- Jessica Cleveland, LPC
Lessons in letting go of your overwhelming life
As a specialist in the treatment of anxiety disorders the past four years, I have seen a lot of anxious individuals, some more anxious than others. But almost all of them, despite circumstances or clinical diagnoses, share an underlying feeling of overwhelm.
Our lives can be overwhelming. We're constantly getting feedback from social media, text messages, the media, society, etc. And then there's life to manage aside from that. Until recently, even I believed that a balanced life consisted of giving equal amounts of my time, energy and effort to each of my priorities daily. I was wrong...in fact, living like this added stress and stretched me to a point where I had very little energy for anything or anyone in my life.
The truth is, different stages of our lives require us to give different amounts of our time, energy, and effort to each priority. The first step to finding balance is to identify your priorities right now. Yours may be different, but most people have five common ones. They are God, family, work, friends, and self.
The next step is to ask yourself the following questions honestly:
How much time, energy, and effort is each priority getting?
Is one of my priorities sabotaging the others? For example, am I giving work much more of my time than is necessary right now, hurting my marriage? If so, you may need to work late less often during this stage of life.
What stage of life am I in? For example, do I have small children that simply require more of me right now? If so, other areas may need to be given less energy, time and effort...at least until you reach a new stage of life.
Notice that depending on your stage of life, you simply give less time, energy and effort, so that all of your priorities are still being attended to, just in different amounts. This helps you set limits and realistic goals for your life, so you are not stretched too thin. This will reduce the overwhelming feeling experienced on a daily basis.
If you are experiencing anxiety or a feeling of being overwhelmed and need help re-evaluating your priorities, call me at Refuge Counseling at 601-531-3979.