Anxiety. Paralyzing anxiety. But for me, not in the way you might think. It isn’t worry, irrational fears, or self-consciousness and over-analyzing. My anxiety stems from overwhelm.
It can be falling behind on housework, running late, having a calendar that’s too full, or too much editing to do. I overextend myself and instead of managing my time well and getting to work, I avoid the work altogether. And avoid. And avoid. AND AVOID.
It’s hard to see each smaller task as manageable when all of it together feels GIANT and impossible to catch up on. Even small tasks like returning an email or text can feel like a giant mental effort, since I see it as another piece of a giant puzzle that I can never finish. I even fell so far behind that I nearly closed up my business that I LOVE and feel fulfilled by. The anxiety was getting in the way of my big goals and dreams for myself and my business. I wanted to avoid it all and scroll Facebook for hours while binge-watching This Is Us.
But I didn't. I am finally taking steps toward healthier habits and better time management to help with the paralyzing overwhelm. I’ve been focusing on my physical health and my mental health. I’ve (temporarily?) deleted my personal social media accounts (more on this later). I’m working hard to learn better time management skills and improve my focus. And I'm chipping away at the mountain of work that had accumulated.
How You Can Help
Show your loved ones grace. Ask how you can help. See if there's a task you can take over completely. Encourage them. Remind them of times in the past that they've overcome anxiety and come out on top. If you've experienced anxiety yourself, share, so they know they're not alone.
And if this is you, HANG IN THERE! That nagging voice that's telling you that you're lazy and weak IS A LIAR. Take one step at a time. Shut down social media. Turn off Netflix. Sit down with your calendar and schedule out what you plan to accomplish! Don't be afraid to say no to new commitments. ASK FOR HELP WHERE YOU CAN. Break your big tasks down into smaller, more manageable chunks. Set your timer for 30 minutes and work on ONE thing till the timer goes off. When you meet a big goal, reward yourself with some yoga, a book, a nice long walk, or a hot bath!
For now, I need you to know you’re not alone if your anxiety looks like this, too. If you have strategies or books that you’ve found helpful, please comment below or email me. I’d love to hear from you! LET'S CONQUER OVERWHELM TOGETHER!