How To Get Good At Feeling Overwhelmed and Depressed

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Are you feeling overwhelmed and depressed? If so, you’re probably very eager to move through this dark period and get back to your normal self. And I’m here to help you do that.

But first, I want to remind you of a saying that has become very cliche, but is also very true.

And I want you to try to really feel these words as you read them:

“it’s okay to not be okay.”

Usually, when you are feeling “not okay,” you are looking for solutions to help you feel better. Which makes sense! Because let’s be honest – when you are feeling depressed or overwhelmed it can be quite unpleasant. You probably want those feelings to end. ASAP.

But the reality is, you are going to go through times when you’re not okay. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, sad, or depressed. Those feelings come with being human.

Dare I say, that sometimes, it makes sense to feel overwhelmed and depressed! It doesn’t mean anything is wrong with you. It just means you’re going through something that needs tending to.

So what would happen if instead of forcing yourself to get back to being okay ASAP, you opened yourself up to the experience you’re going through?

What if you stopped for a moment to observe your feelings. Or perhaps allowed yourself to be present with them. And maybe even explore what they are trying to tell you.

What if, instead of expecting yourself to stop being overwhelmed and depressed, you learned how to get good at being in it?

There was a period a few years ago when I was going through a very tough time. I was not feeling okay. I was feeling overwhelmed and definitely depressed. And when I finally surrendered to that fact, it actually felt kind of good. 

Because there is something about owning your truth that is so freeing. You don’t have to pretend anymore. You can be honest with yourself. And being honest with yourself is essential to self-growth. And eventually moving past those feelings of overwhelm or depression.

Here are six things you can do if you’re feeling depressed, overwhelmed, or simply going through a tough time. And if you are able to start doing some of these things, not only will you get good at being in this dark season of your life, but you’ll move through it more quickly.

Acknowledge that you’re not okay.

Don’t force yourself to feel okay when that’s not the reality. Suppressing what is true for you will only delay your healing process. Acknowledging your feelings of overwhelm or depression can be freeing in and of itself. And remember to not shame yourself for how you feel, and instead learn to practice self-compassion.

Take care of your body.

The mind, body, and spirit are all interconnected. When you feel like you have no control over your mind or your spirit, start with the body.

Keep it simple: Remember to hydrate. Eat. Try to get some sleep. Shower. Get Dressed. Move your body. Rest your body.

Notice how you feel before, during, and after you drink alcohol, or do drugs. Try eliminating or at the very least, limiting those activities during this period.

Taking care of your body might simply mean checking in with how it’s feeling.

Create a safe space.

What I mean by a safe space is creating a space where you can simply be yourself in the moment. No pretending – no lying to yourself. Being truly authentic. This could be with a supportive friend or a therapist, an area in your home where you can be with yourself and your feelings, or even by creating a safe space to go to in your mind. 

If you’re struggling to find a safe space or you don’t know how to create one in your mind, try a guided meditation. <— here is a spotify link to a good one.

Be open to learning.

If you’re feeling not okay, it is likely for a reason. And digging into that is going to help you learn more about who you are and who you want to become.

You learn when you take a pause before making decisions. Or by preserving your energy, and choosing what is best for you. Learn to trust in yourself. And if you aren’t sure where to start, I recommend journaling. Download my Journaling Guide here, which includes 30 prompts and a feelings wheel to help you process emotions while you journal.

Trust in your own resiliency.

Luckily, resiliency comes with being human. You are born to survive. Believing in your own ability to get through what you’re going through might be hard, but it isn’t impossible.

It doesn’t mean that you have to like what you’re going through. You definitely don’t have to think it is all for the best. You don’t even have to be strong if you don’t want to be.

But there is comfort in knowing you were born with the capacity to hold space for your emotions – to endure overwhelm, sadness. To endure life, and all of the complicated experiences and emotions it brings.

If you want to get better at holding space for your feelings but don’t know where to start, download my free Feelings Guide.

Ask for help.

Being able to ask for help and lean on others when you’re going through a tough time may feel difficult at first, but it is one of the healthiest things you can do when feeling depressed and overwhelmed.

If you have someone you trust that you can turn to, consider yourself extremely lucky!

But also remember, it is really common for loved ones to want to take away your pain away as quickly as possible by offering up advice or solutions. Sometimes this is exactly what we need to feel better.

But at other times, what will help you move through your pain is someone who can empathize with what you are going through, validate how you feel, and help you process what you’re going through in a safe space.

So make sure when seeking support, you talk to someone you trust, who won’t force you to feel better right away, but really listen to what is troubling you.

If you are having thoughts about harming yourself, or want to end your life, please know that things do get better. You are NOT alone. Talk to someone about how you feel. Real support is out there.

New York Support Line: (212) 673-3000

National Suicide Hotline: 988

Immediate Assistance: 911

And if you’re feeling not okay right now, and happen to be in New York, check out my services to see if working together makes sense for you. Because no matter what you’re going through, you don’t have to do it on your own. I promise, there is a way through.

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Hi! I'm Paige

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I’m a Licensed Psychotherapist based in NYC. 

I write about mental wellbeing, personal growth, and the never-ending journey towards self-fulfillment. Sign up below to get notified when I post a new article.

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