3 Things I’ve Learned About Feeling Overwhelmed

by LCCotter on November 24, 2014

Well, it’s here. Holiday season! Last I checked most people don’t just CHILL during the Holidays. Although that should be the concept, right? Instead, we get busier and more overwhelmed. And if you’re like me, you need someone to hold you accountable for saying NO and staying sane. This is where my fellow Sherpa Wife Tara comes in. We take care of each other, both mentally and physically. She’s my Sherpa Wife Life/Health Coach that gets me re-evaluate my life choices –> Less is more! So today she is writing about her journey with being overwhelmed. I sure hope you take notes or bookmark this page. You might need it these next few months!

3 Things I've Learned About Feeling Overwhelmed www.cottercrunch.com

Hey there! My name is Tara Newman and I blog over at Family Sport Life with my husband John.  We are committed to helping busy families (and singles) redefine balance.  We share stories, experiences, and thoughts on living with greater purpose and practical tips for your everyday challenges.  We also talk triathlon.  I am a (Sherpa) Wife. Mother. Encourager. Geek. Truth Teller. Knowledge Seeker. Researcher.  Behaviorist.  Sometimes Runner.  Full-time Wellness Warrior. Performance + Lifestyle Coach.


Do you ever get the feeling the walls are closing in on you? Maybe your heart rate quickens, your body temp ticks up a few degrees, you’re breathing more rapidly, and the walls most definitely feel like they are closing in on you.

Some of us call that being overwhelmed.

It happened to me the other day. I am short staffed at work and feeling pulled in multiple directions as I try to perform two jobs. No surprise that I woke up the other morning with a stye. I am rocked the red, puffy, crusty eye look.

The night before I collapsed into bed after running after my two very active children all day. Let’s face it, raising healthy kids is a tough job!


When I woke up the next morning, I had two text messages.

One from my neighbor reminding me my babysitter is putting her son on the bus. The second text was from the babysitter saying she was ill and wouldn’t be able to put the kids on the bus.

So to clarify, me + crusty eye + three kids needing to get to school at different times + no babysitter + need to be at work because doing multiple jobs.

Normally, this would elicit the aforementioned physical responses of stress and overwhelm but not this time. I am done with feeling overwhelmed.

Just like that?

Well, no but yes.

Let me explain what I have learned about overwhelm since I started feeling it almost 10 years ago when my son was born. Some of you might already know this but I just made the connection.

Feeling overwhelmed is a choice.
I can choose to feel overwhelmed or I can choose to see opportunity. Remember my Monday? Since the babysitter wasn’t feeling well, she couldn’t get the kids off the bus either. Instead of feeling overwhelmed, I chose to take the afternoon off from work to nurse my eye (tea bags worked!) and spend an afternoon savoring the time with my children. Instead of overwhelm, I chose to help my son with his lego project and read with my daughter.


I gave a brief thought about how people would perceive my half day at the office and then I focused on one of my favorite mantras – Now is the time to let this go.

Feeling overwhelmed is within my control.
This is somewhat like choice but it goes a little deeper. For me, being in control means taking responsibility for changing what has me feeling overwhelmed. A lot of times my feelings of overwhelm stem from taking on too much. If I am not careful, I can be a chronic over commit-er. By taking responsibility for this part of my personality, I can control what I take on.

Feeling overwhelmed is an opportunity for self-awareness.
It’s important to chose thoughts and perspectives that empower us. When I listen to myself and observe my thoughts during overwhelming times, I realize they don’t serve me. They are limiting, defeating, fearful, and most of the time they are wrong. My previous experiences have thought me I am capable and resourceful in the face of adversity.

Next time you start feeling like the walls are closing in on you, coach yourself through it with these questions:

How is this empowering me?
If I were feeling resourceful and kind, how might I look at this situation?
How can I change my perspective to support me?


In my moment last week, I realized that getting physically or mentally worked up about the situation was dis-empowering. Thinking about my situation with kindness got me to see the opportunity of a few extra hours to love on my kids. This change in perspective brought me another step further on my journey to live mindfully free from overwhelm.

What have you learned about feeling overwhelmed?

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– Tara

Headshot SQ Dusk

Thanks Tara! Hope you all have a Marvelous and UNDERwhelmed Monday!




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