Have you been feeling overwhelmed lately?
I have at times, and mostly it’s because I’ve had this nagging sense that the world wants to fix me. Or short of that, tell me what I need to do right now and teach me how to do it. I suppose you could call it pandemic influenced information overload.
Now that many of us are staying home and slowing down, there’s a rush to capture our attention by just about every person and every organization with an online presence.
These days, feeling overwhelmed can be like a treadmill that you can’t get off of.
You might have noticed that this ramped up overload of information spans everything from how to cook a pot of beans to tips for looking your best on Zoom to the importance of feeling all the feels. Not to mention multiple offerings related to some form of pandemic related self-improvement.
When it took off there was a lot of talk about how overwhelming it is. Now it seems to have grown beyond feeling overwhelmed, and you might find yourself dealing with feelings of frustration and annoyance too.
It seems to have grown exponentially, like the virus itself.
And as well meaning as the advice and information might be, the unrelenting nature of it can open up an uncomfortable space within us for not only feeling overwhelmed and frustrated, but also feeling deeper anxieties about whether you know enough or you’re doing enough.
When you’re on the receiving end of too much of it, it can intensify feelings of being unanchored, lost and defeated. And I’d venture to guess many of us are getting too much of it lately.
So during times like these it’s good to remember that you are not a problem to be fixed.
There’s no better version of yourself you have to become, and you’re not expected to keep up or have solutions and answers. In fact, it’s okay (and normal) if you’re struggling and feeling overwhelmed right now. Or even managing well, as some are.
And truly, there’s no perfect recipe for cooking beans or coping with the enormity of the times we’re living in.
Thankfully, it is possible to turn off all the noise.
At least in theory, that is. In practice, not so much. And I do actually wish more people were making noise about that.
After all, we carry these small devices with us that were specifically designed to be addictive. We hold the perfect storm for feeling overwhelmed in our pockets and purses.
So why wouldn’t it be harder than ever to put them down right now, in the midst of an overload of information and a frightening pandemic the likes of which we’ve never experienced before?
I think you probably know all of this already, though.
But I just wanted to repeat it to you in case no one has yet.
And like I’ve said many times, you already know so much about how to live your life.
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I already know everything I need in this moment to live fully. There is no other book or experience that will make me more complete.
–Christine Valters Paintner