what is “being overwhelmed”

past tense: overwhelmed; past participle: overwhelmed
  1. bury or drown beneath a huge mass.
    “the water flowed through to overwhelm the whole dam and the village beneath”
    • defeat completely.
      “his teams overwhelmed their opponents”
    • give too much of a thing to (someone); inundate.
      “they were overwhelmed by farewell messages”

I spend a lot of time around people. It may sound like a silly statement to make but I find myself running around meeting people, helping people out, dropping things off, picking things up.. I’m just surrounded by people.

In my interactions with people, a lot of people are overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with their life, with their job, with their kids, spouse or loved one and I have thought a lot about what that means.

So, I looked up the definition of it and for someone to truly feel overwhelmed they feel defeated completely… they feel buried under a huge mass. What a devastating feeling. I had someone close to me say that they were completely overwhelmed by all of the categories mentioned above and they just weren’t sure what to do or how to get through it. I instantly pictured Wile E. Coyote and how he always had boulders or anvils falling on his head or dynamite blowing up in his face.. the look that he would give as a cartoon character moments before it fell on him is how I imagine overwhelmed people feel.


So how does one get past the feeling of being overwhelmed, like the weight of the world is on your shoulders?

Learn to say no. For some, saying no is an easy thing to do. If you don’t want to do something, if you don’t want to take responsibility or commit your time to someone.. you just don’t. For those of us who do feel so overwhelmed, saying no comes with an immeasurable amount of guilt.

In an article I found on PhychologyToday.com, Dr. Judith Sills wrote an amazing article on “The Power of No”. An excerpt from that article sums up what I’m trying to say:

“No is both the tool and the barrier by which we establish and maintain the distinct perimeter of the self. No says, “This is who I am; this is what I value; this is what I will and will not do; this is how I will choose to act.” We love others, give to others, cooperate with others, and please others, but we are, always and at the core, distinct and separate selves. We need No to carve and support that space.”

When you’re feeling overwhelmed, start finding ways to say no and take time to focus on you, what you want to be doing with your time and just unwind. It’s healthy and wise to take time for you and shut out the things that make you feel like you’re carrying the weight of the world.

So cheers to finding a balance between always saying Yes and No and feeling less overwhelmed!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: