When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed and Just Treading Water
Many of us have had those moments, haven’t we?
There are seasons in our lives when you’re feeling overwhelmed. It feels like you’re barely hanging on.
Seasons when treading water is the greatest accomplishment.
I’m reflecting a bit as I come to the one year anniversary of the car accident that almost killed two of my kids.
By nature, I’m the sort of person who needs to have measurable progress. Days, seasons, like this are annoying to me. Not a fan. 🙂 I’ve had to learn how to deal with an accept these seasons of treading water do sometimes happen.
Here are some thoughts I’ve had on treading water when feeling overwhelmed in life.
1. Life isn’t Always Perfect…Learn to Relax and Roll with it.
I love to have goals to reach for…it motivates me.
Yet, sometimes those can also frustrate me. For example, if I’m dealing with other more pressing matters.
It’s good to hold up an ideal to strive for, but only if you understand:
I may not hit this ideal when feeling overwhelmed, and that’s okay. Progress in the right direction over the long haul is what counts.I may not hit this ideal, + that's okay. Progress in the right direction is what counts. Click To Tweet
It’s about learning to stay reasonably focused on what needs to get done. And learning to also relax and roll with the changes that life throws at you. Both of these are important…and can be fun.
In fact, one of my favorite quotes of all time is by Jimmy Buffett, and says,
Life is more manageable when thought of as a scavenger hunt, as opposed to a surprise party.
Truer words, folks…
2. People Mean Well. But Sometimes Their Advice is Stupid, Ill-Timed, Useless, and Annoying…So, Have Some Grace
When I was younger and still knew everything (ahem) I was guilty. Giving advice and telling everyone how to fix things. Of course, that is how I’m wired. I like “three steps to making it all better” sorts of solutions to all my problems.
People want you to know they care. Yet in their effort to communicate this, they can’t figure out how or when to stop talking.
To some, it feels rude to back off and not hug you even when you’re saying, “Please, I’m having panic attacks. I need space.” They want people to hug them when they aren’t feeling well. They don’t understand how to take someone who doesn’t like hugs.People want you to know they care, but in communicating this, it's rarely perfect. Click To Tweet
The important thing for us to remember, as we go through things like this, is not whether people did the “right” things. But that people cared enough to try to show they cared and wanted to help.
3. Embrace Your Therapy while Feeling Overwhelmed
It’s taken me until the age of 46 to realize that we all have our own brand of therapy (so to speak) that works in our lives.
Everyone else may make suggestions, usually based on what works for them. But in the end, we have to embrace that which works well for us.
For me, I’ve had to come to accept that sometimes the best thing is to put some earbuds in and listen to music. Jam out. Usually while either dancing around or journaling in a corner.
Never underestimate the therapeutic benefits of listening to music loudly, and singing along.Never underestimate the therapeutic benefits of listening to music loudly + singing along. Click To Tweet
Failing that, watching Galaxy Quest usually makes me feel all better.
Figure out what works when you’re feeling overwhelmed, and run with it. Guilt-free.