That overwhelming feeling

Lately there have been a number of moments when I have been getting that feeling of being completely overwhelmed. It usually happens when I feel like I am losing control of all the things on the to do list or when I feel like I’m rushing from one thing to the next with no break in the middle or when I am uncomfortable with a decision and am feeling anxious about it. Sometimes it makes me angry, sometimes sad and sometimes just really flat. My reactions vary.

For me, feeling this way is OK, for a moment. It is a wake up call to say ‘hey, something has got to give’ or ‘hey, you need to take some time out and prioritise’ or even ‘time to share the load a bit more’. The first thing I do when I notice the feelings is call or message Eliot. It doesn’t always go down well, particularly if we are both in the same boat but acknowledging the feelings and allowing myself to communicate them to him is cathartic. He will undoubtedly tell me to find a moment as his initial response.

Once I’ve acknowledged that overwhelmed feeling, I generally to try and figure out what’s causing it. Nothing like a problem solving methodology to get to the root cause. I can’t say that I have done a fishbone diagram on these types of situations but a quick ‘5 Whys‘ goes a long way. It helps me get specific about what it is that is making me feel overwhelmed.

Specificity allows me come up with ways to reset my mood and feelings. The solutions can definitely be quite varied from getting on top my to do list (getting it out of my head and identifying my top 3), to doing a full reset of all the activities we (as a family) have said ‘yes’ to, or assessing a recent decision to figure out how to address the source of the anxiety. I also come back to my values and goals to reset my thoughts to make sure they’re aligned. If I come up with the answer that I am on track, it might just be that I need to find a moment, take a breath and look out the window.

So my thoughts are on this that if you’re feeling overwhelmed, take time to properly understand why. Assess whether the ‘why’ is due to a misalignment between your goals and what you’re doing or due to trying to do too much and make a change if needed. If the overwhelmed feeling is long lasting or deep, please find someone to talk to and seek professional help.

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