Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.
As a parent, with school right around the corner, I’m feeing a bit overwhelmed right now. How about you? I noticed this the other day when I was trying to figure out what this upcoming school year may look like here in Texas. I was reading article after article, most with opposing views, and feeling like parents will have an impossible choice to make right around the corner. Will your kids go to school, do all online learning from home or some type of hybrid approach? Really, there aren’t any great options here, hence the feelings of overwhelm. That night, I finally just put my computer away and went to bed and woke up the next morning feeling better and a little more hopeful, as is what often happens with some rest and distance from the anxiety producing issue.
Here are some things that helped me in this scenario. First, I reminded myself that no big decisions need to be made immediately; we can wait this out a bit (especially here in Texas where our COVID-19 number are rising exponentially). I reminded myself to “be here now” (one of my favorite life mantras). I made time for some self-care that morning, specifically getting outside and going for a walk with my dog, doing a 5-minute quite meditation and journaling. I also made time later that day to talk out my feelings with my family and a close friend.
This is just one example of overwhelm, but it can show up in your life in many different forms and can mean many different things.
Here are some other causes of overwhelm:
- Trying to do it all yourself.
- Financial stressors
- Relationship instability
- Parenting during a pandemic (as well as other parenting stressors).
- Putting other people’s needs above your own.
- Being socially isolated
- Lack of self-care
- Feeling like there’s too much to do and not enough hours in the day to complete everything.
- Lack of emotional connection with others.
- Too many feelings and emotions hitting you all at once.
What would you add to this list?
If possible, try to take a step back from the overwhelm and focus on what you need in your life in this given moment to help you better navigate all that is going on. Try to be gentle with yourself. Try to practice self-care, self-compassion, self-validation, etc. In short, take care of you!