How do you cope with feeling overwhelmed?

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1952
   Posted 12/17/2008 5:43 PM (GMT -6)   
I've spent the past three weeks feeling that I'm just barely hanging on by my fingertips.  It seemed like every time I turned around, something *had* to get done by yesterday, and I couldn't keep up.  Things at work got very backed up, the house was a wreck, I lost touch with friends (here on HW and also locally!).  And the more things spun out of control, the more I just kind of curled up in a ball and hoped they'd pass by.  The baby steps just would not come, and I felt like a loser.
Now I'm feeling more "up" again and can at least take the baby steps and feel good about them: clean one room but don't worry about the whole house.  Start one task at work but don't worry about getting it completely done in one day.  Come back on line and keep up with all of you wonderful folks as I can, but don't worry about reading every post in every thread.  Etc. 
I just wish I could have felt like this three weeks ago.  Does anybody have any good strategies for not getting buried by busy-ness in the first place?  It always makes me feel frantic, off balance, and then I'm much more prone to nervous, obsessive thinking about how I might have done something wrong or offended someone.  I just never seem to make any progress in preventing the burying in the first place.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 707
   Posted 12/17/2008 6:16 PM (GMT -6)   

I'm a lot like you when it comes to feeling overwhelmed.  It happens easily to me.  A pile of paper sends me into a tizzy.  Over the past two weeks at work (changing over to a whole new way of doing my job) I've been tested to the max and it took me time and tears to realize that I can't be expected to know it all in one hour or day.  I now just take it one task at a time and focus on that task and do it to the best of my ability telling myself the whole time that I can only do my best and that has to be good enough.  I'm a perfectionist by nature and knowing I may not have done it "exactly right" bugs me to no end.  It's all about timing and acceptance of yourself and telling yourself you are only one person and can only do so much.  Things can't be perfect all the time.  My house is a wreck right now and I looked at it when I got home and decided to do the kitchen table and that was all I did.  I can now see the top of it and although there are other things that need done, just isn't gonna happen and that is okay. 

As far as not getting buried in the first place, I think it is about how we look at things and how we structure our days and just telling ourselves that we are only human.  It's a hard concept to grasp but it can be done.  Not all the time but it helps me.  I just wake up each morning and say a prayer to God to help me do my best today and accept myself for who and what I am and what I can do.  I hope this helped.  Not sure but I hope sharing my story it can help you.  I hope things are better for you and please know you are not alone.


Anxiety 2007; IBS 2004; Chronic Hives 2002.  Medications:  Allegra, Zantac, Xanax, Darvocet.

Green Grove
Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2424
   Posted 12/17/2008 7:23 PM (GMT -6)   
I think we all have this problem from time to time Percycat. I know it is hard to not procrastinate, especially when you are worn out and need to chill without thinking about everything :) I have found that most things are really just unimportant and how to say no to certain people. That helped me a lot with all the extra stuff that I felt I "needed" to do :) And besides that, just do the best you can and be proud of yourself for every small acomplishment :)
Much Love, Hugs, Peace & Comfort :)

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 12/18/2008 12:10 AM (GMT -6)   
Dear Percy,
I think you got caught in the Holiday Hubbub...........step back and decide what really needs to get down and remember you do not have to post to every post.  You even have the right to take a break and step back from all you problems.
We often waste way too much of our time and energy focusing on what we don't like, what we're worried about, or what we think needs to be fixed, changed, or enhanced.

There are great things happening in your life and around you all the time.

Celebrate the good stuff around us, in others, and in ourselves.

I hope the kindness you've given to others returns many times to you.

Luvs ya kiddo



Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
& GERD  Forums
*~* *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources

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