How do you deal with overwhelm?

Today was the first day of construction on our new home addition! I can’t wait to share it with you guys when it’s all done… 6 months from now!

I have no clue if I was zoned out of important conversations, misunderstood, or was simply living in a fantasy land, but I thought we were going to be able to live 24/7 in our home for the entire 6 months with the exception of one week where we had to be out.

I was very wrong.

At our final construction planning meeting a week ago, we learned that we have to be out of our house more or less the entire time.


I’m sure you have unexpected and overwhelming things in your life as well. Don’t we all?!

I want to share a bit about how I’ve been processing this overwhelming and unexpected situation in hope that it will be supportive for you, too!

First, I let myself have a 1ish minute internal freakout before I take a few deep breaths (but NOBODY BETTER TELL ME TO TAKE A DEEP BREATH, you feel me? I’ll do this on my own THANK YOU).

After my freak out, I try to calm my body language and voice to an “I’m not freaking out” level because I’ve found that when I can relax my body and voice it helps me to process these moments.

As someone who is sensitive to overwhelm, I know that if I start to let my whole self go there (physically, verbally, etc), I find I get really worked up, which is actually NOT helpful for me at all. it doesn’t help me process, move forward, or express myself.

Second, I try to find humor in the situation.

There’s a great Stephen Colbert quote, “If you can laugh, you can think.” Humor always helps me think more clearly!

Third, I try to think of the overwhelming situation as happening for me rather than to me.

This reframe helps me to see the opportunities and the gifts that the situation brings with it.

For me, this current situation is an opportunity to grow in adaptability, flexibility, in taking things day by day, and in trusting in the process.

Fourth, I share with family and a few close friends about my specific fears that are making me feel overwhelmed and I ask for support, help, and encouragement.

Through that process, I identify a logical next step and take that next step.

Once I have that next step, I try not to talk about the overwhelm much more because I know what I need to do to move forward in the process. At that point, revisiting the overwhelm a million more times isn’t helpful to me.

Lastly, I’m intentional about scaling back in other areas during a season of overwhelm. 

I say “no” to things I would typically say “yes” to like extra travel, projects, and social plans.

We only have the capacity to experience so much stress before it starts to negatively affect our health. So, balancing the extra stress of an overwhelming time is incredibly important!

For me, more down time and more space to say “yes” to whatever we need on a day-to-day basis feels good to me.

I hope this process can help you if you’re experiencing some unexpected overwhelm in your life!

Where in your life are you experiencing overwhelm where you can apply part or all of this process? 

xo, Sim

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