What To Do When You Feel Overwhelmed

Dec 8th, 2010 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: For Senior Women

I’ve got this post to write, and don’t have the time to write it.  And what’s more, I don’t know what to write about.  My friend and colleague in the Literary World recently wrote a post entitled, “What To Write About When You Don’t Know What to Write”…  that may be elaborated somewhat, but you get the drift.

The daily requirements of dealing with home and family can still create stress for us, even in our senior years.  Feeling overwhelmed is a common discussion thread among my women friends and me.  We often find ourselves in this condition, and we seldom talk about it, although we almost always take note of it and may even put a post on FaceBook to let the others know we’re flooded.  And the others take note, offer a message of sympathy and go on about the business of the day.

That may sound callous, but it really isn’t.  A friend taking notice of a difficult time for me is supportive.  It’s her way of saying she hears me and understands; she isn’t going to dwell on it because she knows that won’t be helpful to me, but her response is an arm around my shoulder, and it’s comforting.  It’s also a way to say, now that we’ve acknowledged your full plate, let’s get on with life.

I like that response to feeling overwhelmed because it helps me get out of feeling sorry for myself and getting something done about the full plate.  The response helps me stop for a minute, take a deep breath and decide what to attack first.  That is sometimes difficult to do on my own.  Very difficult.  But if I feel the arm of a sister-friend on my shoulder, and if I hear her saying, “I understand and you can handle it,” I feel the emotional energy required, it begins to surge in me and I find I’m able to indeed deal with the overwhelmingly full plate.  Because I know I’m not doing it alone.

Thanks to all my sister-friends!  You know who you are.



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