View Full Version : Working on an Article on Being Overwhelmed

05-12-2010, 06:34 PM

Yes. I am. Overwhelmed. lol

OK, not really. I was, but I've figured out how to work past it. But since then, I've been unconsciously looking at ways other people, writers especially, deal with being overwhelmed. When I realized that's what I was doing, I decided it might be worth an article. So....

What do you do when/if you feel overwhelmed?

05-12-2010, 10:58 PM
Coffee...Loads and loads of it...Eventually biology kicks in and you get the coffee crash, even if you like me don't get the normal coffee thing. Then you sleep. Personally I'm hoping for tonight. It's been 5 days, and I'm at the "too much information" point.

Chris P
05-12-2010, 11:05 PM
Step away from the keyboard. Live life for a day or two or a week or two. I don't write for a living, so I can afford to.

In general, I can usually cut some breathing room by making a list of every ongoing project, writing, work, home life, etc. and decide which ones can wait, which can be completed by giving one final effort, and which need to be completed. I always amaze myself with how much I take on without knowing it.

05-12-2010, 11:10 PM
Cry. It's the fastest, quickest means I have of emptying the emotional buffer and allowing myself to think my way clear again.

Once I can think, I can usually get through the tangle.

05-13-2010, 08:16 PM
Sounds cliche but when I get overwhelmed, I love to slip into my whirlpool tub with a cup of coffee, a good book, lights low, water as hot as I can take it. Usually, kids are already asleep in bed and husband is working on something in the office so it is absolutely quiet.

Hmmm .... might have to do that tonight now that I'm thinking about it!!

05-14-2010, 12:20 AM
If the answer requires research, I research until I find it.
If the answer requires creativity, I do something unrelated to the problem, while my creative mind works on the problem. The answer usually pops into my head after a reasonable time has elapsed.

I've been working on an idea for the story line for an entire novel for a very long time (years). I recently came up with the plan. Two stories, one follows a true adventure that took place in the 1880's, and a fictional one that parallels the true story, with the advantage of today's technology on the characters' side. Both expeditions end in disaster. My creative mind is currently working on developing the characters for the modern adventure.

05-14-2010, 12:22 AM
What do you do when/if you feel overwhelmed?

I break things down into pieces and stop focusing so hard on the big picture. Then I just tackle each tiny piece one at a time until I've cleared the other side.

It's the stress-free way to go. :)

05-15-2010, 08:12 AM
When I'm overwhelmed I shut down. So I go from achieving not enough to achieving nothing.

I eventually fix being overwhelmed by gritting my teeth and choosing one or two small tasks and just doing them. Then the next task, and then whatever's been overwhelming me doesn't seem so big and scary anymore and I find I'm functioning again.

05-16-2010, 03:01 AM
It depends on what's causing the feeling of being overwhelmed. If it's something I can control, such as a complicated task or a personal issue I can resolve, then I'll probably vent to a friend or maybe have a cry until I feel better, and then I'll look at exactly what has to be done and tackle it.

If it's something I can't control, such as on-the-job stress caused by a boss's unrealistic expectations which I've addressed with the boss, only to be told I must meet them, no excuses (yes, this happened), then it's harder. That's a case where the only way to stop feeling overwhelmed is to change the situation. In the case I mentioned, I got a new job.

05-16-2010, 03:09 AM
I take a walk: let the progressive one-foot-in-front-of-the-other unlock whatever is blocking up the neurons. Power-down the processor and reboot.

05-16-2010, 03:16 AM
What do you do when/if you feel overwhelmed?

I find drinking myself into a stupor is pretty helpful.

05-16-2010, 03:24 AM
I work two jobs (one is a retail job in which I have a Lead position and work 40 hours per week, the second job is that I work pony parties -- loooong days let me tell you.) Monday thru Friday I am a full-time student. Last semester I took 21 units. My easiest class was a Critical Thinking English, my hardest class was Russian 5. In my spare time, which is usually between 4:30 and 5 a.m., I have two horses (well, I had two horses until two weeks ago, when I sold my one horse) that I go and visit/ride/feed, or I run, depending on the day. My last class ends just before 10p, then I go home. At night, I make sure I write *something* and read *something* before turning off the light.

Every couple of months, I have a day of total breakdown.

05-17-2010, 12:58 PM
Go to the gym. Works every time. I don't handle stress very well, so I need to a lot of short breaks. Hence my great shape :)

05-20-2010, 01:46 AM
Thanks, everyone! (As you've probably guessed, there's no real deadline for this since I've been AWOL from here pretty much since I posted - working on a different kind of deadline and met it!)