Overwhelmed by Life? Pressing Pause Might Help

Life is overwhelming enough on its own sometimes. That, I’m sure, we could all agree.

But add to it anything extra, like the uncertainty of how exactly this pregnancy of mine will all turn out. Now, that just makes for twice the feels.

Maybe the overwhelm I’m feeling is really just my anxiety playing out worst case scenarios, that I’m overthinking again.

Or could it really be that simple? Is the answer really to just stop dwelling on the unknown, what has yet to occur, and all will be well with the world?

Of course, it’s not that simple.

My husband is nearing the close of another construction project and I can feel the loom hanging over us, the racing questions of when and where the next job will be. The closer to the end it gets, the more tension I feel. Will we be able to keep the kids in the same school or will we have to move to a new county or, hell, a new state?

Is it fair then to assume that considering everything, I have all the right to feel overwhelmed, to feel lost, afraid, and unprepared – cause I literally have no plan.

What’s the most annoying is that since I have no control over where we end up, I feel like the least I could do is be prepared for my baby’s arrival. I could be sure to stock up on essentials and have all the gear ready and set up so that I can feel like I’ve got this. As though making all the necessary (and expensive) purchases will help calm my nerves and keep me from distracting myself. Because, if I’m being honest, I’d much rather run away from all this, disconnect from my feelings, and dive into a good novel or Netflix series.

Even the idea of writing through all this feels heavy. It feels like a distraction from my life, as a way to procrastinate big time.

But I know this isn’t true: writing isn’t heavy for me.

The real reason writing might feel heavy right now, during this overwhelming stage of life, is because writing forces me to feel the feels and since I don’t want to feel anything, I’m trying everything I can to avoid them.

Which isn’t good.

I know where that leads.

I’ve been down that road before.

Which is why I must pause.

Pausing and hiding are not the same thing.

How do I press pause the right way so that I’m not just procrastinating and making excuses? How do I pause so that I can actually address my issues (er…insecurities) in a healthy way? Surely busying myself is not the answer. Neither is hiding and burying my head in the sand.

I cannot ignore what’s to come. It will get here soon enough: the baby, the new job assignment, the move. I can’t jump to the end and skip over the overwhelming emotions of the process. I have to sit with it. Feel it. Maybe cry about it. But I mustn’t run and hide from it anymore.

I need to pause and sit with it. All of it.

Pause and reflect and let the emotions flow. Journal my fears and insecurities. Talk to my husband or a close friend.

I need to pause life, address the overwhelming feelings that have risen, before I can move on.

There’s transformation after pausing.

You might find that pausing and sitting with your feelings results in answers. At least that’s always been the case for me.

I might suddenly come up with an “idea” to help solve a problem. Or I might realize that I need to make a change or need to pivot in a new direction.

I’ve come to believe that these mini-epiphany moments are the direct result of pausing, shutting out the world, and diving deep within. It’s the result of consulting my internal intuition, my internal guidance.

While others can help guide you along, only you can know what the next right move is for you.

And you won’t know until you pause, reflect, and consult with your own thoughts and feelings.

You have to pause. You can’t hide anymore.