Big Feels Monday: Let's Talk about Feeling Overwhelmed

Big Feels Monday: Let's Talk about Feeling Overwhelmed

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a woman surrounded by hands reaching out asking for her attention while she sits in the center in a Zen like position trying to not feel overwhelmed


Today we’re introducing Big Feels Monday. “Big Feels” is a new weekly series by The Big Silence where we talk about how we’re feeling and bring up tools and inspiration to help start the week. 

Let's Talk About Feeling Overwhelmed and What to Do About It

This week Karena Dawn and James Nicholas Kinney talk about overwhelm, languishing, and chronic stress triggers that lead to sustained anxiety. You're invited to be a part of the conversation! Watch the video, and if the topics Karena and James talk about resonate with you, we've compiled tools and resources to help with you with your week.


It’s a month into 2024 and the holiday haze is fading into the background as a whir of stimulation hits your brain and body through the electronic pings of emails and notifications, and the calendar invites returning to their full scale range of ruling your life. 

Recent studies have reported that emails and notifications can cause a flight or fight response in the body. There’s even such a thing called “email apnea” or “screen apnea” characterized by “shallow breathing or breath holding while doing email, or while working or playing in front of a screen.” 

Perhaps you are a recovering people pleaser fixated on how to reply to everyone’s request, but struggling to stay energized and keep your own peace of mind because your feeling of the need to respond or manage is constantly nagging in the background. 

There is so much in life that demands our attention, and sometimes it can become a bit overwhelming. How do you set boundaries and protect your mental space, your mindfulness and your own intentions when all the noise comes ringing for your attention? 

We want to slow down and talk about it. And we have tools to help, too!

Signs of Feeling Overwhelmed in Our Digital Age and What We Can Do About It

  • I’m taking time for myself, doing the best I can, but still feel exhausted. I’m meditating, I’m eating well, sleeping, and working out but still feel like I’m spinning. Why? Does that sound like you? Mindfulness is a skill we must constantly work on, but if you know you can be present in the moment, then you can’t be overwhelmed and start thinking about other things like meetings, obligations, etc.
    • Anchoring yourself in the moment is important, as is building the discipline of saying no. “No” is not a bad word. “I’m not available.” “I can’t do it.” It’s okay to say no within your boundaries. Be a boundary boss.
  • Productivity is an overload. For many of us, we feel like when we’re busy, we’re doing something right. We love and are addicted to that adrenal feeling. Most people with anxiety are tremendously creative - it’s all about how to channel those feelings properly.
    • For instance, do you go on vacation but never actually “go on vacation?” Truly disconnecting can be a wonderful reset button to push.
  • Do we have a digital addiction? A lot of us have one and likely don’t even know it. We are constantly in this loop of email, text, and social media triggers, but we were never really trained on how to properly use these channels. How do you use Facebook properly? We were never trained on how to interact with social media, and we’re all still feeling our way through this constantly evolving digital world.

Mental Health Tools of The Week: How to Manage Feeling Overwhelmed

Are you a recovering people pleaser? Are you a burned out high-achiever moving from one adrenaline stoked moment to another? We have tools to help you slow down and take initiative towards putting your mental health first. 

Well-Balanced: Tips for Managing Anxiety, Living Authentically, and Embracing Play

In this conversation with Liz Plosser of Women’s Health Karena and Liz talk about the pressure of being in a leadership role, and how to manage the anxiety that comes with being in a public facing position - especially as an introvert. Liz also shares her daily wellness routine that helps keep her mental health in check.

A few of our favorite tips to make the most out of your day from Liz Plosser, editor in chief at Women's Health, include:

Gratitude list: Making a list of good things that have happened or things that you appreciate about life can be an empowering way to make a positive start to the day.

Journal your ideal day: If you had an ideal day for you where you could do anything, what would it look like? Starting with when you wake up write it all down. This tool can help you to prioritize what really matters to you.

What is the definition of high functioning codependency and how it can show up in our lives?

Boundary Boss Terri Cole helps us learn how to set healthy boundaries by learning to give up our need for control, and how to support others without taking on the burden of their problems. Terri says:

“As humans, of course we are going to be invested in the people we love, so it’s not like it’s pathological or anything is wrong with you….I think there’s a misunderstanding and a misnaming of codependency. People have this old school idea that it means enabling addiction. I phrased high-functioning codependency because I really saw a behavioral pattern with [people] who are super capable and getting things done, but were still so overly invested in the lives of others, to their detriment.”

What is Your Stress Type?

Are you a chronic stress magnet? To learn about your “stress type” or how stress impacts our physical and mental health, listen to Master Your Stress: Boosting Energy and Beating Burnout with Dr. Doni Wilson. You can even take a quiz to learn about your stress type on Dr. Doni's website. 

Feeling "blah" or unmotivated? Our experts open up about how your mental health impacts your motivation. 

Reduce Stress, but Make it Fun

Dance is a fun and powerful tool to help you with your mental health. Learn about the power of dance for mental health and join The Big Silence team in a dance-a-thon!

Big Feels Feedback

How are you really feeling? We'd love to hear about your week, or share your favorite tools for the week in the comments!


The Big Silence Foundation, Inc is a U.S. tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to changing the culture of mental health. Consistent with IRS guidelines, all gifts are tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law. Donate to bring change with us!


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The information provided is for educational purposes only, and does not substitute for professional medical advice. Users are advised to consult a medical professional or healthcare provider if they're seeking medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment.

**Please note that if your thoughts start becoming hopeless or suicidal, contact emergency at 988 or 911 and crisis services immediately. You can find more resourceshere. Text HELLO to 741741 to be connected with a trained crisis counselor.


1 comment


I love how you have mental health tools in this easy to reference format. While I love the podcast, I typically listen while driving or walking and having a written reference so I can apply the tools that I learn about is incredibly helpful!

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The mental health foundation was founded in 2021 by Karena Dawn, a wellness entrepreneur and leading mental health advocate, based on her experiences growing up in a family impacted by mental illness (shared in her memoir, The Big Silence). It’s our goal to support people’s mental health journey from childhood to adult and to create a more joyful and loving place. 



This top mental health podcast features motivational real life conversations surrounding topics including addiction, trauma and PTSD, caring for loved ones with a mental health condition and more.


Start a conversation in your The Big Silence apparel! All proceeds benefit our work to destigmatize mental health. Join the movement!


Founder Karena Dawn shares her personal story in The Big Silence: A Daughter's Memoir of Mental Illness and Healing, shining a light on the eternal struggle we all share—how to move past the pain and suffering of our personal battles to experience life’s joys.