“Life has many ways of testing a person’s will, either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happen at once.” Paulo Coelho
Without ever mentioning the word “overwhelmed,” Coelho’s quote clarified why I feel that way too often.
- Bury or drown beneath a huge mass.
- Defeat completely.
- Give too much of a thing to someone.
Synonyms include crush, devastate, oppress, overcome, and whelm.
My daughter and I joke around about feeling overwhelmed. We take turns being it. Faux overwhelm happens when we’re wasting time. Feeling truly overwhelmed isn’t funny. It feels like its definition described – defeated and buried.
Just like there are two ways to be overwhelmed, there are two ways to get over it.
When too little happens …
The less I do, the more overwhelmed I feel.
The solution for me when too little happens is to get back to work. Don’t confuse work with the busyness that we talked about yesterday. Getting busy overwhelms us even more because we’re active, but not accomplishing much. When too little happens, do our work. That way, when too much happens, our work is caught up and we’re in a good place.
When too much happens …
The harder I try, the more overwhelmed I feel.
My answer when too much happens is not to try harder, but to live wiser. Being wise means setting boundaries for people, projects, and personal time, and setting boundaries for busyness too.
How do you handle feeling overwhelmed? I’d like to hear your plan.
In This Together,