What do you do when you feel overwhelmed?
But more specifically, what do you do to support yourself when you feel overwhelmed?
The answers might be exactly the same or perhaps you can’t find an answer to the second question.
Maybe when you’re overwhelmed you go into an unconscious downward spiral. You might not know it yet but maybe taking deep breaths, doing EFT or going for a walk are things you can do to support yourself.
Those are some things that I find useful.
If you don’t know what works for you, it might be worth taking the time to figure it out.
New years resolution have garnered a bad reputation for being unreliable and not living up to their expectations.
And so instead we call them goals or intentions (or whatever else we can come up with). But as Shakespeare said ‘a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet’. We call it something else but it’s really not that different.
When you get down to the crux of it it’s simply just something that answers the question, ‘What would you like to do this year?’
How exactly did the Lions become the King of the Jungle, when they don’t even live there?
I suppose there is something noteworthy about having such a reputation that you’re considered to ‘rule’ (or at least hold a respectable level of status) in spaces that you don’t even venture into.
I think that this matters and I think I think that this is important.
If you had a conversation with a lot of companies, particularly since this covid pandemic, they would have something to say about the importance of wellbeing.
We’re all aware that peoples mental health and general wellbeing has been impacted by the pandemic for various reasons. It could be a lack of social interaction, feeling lonely, the change in routine, fear of getting sick, job security, financial issues and more.
But it might not be the pandemic that is the issue. What about if you go to work and you’re treated poorly, ignored, lied to, there’s a lack of trust, you feel stifled, you’re constantly overlooked, people don’t listen to you and you don’t feel respected, you might not even be aware of the impact it can have or is having on you.
Those things can have a significant impact on a persons wellbeing, particularly when they’re happening regularly.
And sometimes in the workplace these things are very covert. When you speak up you get generic responses that lack sincerity but are somehow just enough. Just enough for you to feel like you were overreacting, that maybe you’re not trying hard enough and that things will be better in the future.
However, if you’ve given things a chance to get better and things haven’t improved then you need to decide if the job is actually worth it.
Are you willing to sacrifice your wellbeing for the sake of a job?
I think sometimes the fear we have of making the wrong choice is really just a sign that our mind is not clear. On the flipside, when you’re mind is not clouded over with stuff you’re able to be more spontaneous and quick thinking with your choices.
More often than we realise we know exactly what to do. However, we allow our thoughts to get carried away and we engage them even when we know it’s not helpful.
Maybe you want to pursue your love of baking but then you let your mind wonder. You start to think about money, what your friends will think, your parents being disappointed, people not getting it, worrying you’ll regret leaving your stressful well paying job, you tell yourself maybe baking is just a hobby or a fantasy career and you wonder if you’re good enough. The thoughts go on until you’ve talked yourself out of making a decision.
You now spend the coming months or even years trying to decide what to do. The truth is you’re just putting off doing exactly what you know you want to do.
Sometimes the choice you have to make is between taking care of yourself and meeting other peoples expectations.
Nobody wants to be considered a let down which is why often people end up putting themselves aside and focusing more on other people. But you shouldn’t treat yourself as though you don’t matter, you matter just as much as everyone else.
It shouldn’t take you sacrificing yourself in order for other people to be happy.
And maybe you haven’t even realised that you’re doing it. Perhaps it just takes you looking at things as an outsider to realise, you’re so focused on meeting other peoples needs that you’ve stopped making time to tend to your own.
When someone you care about comes to you with a problem even if they don’t ask you for advice you’re instinct is to help them and to make the problem go away. You tell them what you think they should do or what you think will fix the problem because you feel like it’s the right thing to do.
But, in doing so we fail to consider the other persons needs. Perhaps they simply wanted to vent but now you’ve bombarded them with all your thoughts and opinions.
Maybe, you’ve convinced yourself that it’s fine to give advice that wasn’t asked for because you have good intentions. You’re just trying to help, you know how to fix things or you feel like your personal experience gives you authority on the matter.
But you have to put yourself aside and consider that maybe the best thing that you can do is ask the other person what they need, then support them as best as you can.
If you aspire to allow your curiosity to come out and play then this quote is one to live by.
Asking questions can be scary and uncomfortable so taking on a mindset that no question is stupid may help to relieve some of those feelings. But after mustering up the courage to ask, if you don’t get the kind of answer you’d have liked then you can end up feeling disheartened and wishing that you’d just said nothing.
However in this situation, it’s important to focus on the action, not the outcome. keeping quite may leave you riddled with fear and anxiety which comes with little to no benefit. But if you can relieve that by simply asking a question then why not?
Granted nobody wants to hear ‘no’ when they were pining for a ‘yes’. Nevertheless, I think it’s much better to unburden yourself and perhaps end up a little disappointed than it is to keep carrying the burden of an unanswered question even though you know you don’t have to.
When it comes to what is important sometimes we confuse external pressures or expectations with what really matters to us personally.
In doing so we end up focusing on and prioritising the wrong things.
These external things could come from work, family or friends and they overwhelm us because we aren’t clear about what we’re willing to give.
Maybe you end up working late because you have a lot of deadlines in a short period of time and it’s important that it gets done. But, if you take the time to think it turns out that what matters most to you is that you have time to de-stress as being busy has you in a constant state of overwhelm.
It’s important that the work get’s done but our wellbeing is what matters most.
Even if you know what matters most sometimes it still turns out that we’re not able to acknowledge and take action in the moment. It’s only upon reflection that we’re able to identify what we should have done at the time.
Getting feedback can be terrifying.
Even if you have confidence in what you do the last thing you want is for someone else to come along and tell you that actually what you’re doing isn’t as good as you think it is.
I think feedback is difficult to take in because we act as if it’s personal.
And if you’ve done something creative like a poem or a painting in some ways it is personal. But it’s also subjective so if someone thinks your painting could be improved by having a richer colour palette, doesnt mean someone else won’t love it just the way it is.
But the other kind of thing we get feedback on is the stuff that’s more rigid and regulated like what you might do at work. If you’re a construction worker, there isn’t really much room for perception. The feedback you would get isn’t personal, it’s a more a case of this is is how it’s done and here’s where you need to improve in order to do it the way it needs to done.
And of course there may be things that lie somewhere in between.
But either way the main thing to remember about feedback (when it’s from the right people) is that it’ll benefit you in the long run. And if you keep that in mind instead of focusing on the fact that there are people who don’t like what you create or that you didn’t do something perfectly, receiving feedback might get a little bit easier.