Struggling to Decompress with The Overwhelm

Welcome to this week’s Marketing for Romance Writers MFRW 52- week blog challenge topic What I Do to Recharge. We all get run down. Sometimes quicker than that cheap battery in the back of the cupboard you thought was still good. Although usually when I do it’s after trying to keep up with that weird, drum beating rabbit as it mocks my lack of energy by spinning in circles. Some days I can easily surpass that pink fluffy tailed bunny without breaking a sweat.

But other days, I can barely catch him even though I’m dancing as fast as I can to keep up with the pace of life. That’s because there’s something dragging me down quicker than a carb loaded meal—the overwhelm.

Recharge Recap

I’ve talked about methods I use to relax when I need to rejuvenate my muse, or clear my mind. How riding on the back of the hubs motorcycle brings my muse to life, or pedaling away my stress on the back of a bicycle in the heart of the woods. How I go all out of whack if I’m not writing and the escape a good movie, or a book and a glass of wine makes my mind mellow.

The problem is, sometimes I can’t just stand up at the office and declare that I’m going for a bicycle ride to relax, or that I’ll be right back after a shot of tequila.

Also, in order to recharge, first I need to decompress.

The Overwhelm

I call it “the overwhelm” because in some ways it’s like an entity of it’s own. It creeps in and slowly sticks it’s tentacles in while I remain

Scruff displaying how the overwhelm looks in my mind.

unaware until it’s too late. Then I suddenly realize EVERYTHING that I need to do.

The list is so complex and overwhelming it’s as if the mind loses the ability to sort out the tasks to complete them. My mind feels as if it’s buzzing similar to this depiction of woman’s vs. men’s brains.

The tasks become one big burden that I carry around, slumped over under their weight convinced the possibility of spontaneous combustion or human explosion is imminent. I consider crawling back in bed to avoid having to face all that must be done. Things that seemed doable before, now seem impossible.

I envision the overwhelm’s evil laugh as it sees victory within it’s grasp. I’m paralyzed to move forward or progress because I’m too busy focusing on everything instead of narrowing it down to one thing at a time.

Take Baby Steps

Everybody has a lot of stuff that needs done every single day. If we wrote down every task that we needed to do to complete the daybrush teeth, coffee, get dressed, coffee, eat breakfast, etc.—the list would be overwhelming and feel impossible. Even though some of the tasks are simple.

The only way to defeat the overwhelm is to not look it directly in it’s

Dog, overwhelm
Scruff depicting the overwhelm’s ogre eye.

ogre eye. Consider all the bigger tasks that need completing in the same way and take little steps to complete them.

Perhaps these steps can help you beat the beast that drains your inner battery.

Conquering the Overwhelm

  • This is one time to avoid the big picture. Instead focus on one task at a time so you don’t see the overwhelm peeking around the corner at you. (The overwhelm hates to be ignored. If you do, sometimes it just goes away.)
  • Make a to-do list and celebrate each completion. Heck, if it makes you feel better write down simple things just for the joy of marking them off. Make To-Do List. (The overwhelm isn’t nearly as scary when you dissect it on paper. It prefers to live in the deep recesses of the mind.)
  • Organize and de-clutter your workspace. Having a workspace with papers scattered all over the desk and sticky notes stuck onto every available space is like vomiting the overwhelm from your mind onto your desk. (The overwhelm can be tamed by corralling the hot mess it’s created from.)
  • Writing or journaling about your stressors can minimizes them. (We are writers, the pen is our mighty sword to battle the overwhelm! )
  • Remember that sometimes what’s overwhelming and avoided are good things. The fear of failure can be paralyzing.
The #overwhelm convinces you not to start, therefore you don’t really fail, and no one wins. #MFRW Click To Tweet

Soothe the Savage Beast

I hope you’ve conquered your overwhelm so you can recharge with MFRW Blog Challenge on overwhelmactivities that soothe your soul and charge your inner battery.

If you need more ideas for how to recharge, check out the other author’s posts.



16 thoughts on “Struggling to Decompress with The Overwhelm”

  1. peggy jaegerpeggy jaeger

    great advice! JOurnaling helps everything, don’t you think??

  2. Kenzie MichaelsKenzie Michaels

    I’ve been keeping a prayer journal for two years now, and that’s VERY relaxing! We had an unusual amount of stress/tension in our house last week, and the combination of angry karaoke plus taking a day trip with my oldest son helped:)

  3. Sherry LewisSherry Lewis

    Oh yes! I’ve never given it a name, but there are times when I feel utterly frozen. I have so much to do, I can’t even figure out where to start. Breaking it down into bite-sized pieces helps a lot. Great post.

  4. Meka JamesMeka James

    I’ve not journaled since I was a kid.
    Giving that all consuming stress a name is smart. It allows you to be very detailed in how you make an attack plan as you laid out in your post. I’ve never been one for to-do lists, but think it might help me when trying to organize all the different aspects of writing.

  5. ValerieValerie

    Great advice and while I never really named it, the overwhelm is a perfect description. Great post!

  6. Ellie MackEllie Mack

    Love this! Don’t look the overwhelm in the eyes. I can so see myself in this. Journaling and my daily todo list help me to focus on one step at a time.
    THanks for sharing! Great post!

  7. Helen HendersonHelen Henderson

    love the name of the evil pest, overwhelm. Now if he stops finding a way back in. I changed the locks on the door, bought a bottle of wine, and he still got back in. Thanks for the post.

  8. Ed HoornaertEd Hoornaert

    LOL! I love the concept of The Overwhelm. My O.W. guy is crouched beside me as I type this, eager to jump on my head and smother me.

  9. Robin MichaelaRobin Michaela

    LOL, I can relate to making a To-Do list and adding a few extra items simply so I can cross some things off the list and feel better about my “overwhelm”. Love your post!

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