3 ways to cope when you’re completely overwhelmed

I feel like I’ve written this piece before, but I haven’t. Perhaps I’ve had feelings of being overwhelmed trapped inside of me for too long. Don’t get me wrong, they are all things I wanted. All things I’ve worked for in one way or another...but when all of those little pieces get put together, sometimes they feel like “too much.”


Too much noise.

Too many demands.

Too much going on.

Too much pressure.

Too much to be.

And since I wanted all of these little pieces of life, I want to keep them all, but I’d really love for them stop swimming around in my head so furiously. For those little pieces and my head to come to terms.

But what’s it going to take?

Over the past eleven years I’ve been blessed to bring four beautiful daughters into the world. They were exactly what I wanted, each and every one of them. I knew having children would be difficult. But I really had no idea.

No idea at all.

I had no idea how wonderful and hard it all would be.

What’s the wonderful? Too much to explain. What’s the hard? The “too much” that leaves me overwhelmed?

That at the very essence of it all, there is very little quiet and calm. The kind of calm where I’d long to be at the end of an incredibly exhausting and demanding day. Where I’d love nothing more to slip into bed with a good book and lazily fall asleep. But there’s always “too much.”

Too much laundry to be done.

Too much stuff to pick up.

Too many preparations to make.

Too much to think about that leaves my head reeling.

Have you ever felt this way? That you really wanted “too much,” but it’s kind-of “too much?” Life has a funny way of handing us things like that.

Having children, having lives, having jobs, brings a lot of “too much.”

And while I’m no expert on the subject, maybe today we can sort through a few things—just a bit. No expectations or promises. Just like one friend to another.

So since you’re here, this is what I’m feeling might help us both.

1. Find your center.

Has the “too much” left you feeling off-balance? Then what or who is your center? Your faith? Your marriage? Your family? What do you stand for and what makes you you at your very core?

If you’ve moved away from that, perhaps it would feel good to recenter. To remember and breathe in what makes you feel grounded and good, and then take a step back towards it.

2. Think smaller.

What do you need to do right now? What can you do right now? Push the rest aside. Think small and live in the moment of now.

The rest will take care of itself in time.

3. Care for you.

When we find our center and think smaller, naturally it’s easier to find room for us. For you. To relax, to unwind, and to think about what you need.

Has it been too long since you’ve done something that makes you feel whole?

Too long since you’ve taken a break. A day off, an afternoon off, or an evening off from a life that’s too busy?

What can you do that will help you feel more like you? Maybe you should do it. Renew apart of yourself at last.

I could give you a list of several action items, but honestly you’re already drowning in “too much.” So focus in on those three things. Find your center. Think smaller. Care for you.

Maybe then you’ll—we’ll—be ready again for the “too much.” And little by little we’ll figure out how to continue to make it feel like less. To find more opportunity to slow down and find magic in the midst.


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