5 Signs of Being Emotionally Overwhelmed
We’ve all heard about self-care and the importance of incorporating it into our daily routines. When to incorporate or when to increase self-care is less of a trending topic. Knowing when our bodies and mind need additional care seems like an easy task, but we often overlook the signs. Most of the time, it is not until it’s too late that we become aware of the fact we’ve been neglecting ourselves. Even then, we don’t realize the solution to the problem is taking care of ourselves. Our neglect causes us to feel emotionally overwhelmed and burnt out. The pandemic has added to the daily stress we experience, with minorities having additional daily stressors to account for in our lives. Minorities struggle with oppression and racism so often, making it harder to recognize the signs of being overwhelmed. We’ve become so accustomed to the struggle that we’ve normalized it. Let’s explore five signs of being emotionally overwhelmed.
Sign One: Increased Irritability
One of the best clues to becoming aware of burnout is a rise in our irritability level. When we become irritated by things we typically wouldn’t, it’s time to start checking in with ourselves. If not, we become ticking time bombs, never knowing when we’re going to explode. Even worse, we become irritable for lengthier periods. We may notice ourselves becoming short-tempered with our loved ones, possibly resulting in increased stress and arguments. Our loved ones may have started to walk on eggshells in our presence. Things that never once bothered us might suddenly irritate us to our core. Irritability can increase every sign listed on this list. We must become aware of how irritability impacts us or deal with its wrath.
Sign Two: Crying Spells
I think this might be one of the most unrecognized signs of being emotionally overwhelmed. Crying spells often feel like they come out of the blue, and we can’t pinpoint why we’re crying. We often believe we’re crying over no reason or an unimportant reason. The thing is, we’re sobbing from not previously processing our emotions. Now everything we’ve avoided is spilling out because we don’t have the room for it inside of us anymore. Crying is often seen as a sign of weakness, so we avoid doing it, keeping everything bottled inside. In reality, bawling takes a tremendous amount of strength. The strength required to allow yourself to feel an uncomfortable emotion and pick yourself back up is immense. We need to redefine the shame associated with crying and embrace the courage required to howl.
Sign Three: Isolation
There’s nothing wrong with some good ol’ fashion me time. When alone time transitions into isolation, we start to have a problem. Slowly disengaging from our hobbies and loved ones is a sign something isn’t right. Not having the emotional energy to hang out with friends shouldn’t be expected. Friends and socializing are excellent coping tools. We don’t want to neglect relationships that have been nurturing to us. Sometimes we isolate ourselves to protect our friends from overwhelming them with our burdens. I will say it’s unfair to our friends because we have to allow them to be our friends, which means supporting us in times of need. Seeking therapy is an excellent way to not overburden our support group by providing us with another outlet. Other times, we isolate because we lack supportive friends. In that case, we may need to consider finding a more nurturing network of friends. Whatever the reason behind our isolation, we have to be aware when we start disengaging.
Sign Four: Fatigue and Over Sleeping
Anyone would be tired of carrying the weight minorities hold on their shoulders. At this point, most of us are sick and tired of being sick and tired. Fatigue can quickly become a routine part of life. For some of us, sleep provides us with an escape from our harsh realities. Others struggle with this constant tiredness without the ability to sleep. Wherever you fall on the spectrum, be aware of when it occurs. We need to become in touch with our bodies. They constantly provide us with feedback on how we’re doing physically and mentally. We shouldn’t normalize feeling tired. If our bodies always feel unrested, something needs to change. We don’t want to become comfortable feeling uncomfortable. Moving forward, let’s start respecting the signals our bodies are giving us that something is wrong.
Sign Five: Catastrophizing
If you’re like me, you’re already a drama queen. So this last sign might be harder to have insight into when it’s occurring. When we start only seeing the negatives and make everything a big deal, it may signify we’re acting like more than drama queens. Another sign is having crying spells or angry outbursts over little things. Things we shouldn’t care so much about are suddenly catastrophizing events. We all know, sometimes it’s the little things that break a camel’s back. We need to be aware of the burdens we carry on our backs. Before our loads become overwhelming, we need to be mindful of what we can carry in the moment. This amount will vary moment by moment. So it’s best practice to keep our load light by regularly engaging in problem solving and self-care.
Now that we know the signs of being emotionally overwhelmed, we can explore coping with being overwhelmed. Look out for my next blog, where we explore ways to manage this problem. In the meantime, follow me on Instagram for more helpful mental health tips.