Day 1122: Overwhelmed

Yesterday, people in my therapy group were overwhelmed with many stressful problems. Therefore,  I suggested that we write, draw, or otherwise express ourselves about being overwhelmed.


If it’s not too overwhelming, how might you answer those questions?

Here’s how I answered Question #1: What is your personal experience of being overwhelmed?


As a way to let go of being overwhelmed, I shall now list what might overwhelm me, in the moment:

  1. Fear.
  2. Worry.
  3. Anticipation of what might go wrong in the future.
  4. Anticipation of what might go right in the future.
  5. Concerns about other people’s judgments.
  6. All the things I’m supposed to get done today.
  7. All the things I’m supposed to get done during this time of the year (including TAXES).
  8. Things I cannot control, such as the weather.
  9. My 63rd birthday, coming up in less than a week.

For me, what helps is to make a list of what might overwhelm me, like the one above. Then, it all seems less overwhelming, especially if I challenge what’s on the list, like so:

  1. Life is scary, so feel the fear and do it anyway.
  2. Worry doesn’t help me.  Don’t worry, be happy.  What me worry? Let go of worry about worry!
  3. I can’t control the future; I can only do my best in the moment.
  4. Really?  I’m overwhelmed by what might go RIGHT?  How goofy is that?
  5. I can’t control what other people think or how they judge.  And, I know that other people’s judgments and thoughts can’t really hurt me. Are you judging me now?  Guess what!  It doesn’t touch me!
  6. What if I don’t get everything done today?  Is the world going to end? I think not.
  7. See #6, above.
  8. “There is no bad weather, only bad clothing.”
  9. Up until now, I’ve always loved my birthday (because it’s GROUNDHOG DAY) and I’m grateful I’m still here.

I don’t know about you, but I feel less overwhelmed.

Are you overwhelmed by any of my other photos from yesterday?










Overwhelmed by all this?  Try making a list and letting it go.

Overwhelming thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and to you — of course! — for visiting here, today.


Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 46 Comments

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46 thoughts on “Day 1122: Overwhelmed

  1. Yes, it’s far too easy to get overwhelmed. Writing it down is a great release and helps get things in perspective. Great post.

  2. I like your # 4, Ann. ☺ Many of us, for different reasons, share that fear. Dustin Hoffman, on why he turned down so many offers for movie roles that he knew would be great…”I was afraid of success”. It’s not that uncommon. 💖

  3. I’m overwhelmed by change in routine, Ann, and irregular schedules where a pattern used to be so plain and reliable. But I let it go because of the benefits on the other side, as you say, my friend.

  4. Fear of what can go right seems goofy but then I think about the implications of things going right. Specifically I think about your upcoming audition for The Voice and what things going right will mean for you. It will be a tremendous shake-up to your regular routine.
    When I think about that I think that it’s not brave to try something extraordinary because to do so means facing the possibility of failure. It’s just brave to try something extraordinary because it could change everything.

    • I’m not sure how you do this, Chris, but when I read one of your comments, I feel less overwhelmed and more hopeful. Many thanks.

  5. I am gradually climbing out of the pit – thanks for this post.

  6. Just reading your list which includes things on my list, I feel less overwhelmed already!

    Love it.

  7. I am overwhelmed by your selection of photos – a perfect accompaniment to your writing, as always.

  8. Right now I’m in complete agreement with the photo depicting someone overwhelmed by the weather. I shouldn’t complain because at least I wasn’t in the blizzard you guys all went through but I am SO tired of dark, dreary days. Thanks for your positive post Ann!

  9. cmblackwood

    Lots of experience with being overwhelmed . . . daily experience . . . still trying to figure out what helps! 🙂

    • A lot of people are experienced with being overwhelmed — you are not alone. Thanks for visiting and commenting today.

  10. Jess Melancholia

    I think I’m going to start doing this. I just wrote them down and they don’t seem to be that big of a deal anymore. Thanks for this!

  11. I also read recently “Try making a list. Choose the most important thing. Then tear up the list.”
    Love it Ann!

  12. A generous sense of humor is necessary, i think, and you’ve got it in abundance!!

  13. This is a good strategy to overcome the overwhelming.

  14. When I discovered photos and scripts from movies my father made at the Margaret Herrick Library (same place they keep the Oscar memorabilia), I was totally overwhelmed. Even though it was a good thing, it was difficult to take in what I was seeing. So, I abruptly got up and left the library. Fear of discovery-that’s one for the books. I have since gone back three times.

  15. I never find your posts overwhelming Ann- they always contain such useful information! I become overwhelmed when I take on too many things at once or something goes kaflooey sending whatever plans I had into utter disarray because now the schedule is off. I much prefer being in a state of underwhelmed 🙂

  16. I too am overwhelmed by taxes. Also the sight of a car buried under two feet of snow! Only remedy is making a start… One foot in front of the other.

  17. Those are GIANT questions…

  18. I get overwhelmed by tasks I could have easily done today that I put off till tomorrow. Why? Just get it over but you’re right. It’s not the end of the world!

  19. So what happens with the person who scratche all of the stuff out and then said. ‘help!’?

    • That person was me — expressing how it feels to be overwhelmed. What happened was I shared that in a group and felt much less overwhelmed. Thanks for asking!

  20. It’s ‘the good way’ that impresses me most. I have a friend whose tears I only see when he is touched by kindness

  21. Pingback: Day 2360: Internal ____________ | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  22. Pingback: Day 2373: Maintaining Positive Mental Health | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  23. Pingback: Day 2319: Blame | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

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