Throughout the last year there have been reports of children and adults experiencing increased levels of anxiety, so much so that doctors have warned of a growing ‘mental health pandemic’. Something you might be struggling with is a sense of being overwhelmed. Although the pandemic has done away with our social lives and contained our movements, for many this hasn’t resulted in having more time or energy.
If anything it’s seen people put pressure on themselves as home and work life merge, alongside other concerns like finance and health depending what challenges the pandemic has raised for individuals.
Priory psychotherapist Pamela Roberts says feeling overwhelmed is partly due to our natural response system to stressful occurrences. ‘We hear terms like “unprecedented”, and phrases like “out of control” and that evokes feelings of uncertainty and a sense of foreboding, and our reflex is kicked into play. ‘We might feel overwhelmed by a host of different things – financial worries, family issues, difficulties with work colleagues, losses and grief, cabin fever, loss of a lifestyle and of interests.’
Pamela believes things like doomscrolling are another route to easily becoming overwhelmed. Sometimes people miss the signs that show they’re beginning to feel overwhelmed, which could damage their mental health if ignored.
Signs to look out for include: Feeling restless Becoming clumsy Breathlessness Being obsessive Feeling constantly fearful Shaking Feeling knots in your stomach Having negative thoughts about the future Feeling disassociated from reality ‘If we can identify this in ourselves, we can bring reason back on board. ‘Therapy is very useful for this, as are close friends or family members who can really listen to us and restore our mind to some kind of equilibrium,’
Pamela says. If this sounds like something you’re experiencing, as well as therapy, Pamela says grounding techniques like mindfulness and breathing exercises can help. These are her tips to help manage feeling overwhelmed.