Does it seem like everyone around you is after something? The requests for help are endless. The kids at home are yelling, “Mommy!” The Hub is calling, “Hunny!” Your colleagues or boss at work is tapping, “(Insert your name here) Susie!” You’re feeling overwhelmed and burnt out.
I call this feeling: Golden Goose Syndrome (giving uncomfortable feelings or situations funny names helps somehow ?).
*Please note that I am not a medical or psychological professional. These tips are for general feelings of overwhelm and frustration. If you have more serious issues, concerns, or medical conditions, please reach out to a professional for help.
Why You Might Be Feeling Overwhelmed
You are the veritable Golden Goose that everyone wants! (insert any other metaphorical, whimsical fairy tale creature that you choose, but to quote a friend, “I feel pretty like a Unicorn, but you can’t take things from it like you do a Golden Goose.”).
It seems you’re constantly spitting out nuggets of wisdom or services. As if every time you lay an egg, someone grabs it! You feel as if you are giving away pieces of yourself. As a result, you’re exhausted, frustrated, and feeling overwhelmed.
We live in a “Yes” society, where the guilt trip for saying “No” is spread thicker than the peanut butter layer of my daughter’s sandwich and just as sticky to escape within your mind. We are so quick to say “No” to our kids when they have asked for the 100th time today for candy or whatever the object of desire for the day is, and yet when it comes to managing our resources, energy, gifts, skills, etc. we don’t even hesitate to give in.
Now I might be just speaking for myself here (I’m totally guilty of this and painfully aware, hence why I am writing this post), but I believe some might be experiencing these feelings too and can relate.
“Ok,” you say, “but what do you do about it?”
Do you plaster on the blinders and cold-heartedly start saying “No” to everyone and everything that comes your way? Any mom, wife, or hard worker will laugh in your face at this suggestion! That’s not realistic. However, I’ll share with you five tips you can implement to help you lessen the feeling of being a hoarded pile of gold laying down feathers. When practiced, these tips help you have a more positive outlook, take a breather, and feel a little bit lighter in spirit.
📝 Get a journal, piece of paper, or your note app on your phone out, as there will be a few small things to jot down with these tips and to use as reference later.
Five Tips That Can Help You When You Feel Overwhelmed
1. LOOK FOR RAINBOWS
Growing up, my mom and I had an obsession with rainbows. They symbolized hope, renewal, and the promise of better times. Being a single mom, she had many pressures and issues to deal with, a fact I’m more acutely aware of now that I have three little ones of my own (insert tearful, “Thanks, Mom, for all you did!”).
We would hang crystals up in windows facing east or west to have rainbows sparkling all over the house. Yes, just like in the movie Pollyanna, but not nearly on the grand scale of Mr. Pendergast’s living room. LOL.
This cooky hobby taught me something pretty incredible, though. There’s always hope! No matter what you are going through or dealing with, you can find the rainbow in the sky, the silver lining, or the positive aspect to focus on if you at least try.
How does this apply to what we’re talking about here? Think about it for a second.
What does it really say that everyone is coming to you for something?
You are valued, loved, needed, important…you matter!!
Imagine not having anyone around, utter aloneness, emptiness, void of human connection (as appealing as that may sound right now as you’re reading this in the bathroom to escape for five minutes). If permanent, it is the worst feeling in the world. So let that sink in for a sec.
Imagine not having sweet-faced little ones to hold and cuddle, who light up when they see you.
Imagine not having a best friend, lover, and rock, never having gotten married to that handsome hunk relaxing on that couch right now. Yes, he’s probably sitting in his underwear, waiting for his dinner and possibly oblivious to you hiding out in the bathroom right now, but he’s there! He loves you!
Imagine not being needed at work, noticed, or appreciated. Feeling ignored and overlooked for your talents can be pretty frustrating!
📝 WRITE DOWN your answers to these questions and keep them where you can look at them when you’re feeling burnt out. For example, post them on a sticky on your bathroom mirror or computer monitor.
Remind yourself that being needed is not always such a bad thing. The rainbow of realization is hanging over your head, and sometimes you need to look up to see it.
2. GRAB YOURSELF SOME CLARITY
Sometimes we feel overwhelmed and frustrated because we’re doing everything else for everyone else and nothing that fulfills our own needs and desires.
That void = frustration = feeling overwhelmed = stress.
Take a few minutes to think about what your most important goal right now might be. It could be a short-term goal, a long-term one, a five-year, or a one-year. Maybe you want to be a full-time stay-at-home mom, blissfully walking away (or running, I would definitely be running ??♀️) from your cubicle job downtown.
What’s it going to take to reach your goal?
Break it down into increments that you feel you can handle.
- What would you need to do each month, each week, or each day to achieve that goal?
- How much money would you need to have set aside?
- What bills do you need to work on paying off? You get the idea.
- If coming up with the full picture right now seems a bit much, then take one chunk and focus on that, for example, the next month or two and outline the steps you need to take
📝 WRITE IT DOWN! Put this list somewhere you look every day. For me, that’s my wall behind my desk at home. Then use this as a visual reminder when you’re focused on all the negatives.
If you’re clear on the direction you’re headed, then when tasks, assignments, favors, etc., come across your path, it’ll be that much easier to say “No” if it will take you off course. You’ll think twice about them, and what they will cost you in the time you have to reach your goal(s). Now granted, this may not apply to essential tasks like feeding the kiddos, laundry, and cooking, so if you’re feeling overwhelmed with those tasks, then maybe you need to get better organized to help lessen the stress (lookout for a post to come soon for those tips).
