• Joanna Blogs

Struggling? Stop Trying so Hard

Updated: May 10, 2020


Our minds are very flexible, and that’s the great thing about them, whatever happens, nothing is fixed. When you are feeling down, it doesn't have to stay that way, it’s temporary. It’s not a mental health problem, just your brain feeling a but overwhelmed, kicking you up the arse and telling you to stop being a victim of your circumstances. But you need to see it that way, work out how to better manage whatever it is that’s triggering that overwhelmed, stressed out, want to escape from the world type of feeling. Especially if it’s recurring and making your life a misery and ruining yur relationships. It’s fear of not being able to cope, losing your job, not being good enough, not being a decent parent.


The trigger always comes from the environment, your boss pushing you too hard when you already have an overwhelming amount of work to do; one of your kids asking you what’s for tea when you have only just cleared away from lunch having already been interrupted constantly and not having even been able to make a start on that enormous to do list; struggling to make ends meet with no obvious way out and another bill popping through the letterbox. And so on. There can be all sorts of reasons. But there comes a point when life feels overwhelming, stressy, too much and it makes you snappy and reactive and you just want to shut yourself away.


But here’s what you have to do. You have to put into place some boundaries. Tell your boss in a commanding, don’t push me around anymore sort of voice, that there are only so many hours in the day and that you have a life to live too. Then turn it round on them, ask them if they are OK, because you have noted they seem rather stressed. Have they thought their strategy through ... nine times out of ten, that boss is projecting their fears onto you, passing the buck, but dont let them. Stand your ground. Take the power back.


Show your children your massive do-do list and share out some of the work load. Empower them by giving them the opportunity to learn ‘life skills’ and then seend them away arguing over the chores list. Get them to make tea, do the weeding, or even do some reading! Then grab a glass of wine, shut your study door and tell them not to interrupt you unless it’s an emergency.


As for money, yes that’s a tough one. I have found that when it gets so bad that you can’t even afford to buy food for tea, let alone pay the mortgage or the bills, you just have to write and explain that. Ask them to stop sending the threatening letters, that you will be in touch when you have found a means to pay in due course. That hassling you is just making it worse. That you are only human. Remember that they are under pressure themselves from their boss after all. Companies are bullies and if you genuinely cant pay and have a good reason for that, just be honest. If nothing else it will buy you more time to work things out.


The bottom line is that If you get too stressed out in life and try too hard to please everyone, you just become mentally exhausted, racking your brains trying to solve all the problems, yet it seems to make you even more stuck. You lose sight of yourself, your life and eventually your sanity. My children are learning that when I go into kind of mad mum mode, making jokes about everything and laughing kind of a bit too hilariously, thatit is a warning that I am starting to dertail.


You really do have to remember what’s important, after all you could drop down dead tomorrow. You say that couldn’t happen but I can assure you that it can. A friend of mine said to me once “Life is silly ...remember to laugh!” and he was right. I have learnt that when I can’t see the wood from the trees and it’s starting to go really badly, then more bad stuff will happen untill you choose to respond differently.


So I suggest you shrug your shoulders, stop trying so hard and just kind of let those worries go. Then choose to chill, run a bath, put in some great music, go for a cycle, whatever it is that is good for you and gradually you will once again start to see the trees in the wood. Then for some inexplicable reason, life has a habit of somehow starting to work itself out.


And yes and I am sure there are typos but 'good enough' is OK.....

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