Overwhelm is kind of a “coach-y” word.
What I mean is that a coach might understand that word … but perhaps not anybody else.
When I say – are you feeling overwhelmed you might not totally know what I mean.
Instead what I want to do here is share what I think overwhelm sometimes looks and feels like.
This is most definitely very personal — I just put these here to give you a sense of what it might feel like.
- You are busy but you don’t feel like you get anything done.
- A general sense that you’ll never catch up with what needs to be done.
- A sense that other people are in control of your life and that you are unsure or unaware of how to stop this flow of events.
- Tired … and also you might have trouble getting good sleep. When you try to sleep your mind might run and run or spin and spin or you might awaken feeling like something needs to be done.
- You may overreact … or be irritable and then feel guilty about how you behaved but honestly not know what to do about it. A version of this is promising you’ll be calm with your kids/family in the morning but then finding that you snap or yell by the afternoon or evening.
- You may seek distractions or escape in activities or behavior (the only way to stop the pressure is to “get away”). This can be a real activity like exercise or driving away or a form of indulgence like drinking too much or distracting with tv or social media. It can even show up as a focus on a need to get out to work or to school.
- You have a general sense of guilt … if you could do more or do things better you feel life would be better. This is an illusion that can come from overwhelm.
- You want help and support but you don’t ask because you feel like it’s easier and faster for you to do whatever needs done by yourself.
- Your want to control what others are doing and how they are doing those things even while you know you really want a break.
- You feel a general sense of out-of-control and anxiety.
If any of this strikes a chord I want to offer you some support.
In my journey as a stepmom and a mom often I would think that I knew what was wrong and if I just dug in and did more or learned more that I could take care of … everything.
In my experience this has over and over again proven to be false.
In these cases when I reached out for help and guidance thinking I had a very specific issue that I needed more information about or a tool to help me do something faster I would often be redirected because it was actually overwhelm.
Sometimes overwhelm can be called burnout. Or just being stressed out.
Eventually I learned how to spot this cycle and stop it. As a coach this is definitely something I’d love to share with you as a tool. I created a full video series to explain how I think overwhelm happens, how you can spot it and what to do about it.