I originally wrote this post in the early Summer of 2017. I was dealing with a business that I wasn’t happy with, a marriage that I wasn’t happy with, a life that I wasn’t happy with. I was overwhelmed and I felt stuck.
I felt like I was drowning and struggling just to keep up with the basics of life. Sometimes when I feel overwhelmed I go into “freeze” mode. It’s the third option in the flight vs fight thing. I’ll look at my email and I just can’t even process the titles let alone open them and process a whole paragraph. I try to make sense of things and nothing works. I feel stuck, frozen. Overwhelmed.
The easy answer is to bury my head in the sand and hope that everything that’s overwhelming me magically goes away. But, I’ve tried that and I know it doesn’t work. Instead, I’ve learned that there are three things I can do when I’m feeling stuck and overwhelmed.
So, what can I do when I feel stuck and overwhelmed?
Remember fear is ONLY a feeling
I’ve been working with a therapist lately and we talked about fear and I think her words on fear apply here as well. It’s just a feeling. So often the fears I have are irrational and I know it.
I know that in all likelihood the thing I fear happening will not occur, but I still fear it. I have to learn to look at that fear and say “I see you” but you won’t stop me.
Keep Moving Forward
It’s easy to feel stuck in what happened in the past. To relive it over and over again. It’s just as easy to get stuck worrying about the future. But, the only moment we have is now. We can’t face the future if we don’t move forward.
Allowing myself to stay stuck means I go nowhere, and there’s nothing I’ll regret more later than looking back and seeing the opportunities that I allowed fear to keep me from.
Make a Change
I find that most of the times that I feel this overwhelmed or stuck it’s because a decision needs to be made (usually a big one), sometimes involving a big change. The fear of making the wrong decision often leaves me frozen in place.
As I originally wrote this I was at the fork in the road on multiple major life-changing decisions. I had to make some big choices that would affect my future. In the end, I did make those choices. I chose divorce. I chose to sell the business and move on to something else. I chose happiness. It’s been four years, and I can honestly say that I’m glad I faced those fears and that I made the choices that I made. But, at the time, I had no idea where those choices would lead. Things could have gone very differently.That stuck feeling… is probably a sign it's time to make a change. What To Do When I'm Feeling Overwhelmed and Stuck. Click To Tweet
When you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, give yourself space and really consider the reasons. What decisions are you facing? The longer you put off those decisions, the longer you will continue to feel stuck and overwhelmed. The longer that stress and anxiety will rule you.
Started out 20 years ago fibromyalgia, then lupus, raynauds, sweets syndrome, Hodgkins lymphoma (stage 4 ), major surgery to remove 4 lymph nodes, now in remission ,neuropathy, hands and feet, scoliosis, degenerative bone disease, 3 bulging discs, sjogrens, medication sensitivity (allergic reactions to everthing but morphine,
Interstitial cystitis, hypothyroidism, tmj, calcification of Achilles tendons, bursitis, skin cancer, now have non-Hodgkins small b cell lymphoma, had good sized tumor on my leg that required chemo and radiation, no cure, chemo forever.
I still drive, shop, cook, clean, visit family and friends. It’s not easy but I really don’t like the alternative. God is good.
Cynthia J Ware says
He really is. Thanks for your determined faith.