Common life stressors have understandably compounded within the past year, being that the pandemic has caused families, especially those with children, to take on an array of new responsibilities.

On top of having to work and attend school from home, financial and social stresses have continued to make already challenging situations become all the more difficult.

It’s understandable that people are feeling more and more overwhelmed and at times, it can be hard to decompress or find any relief. 

Let’s discuss emotional overwhelm and burnout, symptoms of overwhelm and burnout, and what you can do to reduce the stress you’re experiencing.

 

What Is Emotional Overwhelm?

 

If you’re feeling overwhelmed or burnt out, there may be a number of reasons contributing to these feelings. 

You may be experiencing relationship difficulties, struggles at work, financial concerns, trouble with your work-life balance, compounding stress, or trauma.

All of these negative experiences can pile on top of one another and lead to emotional overwhelm. 

If you’re experiencing overwhelm, it may feel like everyday situations are becoming unbearable to deal with, and providing care for yourself may seem too exhausting to worry about.

 

Signs of Overwhelm

 

Stress is unpleasant on its own, but overwhelm can interfere with your ability to manage life’s obstacles. 

If you’re experiencing the following, you may be overwhelmed with your current situation.

  • Low energy or chronic exhaustion. 
  • Constantly feeling on edge.
  • Overreacting to even small inconveniences.
  • Feeling like you can’t get anything done.
  • Difficulty focusing or feeling “out” of it.
  • Preoccupation with perfection.
  • Constant feelings of negativity.

 

Causes of Overwhelm/Burnout

 

The pandemic has forced millions of people to quickly adapt to a new sense of normalcy without a lot of time to prepare.

Some individuals have had to begin working from their homes, while others have lost their positions entirely.

On top of career changes, families with children have had to adapt to having their children home all day participating in distance learning.

Those with compromised immune systems have had to worry about the possibility of becoming ill, and have had to live an isolated life as a result. 

The financial issues that people are facing in addition to the rest of these issues make it easy to understand how and why people might be feeling overwhelmed. 

Emotional overwhelm and burnout come from having to tackle constant demands without a sense of relief in sight.

 

How To Manage Overwhelm

 

If you’re feeling overwhelmed due to the changes the pandemic has brought on, you may be suffering from crisis fatigue.

Fortunately, you’re not alone in your experience and there are several steps you can take in order to manage the feelings you’re experiencing.

  • Acknowledge that what you’re experiencing is natural. You are not a failure just because you’re having a hard time coping with current events. The changes brought on by the pandemic are difficult for anybody to adapt to, and it’s reasonable to struggle with these new changes.
  • Practice self-care. It can be difficult to take time to yourself, given that so many things are going on, but self-care is crucial.
  • Disconnect with pursuits that bring you joy. Occupying your free time by enjoying a hobby is a great way to decompress from the stresses of your everyday life. Read a book, meditate, paint, write, do anything that brings you joy.
  • Don’t add unnecessary risks to your life. If you’re worried about your health, take special care to avoid crowded places. If dealing with certain relatives always starts an argument, don’t engage unless you absolutely have to. If you’re even more upset every time you read the news, limit your exposure to it.
  • Do what you can. Nobody can expect individuals in crisis to adapt perfectly to every new situation that arises. Instead, focus your energy with intention and put your best foot forward when it comes to your efforts. Like many others, there will be things that you’ll struggle with, and it’s acceptable to take your time with a new experience.
  • Seek support. Even if you’re trying to take every day one step at a time, you may continue to feel overwhelmed with your work and home life. Seek support in the way that you see fit. You could join a support group, reach out to your friends and family, or visit a licensed therapist to help you manage the overwhelm you’re facing.

Many licensed therapists specialize in assisting individuals and families who are currently facing overwhelming circumstances.

For help addressing and managing the stresses brought on by the challenges you’re facing, speaking with a licensed therapist may be a valuable step to initiate.

If you’d like to seek support for your emotional overwhelm, you’re welcome to contact our offices as soon as you’re ready. We’ve helped many people struggling with overwhelm and we would be honored to help you, too. 

Please feel free to book a complimentary 20-minute consultation with one of our licensed therapists if you know who you would like to work with, or you can book a consult call with our center’s clinical intake coordinator who will match you to the best-fitting therapist for your clinical and logistical needs.

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