Do you find yourself looking into the abyss of laundry? You know if you walk over to that kitchen sink you will find a sinkhole (sorry bad pun) that is filled with dishes and instead of imploding it is spewing dishes like a volcano. Perhaps you are at work and the tasks are piling up, the phone is ringing, a customer is in your ear and you can’t breathe. Or since we are in some sort of locked down with the Covid-19, the walls of your home office space (just a simple room in your house) are starting to move in like the walls of a pyramid in a bad movie. However; it can be something more complex in your life that will and can create this feeling. Relationships in turmoil, a child that may cause issues at home, school, or both, being a caretaker of an elderly loved one, finally just the ability to make a decision can over-fill your plate.
All these situations or events have one thing in common about how you are feeling……
We all experience being overwhelmed to a degree at some point in our life. How do you handle it?
A solution must be found because the repercussion of being overwhelmed can go from mild frustration to extreme stress leading to mental and physical issues. You might feel the need to flee or run. Sometimes just wanting to get into your vehicle and driving as far as you can go. Anger can take over because you are feeling out of control. These are known as flight or fight responses and neither will provide a positive outcome.
Here are some reasons that can cause the feeling of being overwhelmed.
1. Being a superhero! If you have an S on your shirt, I am positive it does not stand for Super.
2. Negative self-talk. Saying things to yourself that is defeating, condemning and unkind produces only self-loathing
3. Over critique yourself or compare yourself to anyone.
4. Controlling everything in your life at home, work, and friends.
5. Always being perfect, not forgetting any little detail, a name, a face.
6. Trying to be an overachiever. Going above and beyond.
How to resolve the feeling of being overwhelmed.
1. Step back or out and allowing the fog of the mind to settle and clear. It is difficult to think and to be able to organize a clear thought when being overwhelmed. Go outside find a space with a chair. Breathe slowly and deliberately.
2. What is the most and least important task of the situation? Which is the most important and determine if you can reduce some of what your task is and determine if the tasks can be combined to reduce fewer tasks.
3. Take time to work out the situation on paper if need be. Mapping it and determining the organization skills that are needed to resolve the task or situation.
4. Learn to delegate. Finding someone to help you. Using team members to complete the work. Understand you are not the only person on the job.
5. Set boundaries and ask for help. Both seem to be the most difficult to do when in fact they should be easy. Set your boundaries so there is no mistake about what you are willing and or not willing to do. Keep it simple and then if you need help do not be afraid to ask for it. Do not be afraid to ask questions. You may say that I have only stupid questions. The truth is; the only question not asked is stupid. Asking for help is not a weakness but it shows great strength.
Being overwhelmed is going to happen to all of us at some time but, it is recognizing it, losing your pride, and realizing you do have a team of people that want to help you.
Handle being OVERWHELMED before it handles you.