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  • Writer's pictureCatherine Tidd

When Overwhelm Feels Permanent

I'm stealing this idea - just a little bit. Someone in the Mind, Body, Spirit group on Facebook mentioned this as part of her day and I thought it was so interesting.

I'm paraphrasing a bit here, so stick with me. We often implement things when we feel strong, only to be overwhelmed by some of the things we implement when we're not feeling 100%.

In her case, if I remember correctly, she was talking about the size of her house; how it seemed like a good idea when she bought it, but now it's feeling overwhelming. When she said that, I TOTALLY GOT IT. When we have days, weeks, or - God willing - months when we feel like we're firing on all cylinders, we feel like we can take on the world. But no one exists in that state forever. So, when we sink a little bit it feels like the world is crashing down on us.

I do that a lot with work stuff. I feel like I can do anything, so I over-schedule and over-commit. In my case, my ebbs and flows are usually weekly: one week I feel like I can do anything and the next all I want to do is stay in my bed.

In my case, I've started recognizing that and I do my best to plan for it. If I have a presentation one day, I won't book any meetings the next day. I allow myself a certain amount of appointments in one week and then I cut myself off. In fact, I use Calendly for an online scheduler and it cuts out appointments for me - I have a setting that will only allow a certain number of appointments in one week.

But what happens if you've committed to something - like a house - and you start feeling overwhelmed by it?

First of all, I try to constantly remind myself that nothing is permanent - not a house and not the feeling of exhaustion. Of course no one wants to move. It's a huge pain in the ass. But it is possible.

And the overwhelming feeling often does pass - it just feels like it takes forever. When I'm feeling that way, I think it's been weeks that I've been depressed, when really it's been a few days. And when I'm feeling low, I remind myself that nothing has to happen right now. The only commitment I have is to take care of myself (and feed anyone who happens to be living with me).

The other thing I do when I have something huge like this on my mind is talk to people. I am seriously the biggest blabbermouth you've every met when it comes to stuff I'm going through. From anxiety and depression to cramps and hormones, I'll tell anyone who's listening what's going on.

The reason I do that is because you'll often get the answer you need from the most unexpected places. When I was at the height of my anxiety, strangers were giving me healing oils, people on planes were telling me what worked for their mothers, women at networking meetings were giving me breathing techniques. All of this combined knowledge allowed me to find my own answers.

I'm betting that everyone reading this blog can relate to what the woman in that Facebook group was talking about. We've all been there even if we're just now realizing it. I think that this has to be a universal feeling.

So, open up. Talk about it. Let others either help you or help you find a solution. Some day you will be their answer.

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