Comparison, Overwhelm, and Handling It: My Story
Yesterday started off on an interesting note. I finally expressed outwardly how I was feeling on the inside; feelings and emotions that I didn’t even know were fluttering on inside my head.
I was ready to run out the door for work, but started talking (or should I say disjointedly spewing) to B about how I was feeling overwhelmed, stressed, anxious and just not good enough.
Overwhelmed with writing blogs, taking photos, editing, scheduling, planning, creating for A of All Trades, all while ATTEMPTING to: clean, meal prep, organize, do laundry, and do the dishes at home; in addition to running errands, grocery shopping, taking time out of work to go to doctor’s appointments, the feeling of burdening emotional fatigue setting in, a sincere lack of motivation, the numbness of life creeping over me along with the reality of being out of town next week, (meaning having to plan, schedule and produce two weeks ahead for my day job), the constant running to meetings left and right without notice, along with all the daily brainpower my day job exerts. Oh, and did I mention this is THE year I finally get my own business up and running? Yeah, the business I created 2 years ago and keep letting down. The business that I really love and can see going far and helping people, but I just couldn’t follow through with, because there’s ALWAYS something more important?
That’s the feeling.
The feeling of slowly drowning in an endless, open body of water, in the pitch black sky (even the stars wouldn’t come out to watch me slowly suffocate), with breathy sounds of needy people ringing in my ears, asking me telling me to do things for them, thankfully drowned out by the eerie silence of the night, and OH, did I mention the cinder blocks bound to my feet? (There’s no amount of treading that could get me out of this one.)
I was overwhelmed because I thought I was the only one; the ONLY ONE struggling, and comparing myself to all the other girls out there. You know the ones. Those amazing, beautiful, caring and NEW blogger girls on Instagram, taking charge and looking like boss-ass bitches; posting beautiful photos everyday, maintaining and curating a gorgeous feed, consistently posting on their blog, commenting on everyone’s post, always engaging and being supportive with their audience, all while having a full time day job too.
So, yes. I was overwhelmed.
Overwhelmed because all these girls seem to have it handled. They are out there KILLING IT in the blogging world, AND the real world: being amazing Moms, Wives AND having a day job, while I’m over here feeling like I’m spread so thin I don’t have time to buy groceries, let alone actually cook the food.
Therefore, there’s no other reason than the fact that I MUST be weaker than them. I MUST be less intelligent, less driven, less productive, less creative, just LESS THAN.
But B reminded me, I’m not “less than,” I’m just dealing with a lot right now, and I’m in a “phase” of my blogging life where I am trying to find the right balance, the balance between Instagram-obsessed and all my other life priorities (girlfriend, employee, friend, daughter, healthy human being).
And this is true; I USED to be one of those girls KILLING IT. I was eager, consistent, focused, but always on my phone, and afraid to leave Instagram for more than 3 hours FOR FEAR everyone would forget about me. I was spending more time with my Instagram page than with my boyfriend, even when we were in the same room, and that is not a healthy balance either.
So, I’m coming to the realization that I need to set up a schedule for myself to stay on track, that’s realistically compatible with my lifestyle, in order to overcome the overwhelm. The balance was too heavy at the beginning of my blogging life to keep up long-term, and now I’m spending too little time on it due to my lack of planning and other life distractions, so I will be back to a moderate schedule that I can consistently keep up with long-term. And this is what I did:
How you can handle overwhelm:
Stop where you are and take several deep breaths – breathe IN for a count of 4, HOLD for a count of 4 and breathe OUT for a count of 8.
Write down a list of ALL the actions/tasks you are responsible for on a daily basis (at work, home, hobbies, etc.)
Label each task with the emotion it makes you feel
Examine your list and look at the responsibilities that make you sad, angry, irritated, or uncomfortable, and ask yourself “why?” “WHY” do those tasks make you feel that way?
Fix or eliminate. Are you able to alter how you perform the uncomfortable tasks, or eliminate them completely? If so, devise a plan for restructuring those responsibilities.
Categorize all your remaining tasks/responsibilities under the following 4 categories:
Important AND Urgent (to-do today)
Important NOT Urgent (plan to be done as soon as you can)
Urgent NOT Important (delegate this task)
NOT Urgent NOT Important (but does this make you happy?)
Begin with the Important AND Urgent Category and go from there. As long as that category is finished, the rest can wait until tomorrow.
If you have any tips, struggles, or stories you would like to share about battling overwhelm, or any other feelings you are facing, let me know in the comments!
From your soon-to-be not overwhelmed friend,