Feeling Overwhelmed and How to Cope

When you’re working through a long list of commitments and tasks throughout your day, whether they’re with your friends, your family, your passions, your work or your school, it can build up without warning. It can take you by surprise, and make you feel like you’re drowning, like you don’t have the energy, the room, or the space to get it all done. Being overwhelmed is a challenge and a struggle that absolutely everyone faces sooner or later, and it’s something we all understand. It can come in a short burst, or it can be a slowly growing feeling. And it can be hard. It can impact our mental health. Depression and anxiety can be triggered by it.
It’s important to remember, we can’t always juggle everything. And if there are some things that have to drop, so we can look after ourselves, we have to be able to identify what they are, and have the courage to step away from them. Our health is never one of those things – it can’t drop as a priority. But sometimes, a social commitment, a sporting event, or that one extra project you’ve taken on, can be pushed back, changed or moved. When that happens, it’s something to be proud of, because it means you took an active and a positive step to avoid being overwhelmed and stressed.
If you can’t necessarily say no to something, or take back your time – you can just pause for a moment. Slow down for a moment. Take some space and margin to breathe. That makes a difference too!

By Joan Westenberg