Uh-oh. Here it is again. That feeling of being so overwhelmed with all there is that needs to be done that you can’t seem to do anything. I see you nodding your heads – you understand. For me, it isn’t a frequent occurrence, but when it does hit – WOW!
I call this a time of being “overwhelmed into inactivity”. A time when your first thoughts may be to find a quiet corner and curl up in it, with your eyes closed, hoping to shut out all of the unwanted noise of demand. Or, you may find that sometimes you just sit, for a very long time, your mind reeling with all the commotion of the things you need to do, or think you should be doing, and not getting any of it done. It feels like having your ruby slippers stuck in the mud, and you’re trying to figure out a way to click the heels together so that you can get yourself back to Kansas. It can be a challenge to pull oneself out of the spiral.
I’m sure there are those trained professionals who would not hesitate to label these feelings as depression, but I don’t feel depressed, I just feel overwhelmed.
I guess I should clarify things a bit here. When I say “overwhelmed into inactivity”, I’m not immobilized, I’m just not doing what I think I probably should be doing. I may spend time chatting on the phone, or tinkering around the house. Or, I may curl up in my mother’s old recliner with a book, or with the TV remote and some comfort food. Preferably chocolate. OK, ice cream with chocolate in it.
I know – it sounds a lot like procrastination, but this is different. I know this because I have been known to procrastinate on occasion as well. This is more like having too many cookies on your plate, and you can’t decide which one to eat first; or over-thinking your next move in a challenging game of Jenga – the Turbo version.
I am happy to report that, to date, I have not required a pill or a professional. The cure for me is to get going and do something. Anything. You’re probably familiar with a variety of quotes that warn you ‘getting started’ has the potential for being the hardest part of any task. So, from that massive list of things to do, I just pick something and do it. It doesn’t have to make sense – it doesn’t even have to be a logical choice. I just have to pick something and get started on it.
I have found that even if I don’t complete the task right away, I feel motivated to keep moving forward. When I actually complete a task from my list, it feels a little like scoring a touchdown. It might not be the winning touchdown, but it gets me on the board. And, before I even realize it, I’m not feeling quite so overwhelmed because I see progress. Even if that progress is just a teeny, tiny, baby-step.
Here’s to progress. And touchdowns.