Overwhelmed and Over it
I’m kicking some serious life goals on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. I have access to good food, clean water and housing. I’m healthy, educated and gainfully employed. I’m also loved and supported by my family, partner and friends. But beyond these basic needs my life is also filled with joy, creativity and exploration…basically I’m the epitome of totes hashtag #blessed. I should be the happiest person alive. Then why am I so tired?
I realise I haven’t reached the highest levels of self-actualization… but I’m seriously struggling to keep up with the influx of information that my weary little brain needs to comprehend, in order to manage the complexities of daily living. I’m tired and frazzled and I know I’m not alone.
“Overwhelm” is increasingly common as demands on human attention increase exponentially. The human brain just wasn’t designed to handle the environment we inhabit. For the vast majority of world history, human life—both culture and biology—was shaped by scarcity.
This kind of scarcity still rules the world’s poorest regions. But in the developed world, hundreds of millions of us now face the bizarre problem of surfeit. Yet our brains, instincts and socialized behaviour are still geared to an environment of lack. The result? Overwhelm—on an unprecedented scale”. – Martha Beck
High fives Martha Beck, it seems that our Neolithic body and stone-age brain wasn’t designed to handle the rapid rates of change, stress and information that we’re currently experiencing and we – as a species – are being bombarded with information at such a rapid rate that our brains are being driven to the point of exhaustion.
Whilst it helps to know the science and evolutionary theory behind my weary little brain it does a whole lot of sweet FA to help self-soothe or appease my tired amygdala.
I can’t recreate evolution but I can take steps to bring more peace, calm and clarity into my every day.
Take a weekender
Get out of town. Sometimes you need to remove yourself from your current environment in order to clear your head and gain some perspective. I’m a big fan of the country road-trip, a yoga retreat or a sea-side escape. There’s something really nice about giving yourself some space to stop rushing around and removing yourself (even for a weekend) from the mad hustle of life.
I find it very easy to overcommit and overschedule and there are weeks where my calendar scares the bejesus outta me. I fundamentally hate the notion of always being busy but as lamo as this sounds, I try to pre-book nights at home just so my diary doesn’t make me it’s whipping bitch.
Up your self care
This is a no brainer. Take a mental health day and stay home from work. I like to sleep lots, watch trash TV and laugh till my sides hurt and I start to cry. You might like to mediate, exercise, eat well, connect with nature and keep good company. Most importantly – do the things that you truly love and don’t waste your energy on bullshit people or on bullshit in general.
I survived my degree on a cocktail of coffee, cheap wine and vitamin B tablets. It wasn’t the most effective solution, but I would have really struggled without the added support (the vitamins not the cheap wine). See a naturopath (a real one, not some Belle Gibson esque fraudster) and get them to help you.
I hope that your feelings of being overwhelm and over it are short-lived and infrequent. Hit me up below in the comments section. What are some of your solutions and remedies for dealing with general life angst?