly, this one is not as easy. Some of them aren’t, but now I have two things to think about, where as my original list was…how long?

Revisit the list.

Let’s say my original list was;

  1. Am I a good mother
  2. Want to spend time with child
  3. I have scraggly hair
  4. I’m a bad bartender
  5. I need to build my career
  6. I need to maintain my friendships

Worrying about all of these things is super overwhelming (don’t worry, my list is much, much longer, with categories, color coded, etc..) But in the 10 minutes it took my to write the last two paragraphs, i knocked off 4 out of the 6 items!

  1. Am I a good mother
  2. Want to spend time with child
  3. I have scraggly hair
  4. I’m a bad bartender
  5. I need to build my career
  6. I need to maintain my friendships

Now, instead of feeling super duper overwhelmed, I just face a complicated situation. A complicated situation that so many people face.

In closing, accept the complexity of your life, but don’t let it overwhelm you. Life is too complicated to let things that don’t matter bother you.

So tell me…what’s on your list 🙂













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