How to Tackle a Season of Overwhelm
I found this post in my drafts and started laughing. I created the post and title in 2019 and here we are, the second week of 2021. Little did I know that an entire YEAR of overwhelm awaited me.
Its no secret to any of us, 2020 was bizarre and just... a lot. Think about it - worldwide we went through something terrible and it flowed into a line of more terrible and bizarre things. It felt like month after month we were slapped in the face with a new problem, change, fear, or uproar. And frankly I think a lot of us needed it. We needed to get ripped from our small little world and face bigger problems and experience empathy and fight for change and justice and just... wake up!
But on the more personal side, the entire year of 2020 really overwhelmed me. It wasn't "the year" that did it to me but more so the feeling of uncertainty that just loomed throughout the whole thing.
I started the year like every other: ready for something new and ready to tackle my goals and resolutions. Then about 2 months in (we all know how this story goes) we were in lockdown. An unexpected and unprepared-for lockdown. Thank GOD I had gotten a pack of toilet paper and gone grocery shopping the week before because with the shelves totally empty, I don't know what we would have done had I decided to skip the trip to the store.
If I am being completely honest, I loved the first two weeks of lockdown because it meant Mark could work from home. We turned it into a little staycation of sorts... one where we sanitized our mail and laughed about the idea of having to wear masks when things opened back up. How ironic.
Then after a month I was starting to see the negative impact that a shutdown was having on myself and my business. I missed my friends and family. The Finding Co. was going to have its biggest year yet and slowly clients were postponing and cancelling their weddings and events. We were starting to lose money and I felt like I couldn't do anything about it.
Then one morning as I was praying for wisdom and inspiration on what to do with my businesses, I felt myself shutting down. My chest was getting tight and my thoughts were swirling into a big bunch of nothing in my head and I just got back in bed and slept for most of the day. Most of the week too, actually. I truly felt like, "whats the point? there are literally no answers or secure plans and things are changing every single day so whats the point in trying to make plans?"
The original point of the post was to list some simple ways to tackle "overwhelm" and let me tell ya, I had no idea how overwhelmed a person could be until this year. Its one thing to be overwhelmed with school or work or deadlines. House work and running errands and accomplishing all the things on your to-do list can definitely be overwhelming, but there's something that we can do about all those things.
This past year was a feeling of overwhelm that I had no idea what to do about. What "quick tip/trick" could I do to make this feeling go away?
I think that over all this time and through everything we collectively endured this past year, I have one take away. Don't be so hard on yourself.
Don't be so hard on yourself.
Let yourself rest. Let yourself take a moment for yourself. Wait to answer that email and make sure you're eating well, getting fresh air, and drinking water. Lots of water. When you see your friends posting on social media and sharing all the "highlights" and all the things they're accomplishing don't start criticizing your own life and accomplishments of the past year. Give yourself grace. People only post the good stuff so when you compare yourself and all the naps and sweatpants and time spent inside to the one photo you see online (preaching to myself here) you're just setting yourself up for frustration.
Its okay to do something for yourself. Its okay to get work done. Its okay to feel a little more tired than usual. Its okay to cry and hurt for the world. We've all been through something hard and confusing, and its tough to really know how to handle it. But take a moment and remind yourself that you're figuring it out. We all are.
Breathe. Pray. Prioritize. Take care of yourself. Take care of your family and relationships. Take a break from scrolling on social media. Drink some water. Don't be so hard on yourself.