Overwhelmed

Sometimes I just feel overwhelmed.  By climate change, the political situation in this country, the meanness of people to each other (especially online), how difficult it is proving to find a place to volunteer with my dog, the uncleanliness of our house, the energy it takes to exercise, the weight I’ve gained since I stopped exercising regularly, science (its difficulty and the motivation required to do it well every day), and most especially by the future:  looming big, scary and out of my control.

Control is a funny thing.  The most common argument Hubs and I have usually goes something like this:  I get upset about something and make [generally] unreasonable demands, he says I am upset because I am not in control, I agree that I would feel much better if I were in control (of everything – the situation itself, my reaction to the situation, his reaction to my reaction, and the unrelated, but still terrible problem of so many kids starving to death while I decide what snacks I need to buy).  But would controlling things really help?  Or would it instead create even more anxiety?

Probably the key here is learning to let go of things, which is a special challenge of mine.  As a highly sensitive person, I feel everything so damn strongly that (especially in certain hormonal circumstances) I feel stalled, unable to move forward or backward with other cars zooming by me honking and making it even harder to rejoin the flow of traffic, unable to let things go.  So I slowly remember to do what helps me:  to see my counselor, talk to my sister, friends, and mom, dance with my husband, make time for exercise and cuddling the animals, and in the end just cut myself some slack.

What helps you let go of feeling overwhelmed?

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4 thoughts on “Overwhelmed

  1. I remember the Serenity Prayer, which I have shortened to ‘control what you can, let go of the rest.’ I shift focus to what I CAN control or AM already controlling, and then I feel less overwhelmed. There’s always something I do feel in control of, however small.

    And then I try to remember that control is really an illusion anyway. We have a print on our office wall of a girl riding inside an open umbrella, as if it’s a boat. The quote says “‘If you hold onto the handle,’ she said, ‘it’s easier to maintain the illusion of control. But it’s more fun if you just let the wind carry you.'”

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