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How can we tell when we are ’emotionally overwhelmed’?

How can we tell when we are ’emotionally overwhelmed’?

Due to the looming threat of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), we feel a sense of loss and anxiety. We tried to multitask, though. We tried baking our own banana and/or sourdough bread. However, medical experts already told us that multitask wouldn’t work. Instead of keeping our minds away from the threat, our brain became confused which just caused even more stress. We lost our energy and to be honest, we have become emotionally overwhelmed.

Photo from Angela Baltan

What does ’emotionally overwhelmed’ mean?

Basically, intense emotion either surrounds you or attack you. It affects your ability to think and act rationally. Aside from that, it also prevents you from performing simple and daily tasks. It is usually caused by stress, traumatic life experiences, relationship issues, and much more. If you feel like you’re emotionally overwhelmed, it’s perfectly understandable. With COVID-19 updates stressing us out and practically traumatizing us, your current state remains reasonable and plausible.

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Signs You Are Emotionally Overwhelmed

This usually occurs when the intensity of your feelings have already outmatched your ability to actually manage them. Sometimes if you feel overwhelmed, it remains difficult for one to pinpoint exactly why. Stressors contribute to emotional overwhelm rather than one particular event. Emotions also tend to bleed into seemingly unrelated parts of your life making it harder to deal with.

Disproportionately big reaction to insignificant situations

During these times, you’ll tend to overreact as if the world will suddenly collapse due to a minor mistake or inconvenience. For example, you couldn’t find your keys. You’ll feel this undeniable panic with your heart beating quicker than it usually does. You tend to have a disproportionately big reaction to insignificant situations.

Photo from Angela Baltan

Loss of concentration

You have trouble focusing or completing even simple tasks. You literally cannot think properly. Feeling confused at work, forgetting where you put certain things, and even completely space out during an important activity. Trying to come up with a new project or creative idea almost seems impossible and exhausting to even think about. Your loss of concentration loses your capability for routine tasks.

Overly tired and feeling overburdened

You feel physically ill or fatigued without knowing why. Like a heavy blanket, we know the struggles start to pile up. You have too many meetings to attend or too many concerns to hear or too many problems to fix. Your shoulders feel tight and a migraine always threatens to hinder you from actually doing something important. Being emotionally overwhelmed makes you feel overly tired and feeling overburdened.

Photo from Angela Baltan

Literally can’t sleep

You’d think that feeling fatigued and exhausted would help you fall asleep quickly. However, with the burdens you bear, a restful sleep seems far away and you literally can’t sleep. You’ll still be awake in the middle of the night, worrying about your latest problem, and trying to calm yourself from an unseen danger. Sometimes, you’ll probably crawl out of bed and pace for a while until you finally feel tired enough to try falling asleep again.

Being moody

You’d probably have a snarky attitude that took over your whole being. You find yourself snapping at some person who keeps telling you about some bad news. Or you yell at kids even though you understand that they’re just being kids. Negative emotions try to spill out and you see yourself being moody than you usually do.

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Photo from Angela Baltan

Here’s what you should do about feeling emotionally overwhelmed:

The stresses of life and the burdens of others understandably swamps you down. You’ll just have to take a deep breath and make a list of the things you want to do. Then, slowly accomplish it one by one and tick it off from your list. Go at your own pace and don’t overthink your every action. Give yourself time to finish projects and don’t over-promise anything. Fight against perfectionism that leads to self-doubt and self-sabotage.

Don’t forget that you need someone to talk to about your problems. Talk to a close friend or a professional therapist. Release your burdens and all your pent up stress. Take a rejuvenating nap, fight for self-care, and avoid codependency. Aside from that, you may have to do something physical. Go to the gym and beat up a punching bag to release all your emotions. Pay attention to what your body needs.

Photo from Angela Baltan

Take care of yourself with regular doctor visits and proper nutrition. Make daily exercises a priority. Life is already filled with emotional stress. This time, you’ll have to learn to protect your hearts and minds from the emotional overwhelm you feel and live more abundantly.

Read more articles from Village Pipol Magazine here.

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