Overwhelm can be caused by a lot of different factors but the result is feeling overloaded.
When you’re in a state of overwhelm, decisions are harder to make, energy is harder to generate and action is harder to take.
It can lead to total paralysis, exhaustion and a sense of things being out of control.
So what causes it?
Comparing ourselves with other people and trying to be super human is a major cause of stress and overwhelm.
You might see other people who have more money, a better marriage, more success in their work or better behaved kids and think that you are doing something wrong.
This is purely perception. You cannot possibly know what is really happening in someone else’s life.
Focus on what you can manage in your own life right now with the resources available. You have to live your life in a way that is manageable for you. Other people might have more energy, support or resources (or they might be just as overwhelmed as you). Comparing yourself is a surefire way to waste precious energy so just do what you can do with what you have right now.
Lack of self care is another big one.
Are you putting everyone else’s needs before your own? Are you burnt out but still trying to do and be everything to everyone? It’s OK to step back and ask yourself: what do I need?
If the answer is rest, then make space and time for it. If you need to cancel things or say no, do it.
Anyone who really loves you – including yourself – would not expect you to keep going when your cup is empty.
Fill your cup with rest, exercise, sleep, fun, relaxation, healthy food and nourishing relationships.
Self-sabotaging behaviour can lead to overwhelm too.
That fourth glass of wine, staying up late watching TV or going through drive-thru instead of cooking dinner. We’ve all done it and there’s no judgement but if you are really struggling, look at where you might be undermining yourself with ‘easy’ versus ‘good’.
Self-sabotaging thoughts are a big part of overwhelm too. Telling yourself that you’re not good enough, that no one loves you, that you’re doing a terrible job, that everyone is judging you and that things are never going to get better …. Do any of these sound familiar?
You are the storyteller in your head. Maybe it’s time to tell yourself a better story? One where you are kind to yourself, you’re doing a great job and that things are getting better all the time.
You have a choice. What you tell yourself matters so rather than beating yourself up, choose to uplift yourself.
Need help managing overwhelm? Get in touch today.