It’s so easy to become overwhelmed with our limitations and symptoms. Fibromyalgia is difficult on many levels. Kudos to those of you still working, not necessarily because you want to, but because you have to. Talk about overwhelming! Then there are those of you with young children doing the best you can and feeling guilty about what you can’t. Again, overwhelming!
When your thoughts become overwhelming, visualize the word(s) that describe your worry and written on a balloon. Close your eyes and release the balloon. Then take some slow, deep, steadying breaths.
Our thoughts can get us in trouble if we let them. Keeping a notepad to write things down can be helpful, as can praying through them.
When you feel overwhelmed ask yourself “What’s the next easy thing is I can do?” I love the quip: Q: How do you eat an elephant? A: One bite at a time. Take one step, one day at a time. Sometimes it may prove motivating to build in a reward for those times when we just can’t get going.
Tasks that potentially are physically overwhelming include: Taking a bath or shower; blow-drying your hair; putting on makeup; shaving; getting dressed; cooking; cleaning the house; working; caring for a pet; parenting; dating; yard work; traveling; and social functions. Take one step at a time, and be sure to REST as often as you can.
Feeling overwhelmed can lead to anxiety or depression. If that’s you, you could find a therapist or clergy to help.
Don’t become a slave to your to-do list. Sometimes having one can be helpful so that you don’t forget what you need to do. Perhaps writing each item with several small, actionable steps under it will make it more manageable and less stressful. That way you can check off each little step and know that you have accomplished something. What you don’t finish today you can move to tomorrow’s list.
Example of a to-do list:
- Clean the kitchen
- Wash the counters
- Load the dishwasher
- Sweep the floor
- Clean the sink
- Clear the table
- Wash the floor
I hope you have found this to be helpful and that you’ll incorporate meditation or prayer and rest into your day to keep you from feeling overwhelmed.