Photo by Luis Villasmil from Unsplash
Even when we were kids, we experienced feeling overwhelmed by the littlest things, and back then, to us, those were the hardest decisions to make. A few examples were back-to-school shopping or having a breakdown when we’re confused about which toy to pick on our birthday. As we grew older, we experience more of this overload. When we’re in the middle of a stressful situation, we think there wouldn’t be anything more exhausting than this, but we’re wrong.
In your twenties, you’ll experience much more than what you did in high school. Looking at a calendar full of overdue tasks, demanding school requirements, an endless line of to-do lists are nothing compared to what you’ll encounter in the future. It’s scary to think of the uncertainty but if you look at it from a different perspective, it means you’ll have more room to grow (which should be your priority). Setbacks are what will take you towards becoming the person you were meant to be.
HOW DO YOU KNOW YOU’RE OVERWHELMED?
When you’re feeling overwhelmed with the pressure of failing your family’s expectations or wanting to fulfill your ambition earlier, you can drown in your own thoughts. You’re thinking too far from the future that you forsake the present and everything will seem like it’s not working out because whenever you think about something positive, you argue with yourself.
When you’re overwhelmed, your insecurities from the inside start to reveal and crush your self-esteem even further until you don’t seem to find it anymore. When you’re overwhelmed, you don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel; in fact, you doubt there is an end to all the pain you’re feeling. You think everybody’s counting on you but you’re destined to fail.
You think everything’s crashing down all at once and no one can understand, let alone save you from it but yourself. You feel like you couldn’t move; everything you’re planning to do will make no difference. You feel weak, vulnerable, and useless. Everyone’s needing you to do something different for them, ignoring your own needs. Being your obnoxious, ambitious self, you want to play the hero and provide whatever it is they ask of you even at your own expense. When you’re feeling like you can’t catch up with your breath, it means it’s time to take it slow. You’re dealing with a lot of things at the same time.
7 THINGS THAT YOU SHOULD DO TO EASE YOURSELF:
KNOW THE PROBLEM
List all the tasks you need to accomplish and sort them out by deadline or urgency. Understand that it’s unwise to multitask because your focus is divided and the costs are too high. You need to set priorities for every single task and stick with the schedule you dedicated for it. The right way to approach daunting deadlines is to do them one at a time as efficiently as possible. Research everything ahead and save it in a file already set for you to open whenever you have to clarify something. Once you’re aware of the actual things you need to do (excluding the nonexistent problems in your head caused by worry), you have the power to provide a feasible solution because you know what each one entails.
EVALUATE THE CAUSE OF YOUR EMOTIONAL TURMOIL
After identifying the factors that burden you, evaluate why they hold so much impact on you, and regulate, if not, break that relationship if you can. Start by detaching yourself from it and try to examine if you can go days without thinking about them. If you can, then clearly, it isn’t that important to you as you thought. Analyze if your ambitions are realistic enough to happen to you at a certain time frame. If you’re pressured about getting a 6-figure salary before you turn 25, ponder why you’re so obsessed with getting that exact number in your mid 20’s. Who are you doing this for? What do you plan to do if you don’t get that?
DO SOMETHING YOU LOVE
By diverting your attention and energy to something far from the thing that’s stressing you the most, you’re giving yourself time off (which is precisely what you need if you’re overwhelmed). Your focus is directed to something you love or passionate about and from doing that you’ll gain more insight. You’ll remember there are still a lot of things you’re good at and a place where you can be yourself, free from judgment and expectation. When you’re overwhelmed, the solution is not to add more work to your plate, but rather, clear your head from more thoughts.
SURRENDER YOUR WORRIES TO GOD
This is the advice you need to do before, during, and after your overwhelming episodes. When everything else feels so heavy, you can always turn to God. Know that people can leave you, but He will not. He sees and hears all your inhibitions even when you try so hard to keep it a secret. He’s giving you all these burdens so you can reach out to Him and be at peace in His arms. Know that your life has been planned by Him and where you are right now is where you should be.
By having faith in His presence and His magnificent power, you’re constantly reassured that everything you’re doing is planned and done for a purpose. So when you find yourself in a pit hole, you’re confident that you’ll meet greater joys once you get over that season of agony. God’s words don’t only bring peace to your clouded mind, but will also give you the power to help other people going through the same.
