“Danette cries easily even when making minor errors like reversing her ‘b’s and ‘p’s while Printing.”
In my defense, I was only 5 years old when this was written. And Kindergarten was hard! Even having a magically-kind teacher, who was as close to being Glinda the Good Witch as any human being could get, couldn’t keep the too-muchness of my new learning and social schedule at bay. Glinda was spot on. Danette was definitely overwhelmed.
I somehow managed to conquer the internal chaos long enough to successfully read and comprehend Fun With Dick & Jane, spelling basic words, counting to 100, master Finger-painting 101 as well as completing several more decades of formal education.
But not all of it was a smooth ride and, in fact, several ages and stages of my life required a treacherously steep climb to maintain any sense of balance and harmony. Often the overwhelm won over and being out of control, feeling trapped and stuck were the results.
In my first year as a High School Guidance Counsellor, I attended a Professional Development Day where the Head of the Counselling Centre at a local world-class university gave the audience of educators alarming statistics on the increasing numbers of university students with debilitating anxiety. This trend has consistently been confirmed in my decade of work with my adolescent students.
Now, midway through the lifespan of an average female earth walker, I’ve spent most of my waking hours exploring methods to cope with overwhelm. Some strategies have miraculously turned out to be quite skillful and useful while many have been filed under the heading “Are You Kidding?”
In this blog, I’ll share stories, observations and beneficial strategies for all those who need it occasionally and especially for those, like me, who are prone to being easily overcome by overwhelm on a regular basis.
Traveling from the land of Overcome to the plains of Okay is a journey that is entirely possible and extremely liberating. I do it all the time. Journey along with me and see what is waiting around the bend.