3. REMEMBERING WHO YOU ARE
You’re a super lucky gold depositing thing of beauty, remember!
This part is fun. You get to think about and again, yes,📝 WRITE DOWN, all the ways you are amazing.
This exercise might seem odd at first and maybe even a bit uncomfortable, but identifying your attributes is crucial on the road to understanding who you are. I promise if you’re drawing a blank, once you start writing, the ideas will flow.
- What are you good at doing?
- What are your skills and talents? (Who cares if other people have those same skills, we’re not comparing against the other ducks here. Remember, we’re focusing on ourselves).
- Why is everyone after you?
If you’re a mom, one item to add to the list is that you are the center of your child’s world!! Think about what that really means! How amazing and special that is!
If you’re a wife, your man chose you, you lucky duck! Put that down on the list. Who cares if you’ve got a few extra feathers missing or plumpness in all the wrong and right places? We’re not criticizing and picking out flaws here. Focus on the good stuff! This is your time to brag!!
Everyone else already sees all the beautiful things you bring to the table. That’s why they come to you for everything. It helps if you see it too. Why? If you value yourself and who you are, it will be harder to give those things away easily because now you know what you are worth. You will consider first, who it is that is doing the asking and how they line up with who you are, and second, what it is they are asking for and how that lines up with where you’re going. It helps you create healthy boundaries that lessen your feelings of frustration.
Believe me, learning to say “No” to things and people that don’t align with my true self has been one of the most enlightening things I’ve ever done (and that says a lot because I was a habitual “Yes” person…and am still working on this). As a result, I don’t feel so frustrated and burnt out worrying about energy and time vampires as I used to.
4. FIND TIME TO REFILL YOUR OWN CUP
“But I have no time to do anything for me ?!” you say.
If you believe that, then you are 100% right. Something or someone will always find a way to keep you busy. You have to schedule it, plain and simple.
Until you are used to finding the time to do things for yourself, make a schedule and commit to yourself to follow through. Then have the needed conversation with your family and get them on board with respecting your time to make this schedule work.
Then…📝 WRITE IT DOWN. Add it to your phone calendar with reminder alerts, pin it to your family command center, or write it in your planner (or all 3 depending on your process).
Now, you might need some ideas of what to schedule.
Here are a few creative ways to schedule time for yourself to help combat feeling burnt out without railroading your normal routines:
- Try waking up 15-30 minutes before everyone else on Saturday morning, so you can wrap up in your cozy robe with a cup of coffee on your porch, breathing in the cool morning air.
- After putting the kids to bed, turn on relaxing music, and take a hot shower or bath. Add in a cup of tea or a glass of wine. My favorite tea is Yogi Soothing Caramel Bedtime Tea. You can also use this time to read a good book to fill your mind with positive things or even to further your personal growth. See this great book list for inspiration.
- Leave work early once in a while and meander through Target, all by yourself. It’s oddly therapeutic – you know it is!!
- Try stretching first thing after waking up for a couple of minutes, and again right before bed.
- Take a nap with your kids (if your at home during the day). Yes, yes, I know your mind is already listing all of the items that you could be crossing off your to-do list, but you need a break too. Even if it’s a 15-minute catnap (which by the way has great health benefits according to WedMD).
- Get a pedicure on a Sunday afternoon while hubby or Grandma watches the kids.
- Get your body moving! Go for a walk, take a spin class at the gym, or use an at-home streaming service like Apple Fitness+ (that’s my favorite).
The point is that you have to find ways that make sense to you within your schedule to fill your metaphorical cup. Just like when taking a flight, the instructions for emergencies are to put on your air mask before anyone else’s.
If you aren’t happy or doing things that regenerate and replenish your soul, you will have nothing to give back to others. Your feelings of being overwhelmed could cause you to miss out on memorable moments as you trudge through life with fog in your head and heart.
What are some quick cup-filling tricks you have tried? Comment below.
5. LAUGHING OUT LOUD – LOL SERIOUSLY!
This tip is probably the simplest but most forgotten tool. When all else fails, have a good belly laugh.
Not in the mood? Feeling cranky? Put on a hilarious comedy, or search YouTube for epic wipeouts, bloopers, or animals doing stupid things. Here’s an America’s Funniest Home Videos compilation to get you started.
Whatever it takes.
Keep a list of these things that make you laugh to go to for inspiration on the go.📝 WRITE IT DOWN. You can even create a special folder in your internet browser bookmarks or YouTube favorites to come back to in a pinch.
Find something, anything that lifts your mood and gets you into a good feeling place. It does wonders for your overall outlook on life.
Feeling a Little Lighter
There they are! My five simple tips to help you when you’re feeling overwhelmed and burnt out. They have helped me to stay on track with my goals, keep my mental and emotional bucket full, provide me clarity, and stay alert to what to be grateful for.
Now granted, life will still sometimes feel overwhelming, but you can gain control and stay on track with practice.
I’m curious if you have struggled with similar feelings or have come up with other coping techniques. Please share yours below in the comments.
Know someone else that is feeling overwhelmed? Then, please share this article with them or share it on social media and spread the wealth that is our golden eggs (in a good way ?)!