How to Combat the Overwhelmed Feeling
Do you ever feel like everything is just crumbling down to little bits? Like you thought you had a good grasp on this whole life thing and then all of sudden it seems unmanageable and impossible. And then a panic washes over you and you think why God why...help me, I can't get out of this. After having this energy all day, you just feel sick.
For some reason, I can get into these moments, especially when I'm in school or work or just trying to accomplish a lot in one day. This feeling of never being able to do anything is uncomfortable and makes me want to jump out of my skin, or sit in a freezing cold lake, just to get rid of the pain and troubled activity responses.
I've done some reflection, actually a lot, this past week looking at my good days and my not so good days. What is different when I don't feel panicky and anxious? How am I controlling my emotional discomforts? When I look at everything on my list, do I cram it all together and do it all at once, or do I space it out and allow myself deserving breaks?
I've found some ways to help with my panic and anxiety when my list of things to do seems never-ending. Let's combat that overwhelmed feeling. Let's show em who's boss!
When you see yourself getting into the negative self-talk, take a step back..
My brain has a habit of spiraling into bullying itself. And once it starts, my brain gets in a habit of doing it again and again and again, until I'm beat almost to the ground and I wonder why I don't feel good and have a pounding headache.
This can happen with silly stuff that I do wrong like forgetting where I put my pencil, even though it's right in front of me and OH MY GOSH if I can't find my pencil, I won't be able to find a good husband and if I don't find a good husband I won't be able to have babies and if I don't have babies my life will be completely and utterly ruined and ugh, why was I even put on this planet? .. See what I mean? The spiral, what a dreadful thing it truly is.
I won't go on about the big stuff, but you can probably imagine what can happen when something seriously traumatic happens. The brain is a powerful, manipulative tool. Man, what a love-hate relationship we have.
SO, when I feel myself getting stressed and starting the journey down the roller coaster, I take a step back. I remember to breathe and take more than shallow breaths.
I ask myself: What is it that is making me feel like I can't handle this predicament? Is it really gonna lead to this dreadful reality I'm making up in my head? HOW can I handle this?
I write down steps I can take to make this problem run smoother and more cooperatively. For example, if I have two chapters to read for class and one page is confusing the HELL out of me, I write down what is triggering the panic, that it's okay if I don't understand something (I'm not supposed to know everything), and how I will handle the assigned two chapters manageably. The homework isn't due for six days, you don't have to get everything done and understand all of it today, Sage...
Don't put yourself into prison when you're trying to get a lot done..
When I look down at my 'to do' list in the morning, after I eat breakfast, I can sometimes turn into a crabby monster. If I'm not careful, somebody can talk to me and being in my overwhelmed state my evil eyes break and I turn into a bitch. I can remain in this state for some time. I HATE IT!
I sit down at my desk and start my assignments for the day. I keep my head to my desk, to my books, to my work, and before I know it, it's six o'clock and I haven't gotten out of my chair, eaten or gone to the bathroom in seven hours. And then I wonder why I feel like absolute crap that evening.
THIS IS NOT THE WAY TO GO SILLY WOMAN!
On the days that I feel great, get a lot done, and am proud of what I accomplish, I don't act in a manner of I have to get all of this done now or my life will end in a shit show.
Looking at what I have to do, I make a plan to have breaks after I accomplish specific tasks. But NOT all of them. I allow myself to eat a lunch and have a snack, go for a walk, talk to a friend and always...make a cup of tea. Yoga in the morning also helps me get into this good mindset..
I mean, it's super weird. When I allow myself this kind of freedom, my head has this new life without the headache, my fatigue is usually waay less, my panic pretty much subsides and my attitude's a bit nicer. Hmm.
Give yourself rewards throughout the day..
Okay, when I was in the joys of high school, I would get into this mindset that if I was stressed out and did nothing other than study and get good grades, only then I could allow myself to go to the movies with friends or get some dinner at my favorite Mexican restaurant or go get some goods from a few of my favorite shops, etc..
I understand, this (or something kind of like this) would be a good idea if I were the type to be a slacker and never do what I was told or instructed, but that was way not my type... I was the complete opposite of that kind of person. I never gave myself a break to breathe.
So now as a college student and a working woman, I've tried to turn around this mindset that says I can only give myself TLC if I don't do anything but work for the next week around. Now, I give myself permission to treat myself and give myself time off throughout the week AS I'm working and getting things done.
If I do all the things that are on my list for the day, but they are not all finished, I will still allow myself to have a nice soak in the tub before I go to sleep. If I'm at work for four hours and haven't had a break, I ask for a ten minute, so I can relax and feed my brain with sustenance and work better when I return. If I am feeling stressed whilst doing homework, I don't deprive myself and keep going without lifting my head out of the book; I take a minute to meditate, get a snack or go for a walk.
What I'm trying to say and encourage is the importance of allowing yourself the time to be the best self you can be, without mistreating and depleting yourself with necessities you need to survive *which include pamper sessions and 'me times'.. To succeed doesn't mean you can never do anything fun and all you have to do is work. Think about the happiest people you know...they do more with their lives than study, work, sleep and repeat. Make the most of your life. Enjoy the little things.
Love to you all.