What To Do When You Feel Overwhelmed

We all know days like these, when things keep piling up and worry seems to overtake us. One thing after another goes wrong and pretty soon we hit a wall.

The last few days, really weeks, have been like this for me. Livi is having (more) trouble sleeping again and I worry that she is not getting as much sleep as she needs. And she is still not showing much interest in finger foods, which also worries me.

Add to this her newly discovered, short but intense temper tantrums, her fussiness, and her clinginess, and I cannot help but feel overwhelmed by it all.

Which problem do I tackle first? How do I deal with it? And what do I do if I cannot take care of it myself or things get worse? When these questions keep my mind busy, I know it is time to do something and sort things out.

Below are a few of the steps I take to stop feeling overwhelmed and get things done.

  • Try and get some perspective

Take a deep breath, take a step back, and look at the whole picture. Is it really that bad or does it only seem that way because you are tired and exhausted. Try to look at your problems objectively. Are they only small hiccups and a normal part of life? Are other aspects of your life going really well? Most of the time, looking at the whole picture will make you realize that things are not as bad as the seem.

  • Talk it out

Find someone to talk to about your problems. Whether it is your spouse, mother, sister, or best friend, talking to someone helps to put things in perspective. Most of the time you will feel better and often you will even find solutions to your problems that you may not have thought of yourself.

  • Write it down

Writing down what bothers you can be very therapeutic. Whether it is in a journal, an email, or a blog, writing it out almost forces you to look at it all from a different angle. And getting it all off your chest will make you feel better, too
When you choose to blog about the problems you face, you will also have the added benefit of an online community that can offer solutions and support.

  • Take a break and relax

Taking a break is important in today’s life. We are constantly busy “getting things done.” We forget to breath and actually live. Do something nice for yourself. A bubble bath, a massage, or a meditation can do wonders and make you feel refreshed. If you need a break but cannot get away, sit back and watch your child play or go for a walk with the stroller.
Something I really like to use are the guided relaxations by Andrew Johnson. It is not for everybody but they seem to help me immensely.

  • Find solutions

Finally, once you have taken a step back and calmed down, start looking for solutions. You may find a simple answer to your problems or at least realize that the problem is really not as bad as it seems.

What do you do when you feel overwhelmed? What helps you the most? And how do you handle days when everything seems to go wrong. And if you have any tips on how to get a reluctant and headstrong toddler interested in (even trying) finger foods, I would be very thankful.

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23 comments on “What To Do When You Feel Overwhelmed

  1. Very nice post. I also have been feeling quite stressed out recently. I was just thinking yesterday of a few solutions of how to manage my stress and these are very helpful tips. Wonderful. Thank you.

  2. Oster's Mom says:

    Does Livi have a favorite baby food? When we introduced Oster to finger foods we dipped cooked carrots in his favorite mango puree. He ate anything that the mango touched! We started to call this puree “magic elixir”.

  3. I just found your blog and I really like it! I had a challenging toddler that transformed into a challenging boy! I know how hard some days can be and it is easy to become overwhelmed. I know it sounds silly, but we tried focusing on the positive and that helped on most days. I think you might relate to my story…check it out! http://mytwicebakedpotato.com

    • hnMom says:

      Thanks for stopping by. I already checked out your blog and your posts are inspiring.
      And yes, you are absolutely right, focusing on the positive is a great way to get over feeling overwhelmed. Thank you for reminding me. 🙂

  4. The best remedy for a tired day for me is to unwind at the end and recharge for the next. I’ll usually treat myself to ice cream or wine 😉

    We gave your little guy a slice of bread cut up in strips that he could hold, and he loved being able to hold on to them and realize that they’re edible when he put them to his mouth. Good luck!

    • hnMom says:

      Yes, indulging a little is always a great way to unwind. Thanks for pointing that out.
      And thanks for the tip with the bread. We tried that as well but so far no luck. I guess we just have to keep trying. 🙂

  5. I wonder what would happen if you totally backed off for about a week or so, but ate finger foods around her without offering them to her. Maybe they would then become interesting? We have issues with my son eating but it seems to be mostly due to sensory processing disorder. He goes through stretches of time when he can’t tolerate the textures of most foods. I still haven’t figured out what sets it off or why it resolves again (never fully mind you, there are always some textures he can’t handle). Good luck to you and your little one!

    • hnMom says:

      That’s an interesting idea, we’ll give it a try. Thanks, I appreciate it. 🙂
      Sounds like you have your hands quite full. Best of luck to you as well.

  6. Deni Lyn says:

    Sense of humor is key! . I love that you shared how you keep perspective. I try to remember that in 2 more days, I’ll probably barely remember the mess, meltdown, etc. When it’s really crazy I play “At least” to help me keep perspective. Meaning, I go through all the ways a situation could be worse. Dog walkers forgot to show up? At least the dog only ate the trash and not all of Mac’s plush toys. Cat hurled on the bed again? At least I hadn’t just washed all the bedding. This usually makes me feel instantly better. I do a lot of shaking my head and laughing. And I know it’s not always possible but I ALWAYS feel more resilient when I’m relatively well rested and well hydrated and not starving.

