To be completely overwhelmed with life?(32 Posts)
Everything just feels too hard. The only things I enjoy are eating and sleeping. I've spent the whole BH weekend mostly asleep or stuffing my fat face.
I've dragged myself to work because if I don't work I don't get paid. But I really feel I'm struggling.
I have felt like this for so long i can't remember being 'normal'. The advice is to write a list, but my list overwhelms me even more,
I want to lose weight. Actually no, i need to lose weight. I've gained 3-4 stones in the last couple of years and i was overweight to begin with. But when I'm eating i feel relatively happy, until i see my fat reflection on the mirror or have to squeeze into my clothes.
I need to go to the gym or do some exercise but i can't get up early enough in the morning to go before work (I'd have to leave at 6am) and after i get home in the evening i just feel too tired. So i never do anything other than housework.
My car needs repairing or scrapping if the repairs are too much, but i can't get a quote over the phone, garages just bullshit me because I'm a woman. One said i should get my husband to bring it in. I'm not taking it there but if i can't find anywhere I'm stuck with no car, I'm 2 weeks in now and it's awful. I used to use my car daily.
My house needs work. Not difficult work, mostly decorating. Almost all the woodwork got replaced (including doors) a few years ago. I started painting, never finished. I thought maybe i could hire someone but people were looking for thousands and I just don't have that money. Nor do i seem to have the mental energy to do it myself. Doing a room would take me a week, even just a door takes a whole day. I think I just am slow.
My garden is no better, i paid someone a lot of money to clear it all last year but i haven't done anything to it since and its covered in horrible thorny weeds again. Part of the problem is that the people i hired just cut stuff down but all the weed roots were still there, and they didn't cut back any of the overgrown bushes I asked them to either so grass isn't growing only weeds.
I got someone to fix my roof and gutters last year but they also did a poor job and now my roof is leaking again and the gutters are blocked. I feel like everytime i pay for something it's never done well but i can't do it myself so I'm stuck.
It probably sounds so minor written down but to me it just all feels insurmountable.
Writing it down I feel overwhelmed too!
Start with one thing, what's the one thing which is most important to you? Or the most easily achievable? You need bite size pieces
Ok - well decorating, gardening and DIY are all exercise so if you do some of that you're killing two birds with one stone. I think if you did one room or space you would start to feel more together and it would have a positive impact on your mental health. Choose the hallway or something achieveable - you're looking at all of these jobs as huge but they're not all or nothing, you can do bits and pieces as long as you do them all in the same place, they'll add up. Do the living room, buy cushions, hang pictures, make it feel like yours.
I sympathise with the garage as I hate dealing with that sort of thing and I'm not good at it. Ask at work for personal recommendations - you could even be really cheeky and ask a male colleague to phone up if you explain how you think they're ripping you off as a woman! Make it into a joke/social experiment thing.
Have you had help before for how you're feeling? The start of your post gives me the impression you're perhaps depressed at the moment. that can contribute to everything feeling unachievable or 'too much'. If you don't mind me asking do you speak to family much & who do you live with? X
Ask a colleague for a garage recommendation and when you rung up, start with "hi, X recommended you". They're less likely to rip off someone who's been referred by a regular customer.
I agree about bite sized pieces for the household stuff - and about regarding it as exercise rather than graft, to give you extra motivation.
If you hire someone to clear your garden, give them a typed list of what you'd like to be done so that there can be no claims of confusion..
Tbh sometimes writing a list overwhelms me too. I end up sticking on a couple of things I've already done to make me feel better. The start of your post makes me think you might be depressed. If you think this might be the case then there's no shame in popping to the GP and talking things through with someone. Depression can often make things feel too much to cope with but you aren't alone. Even if its not a doctor try talking to someone you trust. In regards to the exercise, take 15 mins a day to go for a walk. It wont take too much time or energy but I bet the fresh air will help
OP, you have my sympathy.
If you're like me, when small jobs go undone, they build up into what seems to be one hugely insurmountable problem and then just thinking about it causes stress, which results in me entering a sort of frozen state where I do nothing - even if I take a day off work to make a start, I end up wasting the day and feeling even worse, adding a dash of self-loathing to the mix because I can't even get started.
What usually helps me, and I hope will help you too, is getting outdoors and walking. Even if it's dark by the time you get home from work (which hopefully this time of year, it isn't) just get some walking shoes on and go out and walk, it doesn't matter where. Walk as quickly as you can, for as long as you can. Just getting out in the open and making your body work should make you feel more energised.
Op I feel for you. I get the overwhelmed feeling too.
