Feeling overwhelmed can be a common experience when we are faced with so many too dos and responsibilities. It may manifest as a feeling of not being able to cope with the demands placed upon us, and may cause a person to feel anxiety, stress or a feeling paralysis or where to start.
When a person is experiencing overwhelm, it’s important to take a step back and assess the situation and look at the big picture. Are there some tasks that don’t need to be done at all that could be replaced with self care?
It’s also helpful to remember that it’s okay to ask for help and to break tasks down into smaller, more manageable steps. Overcoming feelings of overwhelm often involves finding a balance between addressing the immediate stressors and implementing strategies for long-term resilience.
We all have days when we feel incredibly overwhelmed by everything we need to accomplish. Below are some comforting words to help someone put things in perspective when they are feeling overwhelmed.
Top ten things to say to someone overwhelmed
1. You don’t have to solve all the problems today.
2. You don’t have to go fast. You just have to go.
3. Keep calm, nobody else knows what they are doing either.
4. Sometimes our stop doing lists needs to be bigger than our to-do list.
5. Focus on progression not perfection.
6. When you feel like quitting remember why you started.
7. Be gentle with yourself, you’re doing the best you can.
8. You don’t’ have to figure everything out at once.
9. When life seems overwhelming keep calm and carry on.
10. You can do anything, not everything.
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Definition of overwhelm
Overwhelm is a verb that describes the feeling of being overpowered or overcome by a strong emotional or physical force that leaves you feeling anxious or afraid.
Overwhelm also refers to being inundated or swamped by a large volume or work or tasks, and responsibilities, which can be crushing and difficult to manage.
Parents of young children often feel overwhelm, as if they are running a marathon every day for years, especially if managing family and a demanding career.
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Pia felt overwhelmed by her parenting responsibilities and the workload at her job
Pia was a dedicated mother of two young children and a hardworking professional at a demanding job. Balancing the responsibilities of parenthood and her career had always been a juggling act, but lately, it felt like the weight of it all was becoming too much to bear.
Every morning, Pia found herself rushing to get the kids ready for school while simultaneously trying to prepare herself for another hectic day at the office. The constant demands of her job and the never-ending list of tasks at home left her feeling drained and overwhelmed.
One evening, after putting the kids to bed, Pia sat down at the kitchen table, feeling the weight of exhaustion and frustration pressing down on her. As she stared at the pile of unfinished work and the sink full of dishes, tears welled up in her eyes. She felt like she was failing both as a mother and as a professional.
Feeling at a loss, Pia reached out to her partner and poured out her heart about how she was struggling to keep up with everything. To her surprise, her partner listened attentively and offered to take on more household responsibilities to ease her burden. They also brainstormed ways to streamline their daily routines and sought out support from family and friends.
With the newfound support and a more balanced division of responsibilities, Pia began to feel a sense of relief. She learned to prioritize tasks, delegate when possible, and most importantly, to be kind to herself. Over time, the overwhelming burden began to lift, and Pia found herself feeling more in control and able to enjoy the precious moments with her children and succeed in her career without feeling constantly overwhelmed.
The Role of counselling and self care
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When you are dealing with a person who is overwhelmed and you find it stressful, consider getting support from a professional. Talking to a counselor is a great way to work through a challenging situation, and help you find some strategies to work through the person’s behaviour.
Better Help is a great resource where you can talk to a counselor from the comfort of your own home.
Taking care of your own needs isn’t selfish, and you will feel better in the long run.