• Kristy Barkley

Overwhelmed



“I’m just feeling overwhelmed.”

How many times have you heard this in the past month? If you are like me, it is getting more and more frequent. This week has been especially tough I feel like. More people are getting furloughed. People that are working are constantly looking over their shoulder in fear that they are next, will their hours be cut again, or will they just be stopped from working completely?

No one has their normal “escape” anymore. If you are an extrovert, you are shriveling inside because you miss the activity and conversation so much. If you are an introvert, you are going nuts because everyone is at home, ALL OF THE TIME!

Netflix seems to be the main topic of conversation on Social Media and honestly, have you thought about how crazy that is? We are all just posting sharing about the shows we loved this week and trying to figure out what we should binge next.

And the judgement! Oh! The judgment that is coming with this virus! Wear a mask to the store – be judged for being overly cautious. Don’t wear a mask to the store – be judged for being careless. Go to the store – be judged for putting everyone at risk. Visit the grandkids – be judged for putting more people at risk. Don’t visit the grandkids – be judged for being paranoid.

Friends, I could go on and on and on. But hopefully you get the point. Everyone is feeling overwhelmed, but for different reasons. So please, please have grace! Have grace, especially in your home, because that is where it matters the most. What do the people in your home need from you? You may think they are good because you are together ALL OF THE TIME! But maybe they are having an extra hard time and they need you to actually See Them and Love on Them, not just sit next to them on the couch and watch another episode of “Schitt’s Creek” (by the way, if you haven’t watched that, you need to now! It will add laughter to your home, which is always needed. Also, stick with it through episode 3, the first 2 are little ridiculous.) Ask those closest to you, “What can I do for you? How can I help you feel better?”

I had a friend that commented on one of my posts yesterday that (after sharing all she was grateful for) “I do think that people who have been in the trenches before don’t think that this is that hard. Perks of the difficult road we have had – makes this seem not so difficult… so I guess I am even grateful for those hard times that prepared my mindset for this.” Yes! One hundred times Yes! I hadn’t thought about it from this perspective, but she has a point. The road I have traveled has sucked. Like really, really sucked. And I am honestly doing really good so far through all of this and it is my 5th week of being home.

But what about all of you who haven’t had to travel the crap road? This is likely kicking your butt and you are feeling Overwhelmed.

Yesterday morning I felt really inspired to write about Overwhelm, but I didn’t sit down right then to write, because I don’t really know if I can help you. But the prompting is not going away, so I figured if I just sat down and started writing, hopefully God would inspire me with a few tips to help. So here goes…

I do believe that the Overwhelming feeling comes from Fear, and fear is the imagining of a negative consequence that hasn’t happened yet. For instance, you have been furloughed, that sucks! But the fear comes when you start to think about how you will pay your bills – will the lights be shut off, will I lose my home, will I go hungry? These thoughts are completely overwhelming and can consume you and put you in a horrible head space. So what if you had Faith instead? What if you chose to believe that your bills will get paid (you don’t have to know how, you just have to believe that they will), that you will be able to have food and there will be grace by your landlord or bank in regards to your home. How much better does that feel? Not overwhelming at all!

But then you start thinking, “Well how will my bills get paid?, How will I keep my home and get food?” Again, you are thinking based on fear and getting overwhelmed again. So what next? Here is what I know; you can only control 2 things – your thoughts and your actions. Stop those thoughts in their tracks, because they are not serving you and decide how you will take action. Do some research, look for places offering food, and go! Check with your church and see if they have resources to help, most do. Call the bank or landlord and explain your situation, they can’t read your mind so they don’t know if you don’t tell them, they can’t help you if you don’t ask, and it will be harder to get help after you are late, find out if there is help now!

Okay, I am following your thoughts, “This is so humiliating.” “What will people think of me?” Again, this is fear and will cause you to be overwhelmed rather than allow you to take action. Here is what I have to say, No one is thinking about you right now! They are thinking about themselves, their own situation and how they will handle it. Also, no one is judging you for getting help. With tens of millions of people filing for unemployment over the last 3 weeks, you are not alone, you are allowed to ask for help, you will not be judged. If anything, people who haven’t asked for help are wondering if they will have to soon, because no one knows how long this will last. No one knows what our jobs or economy will look like as we return to “normal”. But that is what I want you to remember, NO ONE KNOWS!

You can choose Fear or Faith. You can choose to be Overwhelmed or Empowered. Will you use this opportunity to grow in an area you always wanted to, but didn’t have time? Will you use this opportunity to check out all of the free online programs that typically cost money right now? Will you look outside of yourself and find a way to serve others remotely? Are you going to share and post negatively and spread the feeling of overwhelm? Or are you going to look for uplifting things to share and post about?

You get to decide from minute to minute, how you will think and what action you will take. I pray that you will choose Faith, because imagining a positive outcome is way better than imagining a negative outcome (Fear).

Finally, because I believe so much in the power of affirmations, I am going to share a few that I hope you will start to say to yourself multiple times a day and that you will record and listen to also.

1. I will rise stronger and smarter than ever before.

2. I am worthy of greatness.

3. I am a valuable part of my company.

4. All of my needs will be met.

5. I am grateful for the life I have.

6. I do at least one thing every day, that makes me happy.

7. I am healthy and strong.

8. I see opportunities everywhere.

9. I take advantage of opportunities to grow.

10. I am blessed to be able to slow down and appreciate all my life is made up of.


In closing I will say, You can't control the Covid-19 situation, but YOU alone write your story. So what will your story be? You have more time than ever right now, will you make the best of it? Or will you just watch every show there is on Netflix? You have the opportunity to come out of this in a massive way!

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