I am absolutely completely and utterly overwhelmed

(33 Posts)
Ihatemyseleffordoingthis Sat 09-Jan-21 12:19:10

Just needed to put that somewhere.

There is more that needs doing and thinking about and care than can be possibly managed. Something's got to give, not sure what and don't have the time to work out what.

So strung out I end up doing nothing and then berating myself.

If anyone has any ideas that might help I would be most grateful.

OP’s posts: |
Soutiner Sat 09-Jan-21 12:22:34

Sorry to hear you feel so overwhelmed.

I’ve had a couple of dark periods in my life and came through by prioritising what is important and what isn’t.

You’d be surprised at what really doesn’t matter in the great scheme of things that we worry about and stress over.

Write down the things that would instantly make you feel better, then the things that would make you feel better long term and things that really aren’t that important to you.

Piling the pressure on yourself to please other people or to live by their standards leads to your feeling worse so try to manage what things will work best for you.

Squiffany Sat 09-Jan-21 12:24:25

What can you let slide or delegate?

SilenceIsNoLongerSuspicious Sat 09-Jan-21 12:24:27


Best advice I had was just do one thing. Doesn’t matter what. Just do one thing and ignore the rest. Then repeat whenever you can.

SnoozyBoozy Sat 09-Jan-21 12:26:25

What area of your life are you struggling with? If you could give us a better idea of what in particular you are feeling overwhelmed by (work/home/kids balance etc) people might be able to suggest some ideas for prioritising certain areas.

MoiraNotRuby Sat 09-Jan-21 12:29:23

Take a few deep and slow breaths. This triggers your system into a different sort of mode than when you are stuck in that panicky/freeze state. Then make a list of everything and anything that is on your mind. Let the paper worry about it, your mind doesn't have to remember and deal with everything all at once.

Also. You are not alone xxx

katmarie Sat 09-Jan-21 12:29:57

Op, I completely understand how you feel, overwhelm and paralysis as a result. Is there anyone who can share the load a bit? Is there anything on your list that can wait a week? And what has to absolutely be done now, and by you? Split your worries into those three lists, and then do just one thing on your third list. Even if it's a little thing. It will get you over the paralysis and things won't seem so bad.


Breathmiller Sat 09-Jan-21 12:35:01

Sorry you are feeling so awful. Asking for help is the first step. smile

What is feeling the most needed right now?

I agree with the just doing one thing. Or I read once in my darkest times about 3 things. What 3 things that you could tick off today would help.
Sometimes in very dark days my one thing I managed was to get out of bed, make it and get back on top of the covers.
I think it comes back to basic, grounding self soothing things.

Can you get up today?
Can you have a bath, shower or even just wash your face?
Can you get dressed?

That's 3 pretty good things to achieve some days.

Or if you are still doing these, what would help? Getting outside for 15 minutes?
Having something healthy for lunch? I know if I feel overwhelmed I have a bath and make some soup. "Goodness in a bowl"

What needs prioritised today? Do things that are doable. And tick them off.

Wishing you ease in your weekend

lightand Sat 09-Jan-21 12:36:10

I had that once when my kids were all sick all at the same time.
Someone came and lived with me for a week to enable us all to get through it all[all pre covid]. She bravely stayed until I was back on my feet myself and able to do all the work myself again. She could have caught whatever it was herself, but could see I was overwhelmed so mucked in anyway,

Breathmiller Sat 09-Jan-21 12:41:15

I also play the 15 minute game if my house feels chaotic but I'm too tired and overwhelmed to get motivated.

Set a timer.
Fanny about on here for 15 minutes
When the timer goes off I reset it and go do a job for 15 minutes.
When the timer goes off I sit down again. Rinse and repeat.

It breaks down each job into manageable chunks. So maybe i find the idea of sorting out the washing doable as my next job. So when the timer goes off that's all i concentrate on. Just folding up and putting away the dry washing. And collecting the washing to put on a load. Im not bogged down in my mind about the millions of jobs that need done. Just that one.
Then i sit down again. And when the timer goes off I do another job. Maybe, the dishes and tidy the kitchen. I also sometimes get everyone to join in. It's amazing what can be achieved in 15 minutes as a team.

Freewheelingoryx Sat 09-Jan-21 12:41:25

flowers flowersflowers

Prioritise the most important thing: DC and or elderly frail patents?
Let your standards slide and allow yourself to go in to survival mode. Everyone fed, no one dead.
Get some routines in place (see Flylady and ignore tweeness of site) so basics : washing up, laundry, basic meals, basic cleaning, are done.
Tackle one thing at a time, in bursts of 15 mins at a time.
Don't forget good sleep, food and some relaxation if possible for yourself.

And have a look at Therapy in a Nutshell on YouTube. I can't link at the moment but what you may be suffering is a sort of stress or burnout paralysis and she has some videos which address that.

Good luck and hang in there flowers

Ihatemyseleffordoingthis Sat 09-Jan-21 14:01:40

Been for a bath, so at least if nothing else am clean.

It is definitely some kind of burnout paralysis - have been working 7 days pw since March, business partner has been v ill so double workload, 2 teens and a little one, otherwise lovely but very disorganised OH who has on MH issues, caring responsibilities for (lovely and utterly reasonable) elderly parent, on top of diagnosed anxiety disorder.