So exercise and diet seem to be your biggest worries. What have you already tried? My parents absolutely swear by the 5:2 diet as it lets them eat whatever they want for five days and then just be sensible for two. They've lost about four stone between them.
I agree with pp about exercise - sounds like you need to build it into your day rather than do a particular regime. How do you get to work? Could you rearrange things so that you walk part of the way?
Clearing those weeds will build a sweat AND have an immediate impact on your garden so prioritise that, then go out for an hour or so every few weeks and cut it all back. Plant some peas - they grow fast and will give you a sense of achievement. Also sunflowers - cheap way to brighten the garden up!
Approach you food intake, your eating for comfort but I think you know that. I'm a believer in being able to eat anything but just smaller amounts.
Try walking round the block twice a day, will probably take 15 minutes each time but it's a start.
Do you have any kind of social life or support network as you sound very alone.
I do feel quote alone. I don't have any family or close friends. Just my DC and partner, but he has a lot of health issues (mental and physical) of his own.
I've been to my GP before and been sent for group counseling for anxiety. It doesn't really help with anything I'm facing though - most people in my group were anxious about things that might happen. All mine already has. My GP said I'm not depressed as I'm too cheerful, apparently.
Thanks for all the replies. I will try and read them through properly at lunch.
I feel for you too Feelingoverwhelmed. I often feel like I'm drowning in stuff that needs doing, or needs doing better.
One thing that helps me is I keep a 'done' list as an email draft. I only put things on it that are biggish achievements (to me),and start a new one every year. Things like 'lost a stone' or 'finally ran 3k without stopping'. I try to read through once every couple of months so that I can make sure there's a balance of family/me/work at the end of the year. Helps a little to see that actually I HAVE done some things. Any use for you?
Also, how old is/are your DC? I bet they demand a lot of you (as all DC). Maybe there's just not that much more to give once you've dealt with them. Plus a partner with needs. It's got to be really tough so try to go easy on yourself.
That 'Done List' is a great idea and I'm going to adopt it.
Good luck OP. Prioritise the list (You've already written it ) Is the car most important? I'd hate to be without mine. It's much easier to get other jobs done if you've got the car going. I agree with a pp: get a mechanic recommendation and take it in.
On Facebook, there are local groups where people will happily share their recommendations. When I moved to a new area, I was similarly worried about getting my car fixed but I found a local, family garage where the wife runs the reception desk and the dh and son do the repairs. I can even walk there - it's great! Been using them for years now, along with half my neighbours I think. So, start asking people for recommendations. Local businesses thrive on this - let them know when you book too.
Next, the roof. You need this fixed soon or it will become a bigger problem. Was the previous job insured or guaranteed at all? Could you call them and ask? Any problems, again, get on a local fb group and ask advice. I've known local tradesmen answer publicly and offer free help. You never know!!
At the moment, you're overwhelmed which can feel like depression. It lifts when you start ticking jobs off. Try it!
I can only echo the suggestion to try local Facebook pages for recommended trades.
Another option is using The Nextdoor app. In our area it's much friendlier and less combative than the Facebook pages.
I think I'd start with trying to get your car sorted out and maybe a GP appointment.
OP, I suspect if you got a handle on your weight (and I don't mean "got skinny overnight", I mean take control and start to feel more positive) a lot of the other stuff would feel much more doable. I know that's how it is for me - if I'm eating well and losing weight, no matter how slowly, I am so much more positive and have much more energy. Comfort eating is the worst thing because you only feel better for such a short space of time, then you feel horrible about yourself and your energy levels are shot because you're not giving yourself the right fuel. Is it worth asking for a referral to a dietician? Tbh I've found food logging (I use my Fitbit although MyFitnessPal is even better I think) is the only way I've ever lost weight. I give myself Friday off so I can have a treat day but the rest of the week I stick to 1000 to 1200 calories. I tapered down to that from 1800 calories, allowing 100 less calories per day each week. It's totally doable!
As for the other stuff, you need to spread it out so it's not all in a big list. Schedule two small things into your calendar per weekend. i.e. find a mechanic, paint bathroom door, cut back bush in bottom corner of garden. Get everything scheduled in so you know you won't forget any of it and then your list will feel much less overwhelming.
You need to take the smallest of steps.
Can you go out for a walk during your lunch break? Set your timer for 10 or 15 minutes. Walk in one direction. When the timer goes off, walk back. If you can't do it during the day then try when you get home from work.
Make a start somewhere in the house or garden. Set your timer for 20 or 30 minutes and do it every. single. day. 20 minutes is nothing but the cumulative effect of that is massive over time. If you start to hack away at those brambles the garden will start to look better in no time.
