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May 20, 2015 / Heather

Overwhelmed?

Overwhelm (per dictionary.com)
[oh-ver-hwelm, –welm]
verb (used with object)
1. to overcome completely in mind or feeling:

overwhelmed by remorse.
2. to overpower or overcome, especially with superior forces; destroy;crush:

Roman troops were overwhelmed by barbarians.
3. to cover or bury beneath a mass of something, as flood waters, debris,or an avalanche; submerge:

Lava from erupting Vesuvius overwhelmed the city of Pompeii.
4. to load, heap, treat, or address with an overpowering or excessive amount of anything:

a child overwhelmed with presents; to overwhelm someone with questions.
5. to overthrow.
Why do I bring you this definition?
Because stress and anxiety are things I deal with a lot of more often than not. I’ve been told by people that they wished they had my confidence or self-esteem. I shake my head. Why?
I have less of these than people think. Early on I learned if you wanted to avoid potential bullying (back in the mid-90s and early 2000s) your best bet was to make yourself noticed and seem confident. Hold your head high, be the person teachers could easily see, etc. This worked well. Did I still get picked on/teased/mocked? Yes! Do I care? Short answer is yes and no. Yes because it left me with some issues and scars I still deal with and no because it helped me become the person I am.
Why do I come off as confident or with good/high self-esteem? It’s because I hold my head up high, I don’t slouch when I walk, I speak well and if I don’t know something my answer is often “I’m not sure, but let me do some research.” or something like “I’m not sure, but I have some ideas.” which are both great answers if you’re helping someone learn something. It helps show that you’re human and don’t know everything and also that you’re willing to learn or come up with ideas.
The reality is that I’m often nervous or anxious about things. The little what-if monsters run rampant through my thoughts. If I think about death or my weight at night while lying in bed guess who can’t sleep at night because she’s afraid of the floor giving out… It’s not even logical things. Sugar problems are all over my family, so if I start feeling ill for no reason or something doesn’t feel right I start worrying about that being the cause. There you have two examples of things in my life. One that’s highly unlikely to happen and I shouldn’t worry about, and one that’s possible to happen that I might have cause to worry about, but not in the manner that I do.
New stress in my life?
Money problems. Moving. Car things. If something happens to his folks. If something happens to my folks. If something happens to my grandpa. College. Going back to college. Books for college.
And all sorts of other things!
So…
How do I combat my anxieties and stress (and some self-esteem issues)?
I:
  • Write stories
  • Roleplay
  • Play games (phone, computer, iPod/iPad, board games, card games, videogames, sports with friends, D&D, etc.)
  • Write poetry
  • Meditate (guided or not)
  • Listen to podcasts (My favorite and go-to one is an interview with Laurell K. Hamilton through Barnes & Nobles Meet the Writers from a few years back. I LOVE it for so many reasons.)
  • Write a journal entry/private blog entry (typing is easier on my wrists than hand writing because of the amount of writing I’ve done over the years and it’s easier to type what’s on my mind because my fingers move pretty fast over the keys without thinking about how things have to look or if I’ll be able to read it later or not or whatever.)
  • Call/text friends and see if someone wants to do something.
  • Call/text/message Catfish because he makes me laugh when I need it most.
  • Clean. Oh Gods help me if I’m found cleaning under my desk. (I clean the desktop twice a week because it gathers so much stuff that if I don’t it’s scary as hell. If I clean UNDER my desk it means there’s something severely wrong in my life and that I need help. Or it means I’m moving. Or that I need to find something lost in the great beyond.)
  • Watch comedy shows.
  • Go for a walk or drive. I get this from my dad. He used to go on drives if he couldn’t sleep or something when he was my age. Since gas is expensive and I can’t always get away I go for a walk.
  • Listen to music. Loud, soft, etc. It just helps me.
  • Sleep. Sometimes with music, sometimes without. Sometimes it’s planned, sometimes it’s not.
  • Watch things. There’s all sorts of stuff you can watch out there. A show I haven’t seen in ages that I love? Hell yes!
  • Talk to stuffed animals/characters. Yes, I talk with my characters. Sometimes it’s in my head, sometimes it’s verbal words, and sometimes it’s a typed script of things my characters and I say. Sometimes it’s interviews with them.
  • Visit a grave. My mom’s folks both died some time ago. Grandma back in… 2000. Grandpa in 2006. Never saw me learn to drive, graduate, never met the man I’m going to marry. Sometimes I find it peaceful to drive out to their grave and either sit in the vehicle or sit/kneel on the ground and cry.
  • Read. Something new. Something old. Sometimes I buy something new because nothing I have sounds good (and I always have extra money on my Nook. Sometimes I do this with music, too.)
  • Sometimes I also go work out. Or work on a project. I’ll start a new idea when stressed and it shows.

I’ll probably be doing a lot of thinking and stressing this week. Planning how to move and boxing things. My first move. Scary for me, but I’m excited.

By the way, Catfish and I did get a car. Woot!

How do you handle stress?

~Heather/Razor

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