REST AND TAKE A BREAK
Don’t take your energy for granted. You need it as much as you need to rest. Stop whatever you’re doing and allocate a few hours or a day to do nothing but sleep. You can cuddle with your babies or your pets. You can go out and do what makes you feel better. You can be productive by resting as recharging is an essential part of the process to success. Don’t listen to what those workaholics says; working hard until breaking down with little to no sleep and no nutrients in the body doesn’t make you any more successful than those who do. You’re not only harming your body, but you’re also depriving yourself of more opportunities that will come in the future.
There’s nothing wrong with asking for help from other people especially when you couldn’t handle it any longer. But just a precaution, be careful whom you ask for help and how often you ask for a favor (some might take advantage of your plea and use it against you). Delegate tasks to your team, family, loved ones, or any group of people who’s just as involved as you are in that situation. Let them contribute something helpful to the problem at hand so it will no longer be seen as one.
TALK TO YOUR LOVED ONES
Your loved ones can help you soothe your mind when you’re feeling overwhelmed. As a matter of fact, they can be the very reason for your stress. Take the time to spend happy times with them. That can be an opportunity to talk and express what you feel. You can tell them what’s been disturbing you and you could be relieved.
HERE’S WHAT YOU SHOULDN’T DO:
KEEPING IT ALL TO YOURSELF
You might think you’re just protecting everyone else you love from the burden you’re carrying, but you’re not. The more you keep them worried about your state is what’s going to hurt them more. Those who genuinely care for your well-being would be distraught seeing you close to being depressed. Keeping it all to yourself is dangerous because you only hear your voice and thoughts.
It’s important to hear advice from other people and see situations in a perspective besides your own. Remember that you’re not alone and more or less they’ve already experienced what you’re experiencing now. It’s okay to admit you are. Stop playing the tough guy act, like you’re invulnerable to an emotional breakdown.
REJECTING PEOPLE WHO GENUINELY WANT TO HELP YOU
Doing this will not only keep you longer in your turmoil, but it will also decrease the chances of getting your help. You might not even know you need help until you get into more isolation. Sometimes, the reason you reject everyone else’s help is because of your ego. You want to prove to all of them that you can handle everything without them, and although that may be an admirable sense of independence; it’s unrealistic.
Everyone experiences a wave of tasks and it should occur to you that they get out of it when they ask for help. No hero ever became what he is without anybody else’s help so there’s no need to be embarrassed about it. Some days you’ll be there for them and that’s the beauty of family and friends. You don’t leave by their side.
NOT TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF
Stress can come in many forms (like exhaustion, anxiety, fatigue, etc.) and if not dealt with the right way, it can affect more aspects of your physical and mental health. Don’t allow whatever on your mind to bury you down even deeper. Denying yourself of your necessities will not help you in any way.
Don’t skip meals and drink lots of water. You need a healthy mind and body to protect yourself from possible fatigue and extreme stress. Invest in your health because once it’s destroyed, you’ll never get the same one back. You may think skipping meals is working out for you as of the moment, but time will come when your body will reveal the costs.
CLAIMING ALL THE RESPONSIBILITY ALL TO YOURSELF
The line “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself” isn’t exactly the right form of encouragement you need to hear at all times. Wanting a guaranteed quality result of your output is an ambitious undertaking but you need to attain that with the cooperation of everyone involved. But if you want to claim all the responsibility to get all the credit, then that’s something to think about twice.
Don’t be too proud and overconfident to think you’re the only one who can do it best while all your other groupmates aren’t capable of anything. Arrogance may get you somewhere, but it’s a place nobody else wants to go. Get to know their strengths and find ways to mend their weaknesses as a team.
Too many responsibilities mean great joy in the success and great despair in failure. As a team, you have to take accountability in triumph and in a loss. Appreciate what other people can contribute to the group even when they’re not as good as you. If you think their work needs improvement, you can criticize them politely and they may even appreciate your judgment.
“You can’t calm the storm, so stop trying. What you can do is calm yourself. The storm will pass.”Timber Hawkeye