Are you stuck feeling Overwhelmed?
How about an exercise in genuine honesty today?
I woke up already feeling behind.
- Sick kiddo making me worried, especially since I can’t stay with him.
- No Christmas gifts bought and no leads on those. (I procrastinate on things that are hard)
- An annual project hanging over my head (yep–I procrastinated on that too–thought I could whip it out in a flash, and, it turns out that even though I do 99% of my stuff on my iPhone–blog, bills, etc– I can’t make a photo calendar on it). So I’m already behind on that one. Already feeling overwhelmed.
- Could not sleep (probably related to the above deadlines looking over my sleepy head, including my wake-up time for work)
- When I did finally just get up, I felt more behind. Had to fill water tanks to get my shower. Camper battery was dead, so I had to start generator to get pressure. Could not find a charged Kobalt battery for a flashlight–why has nobody charged these batteries and filled the water tank when I’ve been gone all day and they haven’t?
- I made note of several responsibilities left undone by others, which left me wondering if they meant for me to do those tasks!
I could go on.
In my mind were bitter sentiments brewing up alongside my morning cup of tea.
Legitimate complaints, but bitter nonetheless.
Not too proud that I
closed slammed a couple doors a tad bit harder than necessary. I sort of wanted to let those still sleeping know…what? That I was mad? That they should be awake if I had to be? Somehow I don’t think they were going to understand that I just wanted a hot shower without having to jump through a bunch of hoops first.
If you’re new to my blog–let me explain. We live off grid, currently (temporarily being over three years now) living in our camper. We do gravity fed water, run a generator for power and to charge batteries. There are always hoops to jump through. We are getting our solar set up, and are making progress on the cabin. 🐌 🐢
I didn’t get that myself.
So I threw a controlled Christian tantrum.
- I didn’t yell (not out loud. I’m pretty sure there was some yelling going on in my head)
- I didn’t say anything nasty. A-hem.
- I stewed a bit and sort of held out on a gushing good-bye to my family
- I drove to work in a grumpy attitude, and glared at a couple of bad drivers behind their backs.
Scratch the Christian part of that tantrum.
It was just me giving into my feelings.
Let’s just 🛑 stop right here.
What did I neglect?
Obviously, I had not given my day to God. Jot saying it is a magic bullet, but it sure points me in a better direction and gives me reminders of truth as opposed to what my own thoughts tell me.
Fairly quickly into this…I realized what I was doing and then gave myself an honest lecture.
What are you going to gain by being mad?
Are you helping the situation, or causing division?
Why are you feeling this angry way?
- Because I have so much to do, and now I keep having more heaped up on me.
- I don’t feel like I can catch up already. I hate always feeling behind. I’m completely overwhelmed.
- I don’t feel like I can do it all
- Ah–that’s it, isn’t it?
I just felt behind.
I don’t actually mind doing any of those tasks. They’re not hard; they don’t take much time. It’s just more tasks heaped up that make you start to feel like you’re drowning. Overwhelmed.
And there’s all that nicely folded clean laundry that got left out in the rain! ☔️ What about that?
There is always something!
I’m no rocket scientist. But I did realize that I didn’t want to keep this train of thought up.
I made a decision. I said a prayer. Lord, I need help with all of this stuff (plenty I’ve not said) that’s weighing me down. When I feel overwhelmed I don’t make decisions and get stuck, which is super frustrating, because then I get more behind! I have to work. I don’t want to carry this bad attitude around all day. Please help me to let it go.
I honestly did tell myself that I needed to take a hearty dose of “Get Over It”.
NOT a dose of “Stuff It”.
So I did.
I texted my dear husband and apologized for some door slamming (which–I’m not sure he picked up on, lol), and I told him I had been mad because I had to do it all.
He called me. I explained myself. We agreed on some things. We blamed the kids. Ok, so maybe we didn’t. We admitted that we all have areas where we can be more aware–we can fill up water so someone gone can get a shower. We can deal with things. And we can give grace—to each other and to the boys.
We are all super busy with tons of responsibilities popping up all of the time! We seriously all get frustrated about not being able to do it all. We all get overwhelmed. Some of us shut down, some get grumpy, some go play with Legos, and some blame the others.
It works out better if we deal with it.
I have felt like this before. When life gets so busy, it’s easy to feel the pressure, and get tempted to shut down. A few years ago I wrote Homeschool Seasons and Courage for the Worn Out Mom. I think you will find it enlightening also.
