When You’re Too Overwhelmed to Know Why You’re Even Stressed

It’s one of those days. I’ve been sitting at my desk for over an hour, and I’m already feeling the urge to run out the door. I’m not usually a “punch the clock” type, but these days, it feels like my life has fallen into a lightening-speed pace, and I can’t keep up.

So, you’ve found yourself in an overwhelming cycle of stress, anxiety, a touch of depression, and you honestly for the life of you can’t figure out how you got here again.

You are coming out of the best Summer of your life packed with tons of travel, loads of sunshine, and memories that will last a lifetime. You think to yourself, “I should be feeling so refreshed, recharged, and relaxed… What’s wrong with me?”

You’re coming off a summertime high. That’s what’s wrong.

Don’t get me wrong, you were a busy little bee this summer. Whilst you were vacationing and having the time of your life, you were also studying daily, turning in grad school assignments, meeting work deadlines, amongst other important things.

You volunteered at multiple charity events, poured some of your spare time into your church and community, and you even made a huge effort to really be a good friend this Summer. You restored a few broken relations. You made a few new friendships. You even cut out some toxic relationships, which let’s be honest that can be more emotionally tolling than repairing a relationship.

All of this, and still… You feel a massive weight on your shoulders right now.

So, what’s up? Let’s dissect that pretty little head of yours and get to the bottom of this.

What exactly is overwhelming you?

  • Is it the 20 pounds that you tried and failed to lose this Summer?
  • Or the fact that your blog complete reset and you haven’t picked up the pieces yet?Is it the clean house and dirty closets that sit on the back burner in your mind?
  • Maybe it’s all the things you pressed “pause” on at the beginning of the Summer that you feel like you need to start working on again:
    • decorating your house
    • cleaning out the basement and the garage and your car and all the other messy places in your life
    • the list of projects you have in the back of your calendar
    • the non-profit you feel you are failing at running
  • Is it the conversations you’ve been meaning to have but don’t particularly want to? So, instead, you’re having them in your head on repeat throughout the day?

It’s. All. Of. That.

All of it. Period. It’s the weird relationship struggles you’re working out, the feelings of being misrepresented by classmates and even people you’ve called friends. It’s the secrets you’ve been asked to keep that are burning a hole in your heart, and the stress you are trying to carry for people you truly love.

Summer was great in so many ways. You had time to nurture friendships and connect with people in ways that you don’t during other parts of the year. But the truth is that people are complicated and when you take the time to deepen your relationships, you give up some space in your mind and in your heart. You open yourself up to be vulnerable, and in return, others are also open with you. In so many ways it is a huge blessing to pour 100% of yourself into everything you do, but it comes at a price.

And sometimes, that price is feeling overexerted and overwhelmed.

So, what can you do now? How can you move on from here, now knowing some of the root causes of your stress? You can rest. Rest in the fact that you are good. You are a good friend. You make a good effort to be available. You are a hard worker, a diligent student, a dedicated wife, and a reliable person. But, you are still human, and no amount of effort can change that.

Take it from someone who is sitting right there with you, with my overwhelmed little brain feeling like it might explode at any moment. I feel you. I so feel what your stress is doing to you. My chest is tight too, and sometimes, I have to let out a giant yawn to feel like I’m getting a deep enough breath. My right eye is twitching too and has been for the last 4 weeks. I forgot to switch over the laundry before bed last night too, and I’m not sure, but I think the smell in my car is an old coffee mug from about a week ago…

We’re all human here.

I’d like to lie and say that I have a list of 12 magical ways to self-care your way back to being balanced instead of overwhelmed, but Babe… this ain’t that kind of blog. This is the kind where you sit and think about what you’ve done. You think about how hard you’ve worked, and you give yourself some grace. You love yourself a little more than you did yesterday, and then you go back to your day with a more empowered sense of self because that is better than all the bubble baths in the world.

If you weren’t working hard, you wouldn’t feel this way. If you weren’t a good friend, you wouldn’t worry about if you were doing enough. And if you weren’t a great wife, you wouldn’t care so much about if you were.

I know saying “Stop worrying” won’t fix it, but the next time you feel like your head may explode from all the craziness you are facing in your life:

  • Stop and count to 10.
  • Take about 5 big, deep, and intentional breaths
  • Choose 1 thing to focus on.
  • Instead of working in 25 different tabs at one time, just focus on the 1.
  • When you’re ready to move to something else, close that tab and open the next 1.
  • Focus your energy on one thing at a time instead of a million all at once.

I promise you, it will make your plate feel a little less full, and it will help you organize the mess you feel lives inside your head. And remember: You got this, Babe!


xx – the Wife

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