Overwhelm and noticing

I have too much going on right now. Let’s say I don’t need more stimulation- though the shock of a quiet house can be a bit discombobulating given the amount on my plate overflowing buffet table.

I think we’ve all heard messages about overwhelm or crazy-busy lives like “learn to say no,” or “let some things go.” These are useful ideas, but they aren’t always on point. In some cases, they can just create inner judgment, like “it must be something I’m doing wrong,” or “I’m not prioritizing well enough,” or one of my favorites, “if I only managed my to do list better it wouldn’t be so hard.”

None of this addresses the fact that sometimes life delivers too much to handle in the hours or our day. Here are some things that help at times like this:

1. checking in and noticing feelings  of overwhelm, as well asactual overload, or whatever you want to call “having way more to deal with than you can in the time available.” The important thing here is noticing and identifying.

Some supports can help to do this, including

  • sleep
  • medication
  • vigorous or gentle exercise

2. letting go of something you can’t let go of, and can’t say no to. For example, my house is a mess. It isn’t really ok with me, and isn’t the most useful way to function. But it just is. And I just will be able to clean or organize when I can. And that’s just what it is.

3. remembering that you didn’t decide to have this situation. You might have a combination of medical/family/family’s medical/children’s school/your work/your household/your other commitments… that is way more involved than you have time for. That is not necessarily your fault. Let go of what you can let go of, but don’t carry around the weight of believing you made it this way if it isn’t so.