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Feeling Overwhelmed.

Feeling overwhelmed is one of my least favourite feeling, as I am sure many of you will agree. Many others and I have been feeling a lot recently. With the restrictions of lockdown being eased, places starting to re-open and the world trying to adjust to this new ‘normal’. The feelings of anxiety, fear and once again changing routine is certainly a shock to the system. But like all feelings, it is valid, and should we address it rather than running from it? 

When I am feeling overwhelmed, it’s usually because my thoughts are racing. Too many things are coming in and not giving me enough room to breathe. It’s that feeling of being out of control, not knowing where to start in sorting these thoughts or the things in which you must do. I’ve dealt with an overwhelmed mind especially this past year, the fears of what is to come, it’s usually the main stem from my anxiety. However, I’ve chose to talk about this now because I feel like if I can just help one person feel a little calmer in the world of chaos then I’ve done what I set out to do. 

Running Away. 

I am guilty! I have spent years and years avoiding the pit of anxiety which fills me when I have too much on my plate. It’s human nature to want to hide away from it all. And that’s okay but we can only do it for so long before our brains and lungs feel like they’re going to burst. I often get many thoughts in my head that I then start adding more thoughts of situations or where I will be in years’ time which only ever leads to panic. It’s pointless really when you think about it. I love the saying, if you worry about something before it has happened, you basically put yourself through the trauma of it twice. The funny thing is MOST of the things we do worry about facing or doing aren’t as actually bad when we get them done. The anxiety lowers and we wonder why we got ourselves in such a state to begin with. Yet we continue to repeat the same process. If you’re reading this thinking ‘this is so me’, then damnnn you aren’t alone. 

How Overwhelming thoughts get the better of us. 

I’m not by any chance a pro in this area but what I do know is anxious/overwhelming thoughts can be a waterfall into a very weird place. I can go from being perfectly fine, think of one scary thing I haven’t done yet, think of another and another and another and before I know it, I am on the planet of ‘where am I even going in life?’. And to me that is the exact description of letting these thoughts lead me into a trap and get the better of me. Sometimes it might not even be that complex. Thoughts and emotions come hand in hand. I know if I am having an extra emotional day or the week before my period (when feelings are extremely heightened), it might be one thought that takes over and gets the better of me. I know there have been times where within seconds I have been a crying mess on the floor unable to breathe properly. And what was the thought? Probably the fact I needed to put a wash on or change my bedding and it was just too much to face. Overwhelming thoughts aren’t tracked, nor do they have a line where they only come as valid. All are valid and some days will be more overwhelming than others and that is simply okay. 

Making thoughts and emotions easier. 

I didn’t want to use the world ‘control’ because honestly even the words control and out of control make me feel a bit tipsy turvy. Thinking of making thoughts and emotions easier, feels like it’s a more manageable term. There are a few things which have helped and still do help me over the years. Things which are also super relevant right now, especially if you are going back to work or trying to adjust back to life being busy again. We all just want the calm ride, right? 

The first which is good when you feel like you have too much to do and aren’t getting any of it done. Hello procrastination and panic! Write things down! It is a simple task however by even taking these thoughts from your mind and putting them in a little list on paper, you are taking them from your brain and putting it into some order (rather than a chaotic whirlwind). I know when I put things on paper 1) my mind feels clearer, 2) everything seems more manageable, and 3) there isn’t usually as much as my mind has decided to make up. Not only that but I think we fail to forget that even by thinking, writing a list and planning you are still working on it. You are still facing the problem or the situation. You aren’t avoiding it (possibly making it worse) and you should be proud of yourself. 

One thing at a time. Trying to do 10 things at once never works for anyone. Unless you are some seriously level-headed multitasker superhero (aka no one). Don’t set your mind out to attack everything in one go, it’s not worth the panic and the stress. You’ll probably also take up more time. When writing your list, a good thing to add it prioritisation. Don’t start doing something that needs to be done in two weeks if there is something that needs to be done today or tomorrow. Start with the most important things and take them one at a time. Even if you can only face one thing today, it’s more than nothing. Small steps in the right direction is key. 

Don’t be too hard on yourself. I think over anything I’d say this. We can beat and beat ourselves up for everything we haven’t done but why do we forget to congratulate ourselves on the things we have? I know when I do think of all the things I have achieved my motivation is also higher. Positive mind = positive life. And I know all of this is much easier me typing it rather than doing it but with practice, we get better, right? Even if today is too much to face things, that’s okay. 

Speak soon, 

Holli Jessi x


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