Sometimes you just wake up feeling like the world’s against you. And sometimes you feel like the drop of a pin will send you off the rails. Being overwhelmed is like you have a cloudy feeling in your head, an inflating lead balloon in your chest and your heart is a rat trying to break free.
It’s a horrible feeling. And it’s hard to put to words. Especially when the people around you expect you to be normal. Hell, I have panic attacks when I’m about to watch the newest episode of a show I’m obsessed with! I really do think that’s just me, though.
Here are some things I do to try to overcome this overwhelmed feeling.
Leave the Computer Games
Since writing a diary, I’ve realised that I seem to feel terrible after two or more days of playing games. I think it’s because when I play, I play for hours on end. It also depends on the game.
The Sims games have proven to have a detrimental impact on people with depression and anxiety when played for too long. I mean, imagine being so depressed all you can do is game and then you find that your characters are doing everything you’re struggling to?
And what about difficult games? When you’re anxious, all those hard boss battles and timed puzzles go out of the window. And that can just make you feel worse. You might even break your controller. And that’d be another thing added to your problems.
Put Headphones On
Outside noise can help fog up your head. Overlapping conversations, television and washing machines all going at once can make me feel like I’m having a heart attack. And when I’m particularly sensitive, just a single person’s voice can overwhelm me.
So putting headphones on can really cut the noise. With or without music, headphones can put a barrier between you and the world outside.
Go For a Walk
I still struggle with this one but I’m working on it. On days when I’m brave enough to head out on my own, I find a (literal feeling) weight off of my chest. The world around opens up and anything feels possible. And when I get back home I feel reset.
This isn’t really a go-to for me. I don’t do the whole ‘guided meditation’ thing. But I know using some meditative techniques can help. If I wake up overwhelmed, I shut my eyes and breathe. Sure, I sometimes fall back to sleep doing it. But if I do, that also helps. You know what they say: if you get out of the wrong side of the bed, get back in and try again!
Incense and scented candles help, too.
Use the Treadmill
Not everyone’s stupid enough to splurge money like a madman. But because I am, I’m the proud owner of a way-too-big treadmill. It’s giving me the evil eye right now.
But I mention it for a reason. Using a treadmill at home or in the gym is great catharsis. It allows you to daydream safely in a way you can’t when running out in public. Just pop them earphones in, blank out and jog your little heart out. The exercise will help release them good feels and will make your body feel great for that day.
I know it’s not easy when you’re struggling to get out of bed in the morning, but sometimes forcing yourself to do something good is the best thing for you.
This can be anything from portraiture to an expressionistic piece of a big toe. Or it can be a doll repaint to a colouring book. Art if food for the soul. It focusses parts of your mind that let you unwind.
Food is a great therapist. Temporarily. Comfort eating’s great at the time but after the food’s yummy effects have worn off you’re left overstuffed and sluggish. And this February I went sugar-free so that was out of the question.
So, why is the act of cooking so good? Like most of these points I’ve made, they get you out of your head. But at the end of this one, you get food! Everything tastes better when you’ve made it yourself. And if you know what’s in it, it can be as healthy as you like.
Push comes to shove, you can pretend you’re a witch or a chef and you’d still be getting that fun you need.
Ask Why I’m Overwhelmed
Sometimes feeling this way doesn’t have a reason. Not a tangible one, at least. But other times there is one. It’s important to know whether it’s an environmental issue or an internal one. Internal ones can be worked on with little tricks. But real issues need to be addressed (not necessarily solved) before you can climb the hill.
If you’re struggling because of money or family issues, you can talk to someone. Friends and family are there to support you. Why else do you have them? And if you’re unfortunate enough to feel unable to talk to them, there are plenty of charities and professionals out there to help. Many are just at the end of the phone.
Being Overwhelmed Isn’t Insurmountable
I missed so many days of school or work because of feeling like this. But there are good and healthy ways to at least be functional. Sure, I don’t do all of these at once and there are days where I can’t do any of them. But if you know your options, it makes it easier.
Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty more healthy ways for overcoming this. And there are unhealthy ones I overly rely on. But it’s in acknowledging what you should be doing that will start you up that hill.
Read 8 Tips to Help You Feel More Human for more advice. Look below for the links to mental health organisations.
Find Samaritans here.
Find Mental Health Foundation here.
Find Mind here.