Some simple things I’m learning that help me when I’m feeling overwhelmed.
(Don’t laugh at my baby steps!!)
- It helps me to make a list. I honestly like the feeling of crossing off something, even if it’s just “wash the dishes”
- Visual reminders do help–again–the list. Then I can prioritize by number and not worry so much if the less important things don’t get don’t right away. For me–having a ton of things swirling around in my mind kind of short-circuit me.
- Pray. Pray about my list. Pray about what’s first.
- Talk to my family. Tell them what we’ve got to do, and enlist their cooperation in some of it. Before I start to spiral downward, preferably.
- Just do one thing at a time and get it done. I am terrible for starting one thing and then remembering twelve others. Then I keep one tab open, and open up all of the others until I’ve short circuited again.
- Actually pray about whether all of this needs to get done. Today, tomorrow, or ever! When I feel like I can’t do it all, maybe I really can’t do it all! Neither can you.
- Walk away from that list every so often. Take a little walk, get a drink, actually talk with my people. The more try to do everything, the more I spin my wheels.
- Take care of health, relationships, feeding the cats.
- Don’t turn into that crazy woman.
- Put on some music. Happy, relaxing, upbeat? Whatever it takes today!!
- Pick something you can do quick–do it, then cross it off your list! Hey–it’s the little things!!
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee.
A Little Godly Counsel
But those things still are not an excuse. Being aware of triggers does help us to avoid those situations that will make it more difficult to keep our cool.
From the FlyLady
I’m gonna share what’s helped me many times in the past. The principle. Because I do get stuck in overwhelmed mode. And you probably do too sometimes.
You can apply it to cleaning, but it goes way behind that. Take it for what it’s worth.
This is a letter from The FlyLady, a cleaning expert, and an advisor on life in general for women like us.
Do you feel like the whole world is crashing in on top of you? Believe it or not it happens to all of us from time to time!
When we get busy, we feel that we don’t have time to do even the simplest of routines. So what do we do! We let our HOT SPOTS take over our homes!
Yes that is all it is! You come in the door tired and ready to drop your load where ever you can put it! Then you crash! No wait you have to throw something together for supper and I mean throw! Because when you are finished the kitchen looks like a bomb went off and you feel like you could get out of the way. By this time you are so overwhelmed that you just want to hide so you go to bed without doing the smallest of a before bed routine and all of a sudden your home has exploded in your face and your husband is pitching one of his usual fits! Ugly words are exchanged and you feel terrible!
Here is the secret to stopping this explosion before it starts. When you hear yourself saying that you don’t have time or you don’t have the energy to do something. Stop dead in your tracks and set a timer for 2, 5, 10, or even 15 minutes and do a quick pick up and put away. That is all it takes to make you not feel so overwhelmed.
Our Hot Spots attack more than our home. They hurt us inside by causing us to feel bad because we can’t keep up, as well as zap our energy! Now I want you to pay close attention! You can start over anytime! You are never behind! Do you hear me?
That stinking thinking of “I don’t have enough time” is for the birds! It is what got your home in the shape it was in when you joined our cyber-family! It’s our perfectionism rearing its ugly head one more time! You can stop the downward spiral by replacing those terrible words, “I don’t have time!” with “I can do just 2 minutes!”
This is a huge attitude adjustment for most of us. It takes time and worst of all we don’t even realize we are doing it. Now that it has been brought to your attention, you will hear yourself says those words. When you do; turn them around and just set your timer and do just a little. I can hear you now! “BUT! I really don’t have the time! She doesn’t understand. Well I am here to tell you that I used to think the same way and I have changed my negative thoughts into positive ones and you can do. It all starts with the realization of what you are doing to yourself with those words. It is a form of WHINING! You know I don’t allow whining!
I want for you what I have: PEACE! This peace came for letting go of negative thoughts and replacing them with positive actions. Even a little will go a long way toward helping you find this peace!
Find The FlyLady at her website
Get the FlyLady’s books
She has other resources available at Amazon.com and on her website. She has many inspiring podcasts. There is definitely a link between clutter, chaos, and a frazzled mind.
Now, in the words of Jesus,
Go and do likewise!
God bless you in your home!
You are not alone!!
And you can do it!
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me!
You just may not be able to do ALL of it!