    • hnMom says:

      I really, really like your “At least” approach! I have to remember that next time.
      And I agree, it is so much easier to handle challenges when I am rested, which is something I am working on, believe me.
      Another thing I started recently, is trying to see things from Livi’s perspective. Keeping in mind that she is just starting to figure things out, helps a lot.

      • Deni Lyn says:

        Yes! Most of the time, I love watching Mac try to put all the pieces together. Granted, it’s scary and obnoxious when he’s once again trying to rip a photo frame off the wall or stick his tongue on the electrical outlet – ha! But it’s amazing to see how rapidly they process things. I can’t get him to clap on command but he knows exactly how the dishwasher door works.

      • hnMom says:

        It truly is amazing. Sometimes Livi makes such huge steps in her development that it is almost unbelievable. But also so exciting. 🙂

  7. As you have read from my blog, I have a lot of days where things just don’t seem to go right. I have always been able to laugh about things LATER, but at the time I have been known to get really frustrated. Now that I have my blog, I just think, “ahhh, this will be good blog material!”

    Another thing I like to do is to go for a walk with Bubbs in her stroller, and listen to music on my iPod. It just helps me clear my head. Now that the weather is improving, I do this most mornings – we go for a nice, long walk and I sort of feel like it refreshes me for the day. I dread winter as I don’t know what I’ll do – maybe mall walks?

    Something irritated me this morning and I just wrote a blogpost about it, but decided not to post it. Just writing it out made me feel better and helped put things into perspective.

    Sorry you’re been having a rough time. 😦

    • hnMom says:

      Oh well, it’s part of life. There will be better days soon, I am hopeful. 🙂

      I also enjoy long walks with the stroller. It truly is rejuvenating. But while you dread winter time, I am not looking forward to the summer heat. Almost as soon as the sun is up, it is too hot to go for an extended walk outside because there isn’t enough shade. So we also have to resort to the mall. And while I am thankful that we’ll still be able to go for a walk, it’s simply not even half as nice or relaxing. 😦

      • Am I correct you don’t have air conditioning? If not, that would be brutal for you. I can’t sleep when it’s hot – it’s okay in the day, but at night I really suffer. My hands and feet blow up and I just cannot get comfortable. My in-laws have a beautiful summer home with a pool, but there’s no a/c and I just cannot do it, so we haven’t been to visit them in AGES. Anyway, there is something that may help Livi in the stroller if you can tolerate the lack of shade when you walk. Have you ever seen a Ray Shade at Babies R Us? You just attach it to your stroller and it allows a little more coverage from the sun. I bought one a couple of months ago, but I have yet to try it as the canopy on our stroller has been pretty good seeing as I can still put pants and socks on Bubbs to protect her skin. But once it’s too hot for those, I’m going to have to crack that puppy out. 🙂

      • hnMom says:

        Yeah, those are great. I got something similar from “Protect a Bub.” It’s a 3-in-1 and I can pull it all the way down and cover every last bit of stroller. It does provide shade and protection from the sun but I wonder how hot it gets in there. Plus I really suffer walking in the summer heat and I’m miserable once we get home.
        Having no air conditioning is not something I enjoy. We did buy a portable AC a few years ago so we can at least cool down one room at night and I can even use it during the day for one room. It’s better than nothing and last year when Livi was still tiny, I was glad we could cool down the bedroom at night. This year, she doesn’t seem to care much, unlike me. Hey, maybe you could get a portable AC for the summer home. It sounds so nice, such a shame you haven’t been able to go.

  8. 4eyedblonde says:

    I don’t even know where to start with this one! I am so glad you posted about this because it’s something that we all have in common: the stress of figuring out all the little quirks and twists that our kids develop as they grow, planning meals – just trying to make sure that our kids have what they need to be healthy. It can all be so overwhelming.

    I am a mess until I have a plan. Even if the “plan” doesn’t work, until I can figure out a plan of attack, I am a total mess. And often times it seems that as soon as you think you’ve got one issue figured out, something else pops up and so you never get a break.

    I have quite a temper. I’ve gotten better at controlling it A LITTLE since having my kids, but sometimes the monster shows up. Once I lose it, I’m back to normal literally within seconds – because I feel like an idiot and horrible mom – but at the same time I guess that’s what needed to happen because it’s the only thing that got me back on track. I know I will get better.

    So, I loved this post. Thank you for sharing. Fighting the feeling of being overwhelmed seems to be a daily hurdle for me.

    • hnMom says:

      I also need a plan. Granted, many do not work out in the end, but I need this “lifeline” so I don’t go under and know which way I’m headed. If it doesn’t work, I come up with something else. But yeah, that’s pretty much how I function, too.
      Glad you liked my post. Hang in there!

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