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Taking Control of Overwhelm

Has your life ever become so chaotic that you lose the ability to function?

Recently, I’ve been having a difficult time trying to keep up with everything that’s going on in my life. There’s a part of me that’s still wanting the pace that we had a year ago when the pandemic made us limit our activities. And there’s another part of me that feels excited about getting to see people and schedule all the things I would do before the pandemic.

But I’m feeling stressed and overwhelmed.

This feeling wasn’t present for a whole year and a half. Although it’s a very familiar feeling, it makes it harder for me to concentrate on any one task. I notice that when I’m doing one activity, my mind is also thinking about the other things I need to accomplish. In fact, once I’m on that hamster wheel, I start feeling like I “should” be doing something else, and then I feel like I’m doing it wrong.

When I feel like I’m doing it wrong, feelings of stress, overwhelm, and futility take over and I get STUCK. Then I don’t want to do ANYTHING.

During the pandemic, I noticed my ability to focus on one task at a time and feel good about it. I didn’t have this panicky feeling that something wouldn’t get done. I noted how much healthier that seemed. And I vowed I wouldn’t let myself get overwhelmed once the pandemic restrictions were lifted.

My intentions were very good in theory. But in practice, well…

The good news is that I am starting to see where I ALLOW the chaos to come in. I say yes to things that aren’t in my best interest at that moment. I schedule things right on top of each other, which looks good on paper, but makes for hectic days. And I don’t schedule down time for myself. If there’s one thing I learned about myself from the pandemic, it’s that I need down time!

Seeing how this pattern plays out is a great teacher. I couldn’t see how I was responsible for the chaos before or during the pandemic. So, instead of beating myself up for letting my life get a little crazy, I’m taking notes and formulating a plan. In other words, I’m using everything I’ve learned, bringing it to my awareness, and coming up with strategies that I can try out in the coming days/weeks.

If you’re feeling that the shift from the slower pace back to what we had before the pandemic is getting a bit overwhelming, hopefully this episode of Growing in Uncertainty will help you as much as I know it will help me.

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