So, I have definitely been more than a little absent from my blog in the last few weeks. As the title would suggest, I have been feeling pretty overwhelmed by life and I guess I just haven’t had the right mind frame needed to write my feelings down. But I’m here! I’m writing! And therefore, I thought that today I would venture into my most recent trip to the overwhelming store and hopefully come out with tips to help not only any of the readers, but also myself for when this happens again.
Let’s start with what is it like to be overwhelmed? I believe that all of us would have our own colourful and individualised version of what it feels like when things just become too much. For me, my anxiety levels soar to an almost painful level where anything and everything seems like an impossible task. Shaking hands, rapid breathing and a tight chest and you’ve got yourself a raving anxiety party. Add to that some tears, dizziness, a headache and the complete inability to do or say anything and you’ve got yourself an overwhelming sizzling siesta.
But what triggered these feelings? Why did I become so lost? Well I would say that on average I can probably handle maybe two or three little things going wrong in a day before my anxiety kicks in. Then, if I’m being honest, I can probably only try to deal with one very average problem before I drop the ball and get benched for being utterly overwhelmed.
And so, I went to work a few weeks ago I immediately sensed that I was already feeling pretty down on the bipolar mood scale. This meant that my priority that day was to avoid further stress and basically try not to lose my shit until I got home. However, my boss, in the middle of the day announced that because of roof repairs the shop was closing. Immediately. Indefinitely. So, I went home a now unemployed individual with the largest ball of anxiety that Atlas himself would struggle to hold up. And then naturally I shifted into frantic mode. What are my finances like? How long can I go with no income? Where do I start looking for a new job?
And let me tell you, when my brain sensed that I was not fit enough to regulate my emotions it took 100% advantage of that weakness and left me an incredibly teary, confused, and very unmotivated blob that I could do nothing to fix. Basically, every time I attempted to deal with things, I would get hit with ferocious and constant waves of anxiety and become a blob all over again.
So now poses the question of what did I do about this situation? I didn’t think that sitting in my room and aggressively applying for jobs was helping my mind frame. So, I took a step back from the stress and went on my own problem free vacation so I could regain the confidence and positive energy needed to come back and solve the issues. I spent two days getting hideously sunburnt at the beach; I sketched pictures of myself for fun; I danced like a crazy person with music at full blast; I ate lots (so much) of ice cream. And more than anything, I took my time. It doesn’t matter how long it takes to feel like yourself again. If you rush the healing process you are at a risk of falling down the overwhelmed abyss all over again and none of us want that. So, take your time, find your own fun, find something that you love and use it to heal. And then the clarity and strength you need to sit back down and deal with the issues will come. Just remember, always be kind to yourself because you are the most important person you will ever meet.
*The contents of the blog are not to be used in lieu of authentic mental health treatment. Please contact an emergency or medical professional if you are having dangerous thoughts.