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How to Deal With Overwhelm in 2022

Aug 20, 2021

The year 2020 completely turned the world on its head. Terribly enough, 2021 is shaping up to be even worse economically and socially.

Many people today are gripped by chronic stress. Why wouldn’t they be, when job losses are at an all-time high and the 2008 housing crisis has made a return for round two? When the pandemic becomes too much to deal with, your body will let you know what’s not adding up.

Let’s take a look at how to deal with overwhelm in 2021, even when it feels like there’s nothing you can do to feel any better.

What Causes a Person to Feel Overwhelmed?

The human mind is creative, adaptable, and highly curious by nature. It still has its limits.

Overwhelm is when you’re simply taking on too much responsibility at one time. This can look like too many work assignments or juggling too many household chores. When you’re unsure how to start tackling your life one step at a time, hiring a life coach can help significantly.

“Life coaches are skilled at seeing your gifts and talents and encouraging you to use your strengths to gain confidence. Personal development is more than a trendy term; it's necessary for your life's fulfillment.”

What Are the Symptoms of Being Overwhelmed?

Sometimes you don’t recognize how overwhelmed you are until you have an extremely bad day. The thing about overwhelm? It tends to sneak up on us over the course of several weeks.

Common symptoms of being overwhelmed include:

  • Concentration issues, even on very basic tasks
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Loss of interest in hobbies or social activities 

“Why am I feeling complete overwhelm and exhaustion? Why do I dread going to work in the morning? Has the career of my dreams turned into a nightmare? Could I be burned out?

How Do I Stop Feeling Overwhelmed?

It’s not enough to meditate or pray your overwhelm away. You must get to the bottom of your overwhelmed mind and change what’s causing it. 

If you find yourself taking on too many household chores, it’s time to delegate a few to others in your life. If that’s not possible? Positive change could look like skipping a chore once in a while. Yes, your house will still be functioning even if there are some dirty dishes in the sink!

Sometimes it’s not possible to change your situation immediately. Small changes are still beneficial in reducing your overwhelm and keeping your head above water.

Related: Physician Burnout: Everything You Need to Know

With so much on your plate, it can feel impossible to take even one step forward. Deanna Larson MD is a board-certified physician and life coach with years of experience to offer your unique situation.


Is There a Disorder For Feeling Overwhelmed?

Being overwhelmed is a symptom, not a cause. While it’s not a disorder in itself, multiple forms of mental illness can make feeling overwhelmed worse.

Social Anxiety

This disorder is characterized by significant anxiety in social situations. This isn’t just stressed over public speaking, but feeling stress over being judged or rejected in various social situations. Those that work public-facing jobs and have social anxiety have a personal battle every time they start their shift.

Obsessive-compulsive Disorder (OCD)

While on the same branch of mental illness as social anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder is characterized by a mixture of:

  • intrusive thoughts
  • obsession over patterns
  • fear of contamination
  • magical thinking
  • Compulsions

Being suffocated by so many small details quickly leads to overwhelm for those with OCD.


What do you do when you have an entire life to get to, but you have no energy or interest? This is a huge problem for those with depression, one of the most pervasive forms of mental illness today. It affects nearly 7% of the American population and is one of today’s leading causes of disability for adults.

What Are 5 Emotional Signs of Stress?

A little stress is perfectly natural. It can help us stay motivated and even encourage creativity intense scenarios. Too much stress, on the other hand, can be debilitating.

The five emotional signs of stress you should be on the lookout for are:

  • Crying out of nowhere
  • Difficulty sleeping (insomnia, teeth grinding, waking up throughout the night)
  • Mood swings
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Loneliness

It’s likely you’re facing more than one of these symptoms. Instead of waiting for your situation to get better on its own, take a proactive approach. Start a daily journal that records your symptoms, thought patterns, and how often you find yourself crying.

Why do I Cry When I Get Overwhelmed?

The human body is a fascinating thing. While we control many of its functions, it also operates on wavelengths we’re not aware of.

Overwhelm is what leads to you suddenly crying out of nowhere during the workweek. One minute you’re functioning just fine, the next you have tears running down your face. Crying is our natural way of venting stress: there’s scientific evidence supporting crying even releases stress hormones.

Crying is a healthy way of feeling a little better, but shouldn’t be your only approach to change.


What Are the Behavioural Signs of Stress?

You know stress is becoming overwhelming when you don’t act like yourself. This sign can be one of the most troubling aspects of chronic stress.

Do you find your good humor has evaporated into nothing? Are you a typically creative person who doesn’t feel like painting or singing anymore? The behavioral signs of stress are subtle, yet overwhelming

It probably feels impossible to start tackling all the little details that have led to your overwhelm. Just like any other medical condition, change starts with knowledge. With the aid of a professional and a little optimism, you can finally start turning your life around.

You don’t have to combat overwhelm in 2021 by yourself. Contact Deanna Larson MD today and start shaping your life for the better.

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