Ann of The Beat OCD Blog recently wrote a great post about worry called “My Brain Has Been Busy!” It resonated with me because I’ve been dealing with my own worries, the anxious thoughts piling up. In short, I’ve been feeling overwhelmed.
These are some of the things going on in my life right now:
*At work, deadlines are looming for a special section in the newspaper and for a monthly publication that we produce.
*It’s time to start my volunteer gig of putting together the quarterly newsletter for a church group. I need to have it done by Monday.
*The heater on my car doesn’t seem to be working right.
*I have to attend a chamber dinner Saturday for the newspaper, and I don’t have anything I think is suitable to wear.
*I’m working on ideas for a small business on the side (more about that in a later post).
No catastrophic illness here, no problem that can’t be fixed. I have control over some aspects of these situations, no control over other parts. I recognize that. I know that worry does no good.
Still, I’ve been worrying.
I don’t doubt that the worsening of depression plays a part in the increase in worry. It seems like life is handing me too much right now, but if I wasn’t also dealing with depression, I’d probably be able to handle it better.
I have generalized anxiety disorder, too.
But worry is also a habit of mine. I have the habit of not being able to let go of tension until all deadlines are met, all need-to-do tasks are done.
Having OCD helped me to develop this habit. Before I got any treatment for the disorder, obsessions and compulsions ruled my life. I couldn’t completely relax as long as something needed to be checked, cleaned or made safe. And something needed to be done a good portion of my time.
I kept the habit of worry even after my OCD improved.
I know there’s hope, though. There are ways to deal with feeling overwhelmed.
I’ve learned that when I pay attention to something besides my worried thoughts, I’m able to tackle the situations that are leading to the worry.
I have found that taking action helps.
For example, I made sure I made the necessary phone calls and conducted or set up the necessary interviews in plenty of time to finish my work before the deadlines arrive.
Another example: when I met with church group members about the newsletter, I asked specific questions to find out exactly what I needed to do.
I have also found that taking breaks to relax in the midst of worrisome tasks helps. Taking the time to watch a TV show with my husband or to hold one of my cats takes my mind off what I need to do.
It’s OK to relax before everything is done. What a wonderful thought.
Feeling overwhelmed is just going to have to be one of those feelings I let go of.
How do you cope when life’s demands seem overwhelming?