Feeling overwhelmed? Feeling like you don’t know what to do next? Feeling stuck trying to work and take care of household responsibilities all at the same time?
Even when things are “normal,” it can leave you feeling overwhelmed and stuck in a vicious cycle. Covid-19 has thrown most people into this weird mix of work, being home in a quarantine state, and not knowing what is going to happen next – which causes the feelings of being overwhelmed to be even worse. Some people describe this as feeling like you are treading water. This feeling can cause people to feel depressed or anxious.
These are not fun or good feelings at all, and nobody wants to deal with them. It is important that at any time everything does not have to be done all at once or entirely. Doing things that need done – even if it is ordinary day-to-day things – takes a lot of energy. The feelings that everyone is dealing with also take a lot of energy. This all adds up to a lot more energy being used then normal.
It is important to remember that these mundane tasks can wait. It is important to take your time and not overdo it. Start with one step at a time and take a break if you need to. Load the dishwasher and take a break. Load the washer and take a break. Your mental well being is more important than the vacuuming that needs done. As long as it isn’t going to cause harm to anyone, it can wait.
This is a hard thing for people to learn and remember to do. That is why when you fly on an airplane they remind you that if the oxygen masks come down you have to put it on yourself before you help others because you may pass out if you don’t.
It is instilled in us that everything has to be done completely and done well. In reality, as long as you are doing it at all is what matters.
So start small. If you do not have the energy to shower, then put clean clothes on. Remember you can only do one thing at a time. Remember you can only do so much, and if you overwork yourself and can’t do anything, then you will not be any good to yourself or anyone else.
– Written by Heather Barner, RMCHI, MS, CBHC Therapist