Just set yourself a minimum amount of time you are prepared to do something. It could be just 10 minutes but you might find you can do a bit more. When you start to make progress it creates energy and spurs you on to do more.
Also, don't be hard on yourself!
Start to think of yourself as being someone who exercises every single day without fail. Doesn't matter that it is a 10 minute walk around the block. It is still exercise!
The difficulty i have is where to start. I feel like I need someone to tell me ok, here's what to do, start with X. Because genuinely I can't decide, and everything needs doing.
I should go to my GP, but i really don't find anyone there helpful (plus it's normally 2-3 week wait for appts). I did ask about help with diet previously but at my surgery all the GPs do is tell you to eat less or join Slimmers World. I try to eat ok in the day but when i get home and see my house and garden it just makes me want to stuff my face. I don't have any pride in my home because it looks crap, or myself (ditto). And no energy to change anything.
The guy who did my roof was a work colleagues relative, so recommended but did an average job. The last 3 places I've had work on my car have all been either friend (of friend) or facebook recommendation, but they've all either overcharged me or done a poor job. The garage who asked my husband to phone was recommended to me! The garden co were through facebook as well, so I'm now reluctant to hire anyone else because i worry about them doing a crap job, especially as I'm a woman living on her own i feel i can't get too bolshy with people who know where i live.
When i get home later i will try going for a walk if it's not too late, and take DC with me as exercise would benefit them too.
I can't get my shit together either OP. Thank you for starting this thread, as the advice is giving me ideas too. I ran out of ADs this week, and I need to get back to the doctors to get more, as I can feel my depression creeping back into my life. I don't want to go back. I think that there is a depression questionnaire on the NHS website, and it will give you a score and some idea of if you do have depression. Good luck.
Do you have any neighbours or dads of your dc's friends who are ok with a paintbrush? Not professionals just someone who could do you the favour for far less than you'd get charged otherwise.
If they're old enough maybe you could instruct the kids to get gloves on and pull the weeds in the garden?
You might find having a cleaner might help, even if it's a one-off, just to save your energy from being spent on ironing/tidying/dusting so you can recharge.
I think the key thing is, you just need to start anywhere. It doesn't matter what it is. Just do something. You've said you're going to for a walk tonight. That's a start. As soon as you get home, go and get changed into some comfy clothes and trainers and head out the door. It doesn't need to be a ten mile yomp. Just ten minutes will do if you feel that's all you can manage. Do it again tomorrow, and do it again the day after, then every day after that. As you feel able to do more increase the time by a couple of minutes.
Same thing applies to everything else. Messy kitchen? Set a timer for 15 minutes and see what you can achieve. Wash up dishes and wipe down surfaces, try and find homes for 'stuff'. Do the same thing tomorrow and so on.
In terms of the car, try to do one thing to push thing along every day. Time management gurus call this 'next action'. So maybe tonight, see if you can look online and find a garage. Tomorrow ring them and book car in.
You're very down on yourself. We've all suffered from crap tradesmen but there are decent people out there. You just have to try stay optimistic on that score.
Blubber, helps me to know I'm not the only one too 😊
The one good thing about my house is it's generally tidy. I do keep on top of cleaning, and am obsessed with laundry (I do about 12-14 loads a week). I've recently got a cleaner with a plan to giving me more time to crack on with everything else but I've been disappointed by what she does, so am considering getting someone else. Generally though the house is clean it just all needs painting and finishing off.
I know starting is the hard part. I'm a perfectionist so actually living with it looking terrible and unfinished is easier than doing the painting (badly) and noticing it every time. I am really fussy like that, i hung wallpaper in a previous house, there was a crease in one strip and I saw it every single day. Even though no one else ever even noticed it.
One thing seems workable. I've got a cupboard full of decorating stuff. I think my one job tonight after the walk is to have a look and sort out in there, then tomorrow can maybe start prepping something to paint.
I do agree with the PP that starting is the way to go. Do something. Just start the decorating. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
OK so it's a 2 - 3 week wait for a GP appointment but that's no reason not to make one. Procrastination is the thief of time. If you put it off for another week it'll be even further in the future.
Have you thought about some supplements in the meantime? Vitamin and mineral deficiencies are widespread especially if your diet's gone to pot.
So an alternative to ADs to lift your mood would be St John's Wort - it's prescribed in Germany for mild depression. Another one is magnesium. This is a super supplement as we're very deficient as nation. Take it half an hour before bed and you'll sleep well. It can also help keep bowels regular too. And vitamin D, it is so important for so many mental and physical functions. And get sunshine where you can on bare skin (don't burn).
If I feel overwhelmed like you do, I ask myself 'what do I need to do to make myself feel better?'
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