The things I used to do to help myself don't seem to work any more or aren't possible or I find impossible to find time for.

OP’s posts: |
Offskki Sat 09-Jan-21 14:04:57

some kind of burnout paralysis

You've got to listen to your body.

SingToTheSky Sat 09-Jan-21 14:08:54

That is an awful lot to cope with, no wonder you feel overwhelmed! Take a breather and let yourself feel the worry etc, don’t push it away, just observe what you’re feeling and why.

Once you’ve let yourself settle into the sofa a bit, write out everything that is on your mind, even specifics like “must remember to ring X on Y day”. Sometimes keeping all these worries in my head makes it worse as it adds the stress of trying to remember it all, and writing it down gives me a bit of distance and I can see clearer connections and ideas for solutions etc.

Well done for having a bath! I’m still in my pyjamas, need to have a shower and TBH will probably get changed into clean PJs after rather than actual clothes 😳

Freewheelingoryx Sat 09-Jan-21 14:12:11

Just one of those elements would be stressful in current conditions op so you should be very proud you have carried on to this point but something has to give. You cannot work 7 days a week any more. Do you know how long your business partner will be off work for? Can you employ an intern to help you? Can your oh step up more? Send up the SOS signals and do not feel badly for doing so. You need more support . Something has to give flowers

Ihatemyseleffordoingthis Sat 09-Jan-21 14:16:02

I know also that I have a lot to feel grateful for. None of my family are horrible. I have work and it is usually fulfilling just more of it than can possibly be done. Live in a nice place that is safe and we can afford. Nothing to complain about really but have had bit of breakdown about 4. years and now see it as a very real possibility again.

Have classically neglected self entirely for more or less whole of last year and now paying the price I guess.

OP’s posts: |
Ihatemyseleffordoingthis Sat 09-Jan-21 14:17:06

Thank you all by the way.

OP’s posts: |
SingToTheSky Sat 09-Jan-21 14:18:38


I know also that I have a lot to feel grateful for. None of my family are horrible. I have work and it is usually fulfilling just more of it than can possibly be done. Live in a nice place that is safe and we can afford. Nothing to complain about really but have had bit of breakdown about 4. years and now see it as a very real possibility again.

Have classically neglected self entirely for more or less whole of last year and now paying the price I guess.

That may be, but the fact others have it worse doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to find it difficult or to have a rant.

Burnout sucks and important to cut yourself some slack. 💐

katmarie Sat 09-Jan-21 14:21:17

You say you have 2 teens. What can they do for themselves to take the load off? And your oh may have mh to deal with but they would not want you running yourself into the ground. My dh has depression and anxiety and other stuff, but he always will step up if I need him to. So talk to your family, tell them you need them to pitch in, and delegate as much as you can.

Freewheelingoryx Sat 09-Jan-21 14:26:50

Op get in to bed and shut the door, cite flu if you have to. Seriously, go in to purdah. People will then be forced to step up. Take a couple of days off work. Could you hire someone as a gatekeeper/PA/administrator to help carry the load? Go to bed for a bit and watch mindless telly and sleep.

AintPageantMaterial Sat 09-Jan-21 14:32:06

Definitely give yourself permission to half-ass things. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that things have to be done well.
Anything you can manage moves you forward a little bit. Give any task 15 minutes of attention and yourself a bit better off.

Offskki Sat 09-Jan-21 14:45:50

If you carry on as you are you risk burning out until your body shuts down. Is that an option for you?

NotMeekNotObedient Sat 09-Jan-21 15:02:10

Stop the 7 days a week! If your business partner can't work you'll have to get someone in to replace them? You are doing 2 jobs in 7 days and having no break. Plus your kids and elderly relatives. No wonder you are burnt out.

Definitely get teens more involved- can they become responsible for washing up, laundry, cooking 1 night per week, hoovering, dusting? Or could you outsource to a cleaner?

Is there anything your DH could help you with?

Could you get carers to assit with elderly relatives - even just a once a day visit, this will take some of the pressure off you. Perhaps they would benefit from a befriending service?

Your health comes first. Definitely reccomend calling a sick day or two, just take a break and in a few days make plans to ease your burden. Your family and business partner would not want you to mare yourself ill. You have evey right to say this is too much.

Breathmiller Sat 09-Jan-21 15:02:36

That is so much to be dealing with. I always think its possible to go at full tilt for a time but not sustainable for long term.

The good (!) thing about having had a breakdown 4 years ago is you are now able to see the patterns emerging now. You have a better built in radar for these things. Your body is telling you now, it's giving you an early warning system this time. Now is the time to listen so it doesn't get to that stage again.

As a pp said, the time to put out an SOS is now.

And be kind to yourself. You have a lot to be dealing with right now. Absolutely nothing pathetic about finding it all too much to sustain. That's because in reality it IS too much to sustain.

Ask for help at home. And let yourself be looked after for a bit. You may be surprised at how much everyone steps up.

Dugee Sat 09-Jan-21 15:08:00

Can you look at things and think "will this really matter in 6 months/ 1 year / 10 years time?"

You don't say how old you are. I am early 40s and I remember feeling overwhelmed at points in my 20s and 30s (there is a lot of pressure on women at that age I think). Looking back, some of the things that were overwhelming me seemed so important at the time but actually weren't.

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