7 Tips for Feeling Overwhelmed

I feel like it’s been a long time since I just sat down and wrote you a love note. I first want to say that not all overwhelm is created equal. Looking over this list, I can only imagine how useless these words would feel if I was facing homelessness or if I didn’t know how I was going to pay my bills, or if I’d just got devastating medical news.

So if you’re that kind of overwhelmed I can’t really offer advice but I have an abundance of hugs.

I’m feeling overwhelmed today because my anxiety tells me that I have to have everything figured out now and if I don’t figure it out it’s going to play in an endless loop until I start screaming. As you probably know, I now have custody of my 32-year-old autistic brother. Me, him, my wife, and five cats are sharing a tiny 700sqft house.

When I first bought this house I was single and it seemed perfect for me and my three cats. I had no intention of getting married. Insert meeting the love of my life and his two cats. But now with the eight of us, it seems too small – especially the part of sharing a bathroom!

So my mind is on a constant loop of I should sell my house. And that whole process makes me want to curl up in a ball. I just quit my job of 17 years in June and it was such a hard decision to let go of all of that security. Now that everything is topsy turvy it just seems like a lot to think about and figure out.

Logically I know that there is no hurry. We’re fine where we are (even if it’s a bit cramped). My brother is so happy to be here and he just finished decorating his room, so again – there is no hurry. But my mind isn’t getting that memo. It wants to run endlessly down the long list of “I should do this. I should do that.”

I wrote this list for me, and for anyone else who is feeling overwhelmed.

  • You’re allowed to step back and take a break. (Yes, even when there is so much to do)
  • It’s okay to ask for help.
  • You can get through this.
  • You are more capable than you know.
  • Just take things one step at a time.
  • Don’t underestimate the power of closing your eyes and taking a deep breath. (I mean a really deep breath. The kind you feel moving through your whole body)
  • You don’t need to have everything figured out right now.

Now take that deep breath. Make yourself a cup of tea (coffee, or water). Write down three things that you can do now or today. And breathe.