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The Mistakes We Make When We’re Overwhelmed

Published Mon May 03 2021

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Let’s face it: The past year and some change is probably one of the most stressful timeframes on record, and although we can see a light at the end of the tunnel, for many, it’s not over yet. But when we let stress dominate our lives and start feeling overwhelmed and overwrought, we may start doing things that are unhelpful at best—or alternatively, doing things that are actively worsening the situation. There are a few common missteps overwhelmed people tend to make. First, they feel like they don’t have time to do the things that would help them. Socializing, calling a trusted friend, or even seeing a therapist may seem out of the question for someone who has become overwhelmed, but it’s important to act on these good ideas. It could be uncomfortable in the short term, but it will be beneficial in the long run. They may also interpret their feeling of being overwhelmed as some sort of weakness or shortcoming. This can trigger shame and more anxiety. When you start feeling down on yourself for being stressed out, it’s important to approach yourself and your situation with compassion, as you would with a friend. Finally, overwhelmed people tend to withdraw from their support structures. Limited emotional energy might make accepting support seem difficult, especially when it’s what you need most.

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