Beware of, Prepare for, Feeling Overwhelmed

Beware of, Prepare for, Feeling Overwhelmed

Through the Fog
It’s so easy to become overwhelmed with our limitations and symptoms. Fibromyalgia is difficult on many levels. Kudos to those of you still working, not necessarily because you want to, but because you have to. Talk about overwhelming! Then there are those of you with young children doing the best you can and feeling guilty about what you can’t. Again, overwhelming!

When your thoughts become overwhelming, visualize the word(s) that describe your worry and written on a balloon. Close your eyes and release the balloon. Then take some slow, deep, steadying breaths.

Our thoughts can get us in trouble if we let them. Keeping a notepad to write things down can be helpful, as can praying through them.

When you feel overwhelmed ask yourself “What’s the next easy thing is I can do?” I love the quip: Q: How do you eat an elephant? A: One bite at a time. Take one step, one day at a time. Sometimes it may prove motivating to build in a reward for those times when we just can’t get going.

Tasks that potentially are physically overwhelming include: Taking a bath or shower; blow-drying your hair; putting on makeup; shaving; getting dressed; cooking; cleaning the house; working; caring for a pet; parenting; dating; yard work; traveling; and social functions. Take one step at a time, and be sure to REST as often as you can.

Feeling overwhelmed can lead to anxiety or depression. If that’s you, you could find a therapist or clergy to help.

Don’t become a slave to your to-do list. Sometimes having one can be helpful so that you don’t forget what you need to do. Perhaps writing each item with several small, actionable steps under it will make it more manageable and less stressful. That way you can check off each little step and know that you have accomplished something. What you don’t finish today you can move to tomorrow’s list.

Example of a to-do list:

  • Clean the kitchen
  • Wash the counters
  • Load the dishwasher
  • Sweep the floor
  • Clean the sink
  • Clear the table
  • Wash the floor

I hope you have found this to be helpful and that you’ll incorporate meditation or prayer and rest into your day to keep you from feeling overwhelmed.

What things have you tried that have helped you?


Note: Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to fibromyalgia.


  1. Cherry Paul says:

    I think that’s been one of the biggest struggles for me, after being the go getter, the hustling, get the job done woman— Not anymore! AND my husband/family just don’t understand, even 3 years later.I feel like I’m lazy and tired all the time,but my husband doesn’t get it.I’m the one who handled EVERYTHING,but struggles every day just to remember what the hell I was getting ready to do two seconds before! It’s extremely frustrating & when people, doctors, family, and friends, just plain out think it’s what I call ” My Imagination “. It took 2 and a half years to even get diagnosed.I think the Rheumatologist just said “FIBROMYALGIA” because there was nothing to test.I wonder if having very physical jobs all my working years caused it. I also have major degenerative spine, neck,diseases.Migraines all my life,hips hurt,knees etc.I damaged my elbow pretty bad one day and it seemed like from there on I just fell apart literally. I always worked hard and even when I was sick or injured,I always made it to work & got the job done. Now it takes me out just trying to dust my furniture. I don’t go to the grocery store anymore, my husband goes,I don’t even want to go out anymore period, because it causes too much pain to get in & out of the truck. I’m afraid to drive because I can’t stay focused. Anyway, thanks for letting me vent and hopefully,those who are newly diagnosed with FIBROMYALGIA,aka “My Imagination”, can feel a little bit better knowing that you are NOT alone. I hope my small sample of some of my issues, gives some relief instead of overwhelment.But I must be honest, I’m feeling very overwhelmed right now. It has taken me over an hour just to write this! Frustration is my biggest hurdle! Good luck & Good Night!!!!

    • Dana says:

      I understand your frustration. I am lucky in that I have a wonderfully supportive husband and children, but friends just do not get it. They don’t see anything wrong with me, so it must be all in my head. I also deal with severe spinal and hip issues separate from the fibro, but am still at work ny 5 am and home at 5 pm. I know people on disability just from fibro, but i cannot afford to not work, my family cannot survive with just my husband’s income. I am so thankful for these newsletters i can print. They are so encouraging.

  2. Sista Kris says:

    Well yesterday i had an emotional meltdown in my doctors office when he told me i could not have the pain medication which i had previously been prescribed by him and he told me he had never given it to me and that i was using it wrongly. He ran out of the room after i dropped the F bomb quite a few times. OVERWHELMED is an understatement. I was at the end of my rope with FM/CFS which had pushed me to extreme pain over the last few weeks, i had reached extreme exhaustion. The goat on the edge had finally been pushed over. Then they put me in front of their psychologist, then in with admin who rang my previous treating doctor who had since left this practice due to conflict with Management to get me in with him the next day so he could prescribe me the medication. I felt crazy. My pain increased whilst there. I became infuriated then sobbing. I truly felt like a twit…what was i doing there then, if not to get treatment like i would normally during a fibro flare up. I found myself having to seek medical help elsewhere, but in the end it was meant to happen. I was angry because i was seeking help from people who were paid by money hungy owners of a clinic who cared more about keeping patient numbers rather than patient health. They were told to keep my old doctors new location from his former patients. Only because the admin ladies knew me did they decide to follow the psyches request to go outside of directions given and help me. One of them has FM. Finally i saw my old doctor who was not suprised at all by their behaviour, and gave me medication and i have now finally slept and woken not feeling overwhelmingly exhausted. I give thanks to things happening for a reason….and it was the Psychologist who told me where doctor was and asked admin to call him, and then they did….but none of the medical people would give me that info. I will never allow anyone to dismiss the pain i feel which is linked to my emotional wellbeing,,,and tell me there is nothing that can be done for it. Give me the medication to allow me to sleep and my body to stop, the medication which works for me, cause i know my body, and dont tell me to take something which makes me feel sick and more pain than i already have. I was anxious and overwhelmed already then i set myself amongst the non educated on the subject to which is a huge failure. So today, i begin again and take a little bite out of the huge elephant…lol…i never know what im gonna get……but im here and im not crazy, and i wont beat up on myself and if i cant do it, i just cant do it. It takes a strong soul to master every day of pain and keep smiling… i shall keep on keeping on and so should others like me.

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