Emotional Wellbeing



Mental Health

Mandy Kloppers

When life is overwhelming



When life is  overwhelming


Life is weird. Life is strange. It seems the more I try to figure it out, the more confused I get. Despite knowing the various strategies required to deal with mental health issues and mood disorders such as depression as well as anxiety, I still have not found a fool-proof method to guide me through life and keep me happy consistently.

Part of dealing with life effectively is accepting that life is a series of ups and downs. I remember reading the book by Scott Peck called “The path less travelled” where Scott Peck states just that-but life has a hard brutal side to it. I guess being resilient means learning to cope with uncertainty and a constantly changing inner emotional landscape.

Something else that is crucial to surviving life is a good sense of humour. We choose to take life seriously and catastrophise what happens to us or we can choose to take a step back and detach slightly from what is happening. Counsellors refer to this as the “balcony method” where you imagine yourself on a balcony looking down on your life and watching yourself passively. Sometimes engaging in this passive strategy enables us to detach enough emotionally in order to see the situation differently.

I have recently found out that I’m severely allergic to my beloved dog – Socks. The allergy is so severe that my doctors have recommended I find another home for Socks. I’m finding this reality very hard as my dog gives me so much pleasure and keeps me sane. The saying “when it rains it pours” seems to be fairly apt for my life currently although I won’t go into details here on this blog. Life seems overwhelming for a number of reasons.

We are all in this “soup” together as the Psychologist Carl Jung once said. Possessing a degree in Sociology and Psychology does not make me immune to the various challenges in life. I do have improved coping skills now than when I was younger and I’m sure part of that is just growing older and maturity.

I reckon when you feel extremely lost and at rock bottom, the best thing you can do is sit tight and ride the storm. Never let the light of faith and hope extinguish. Take life one hour at a time necessary. Everyone, no matter who they are has their own cross to bear.

For many of us, when life is overwhelming, we cope with anxiety and depression by withdrawing and isolating ourselves from others. This is a very common strategy but one which is not helpful as it further isolates us and fosters feelings of loneliness and the idea that we are apart and unique in our experiences. The truth is that we all feel overwhelmed at times and it can take extreme mental strength to get on top of the anxious thoughts. When life isn’t going well at least there is only one direction to go in-and that is up.

Mandy X