How to Deal with Stress-Paralyzation

Tips for the Overstressed & Overwhelmed Mama

Person Working at Desk on Tasks

Stress-Paralyzation (n) – When you are so overwhelmed with your current to-do list that you can only sit and scroll through your Facebook feed.

Ok, maybe that’s not an official definition, but it should be.

We have all been there completely overwhelmed by the many tasks set before us that we don’t know where to start, and so we go to what’s comfortable and a lot of times not productive at all. It’s like being in that dream where you are trying to run away or get out of the burning house, and you can’t even move to help save your life.

That laundry piles up too high; the rooms are so cluttered that you can’t walk through them. Usually, this happens because I haven’t planned properly, or I have left chores go far too long.

I also get stressed paralyzed during things like packing for a vacation. So much to do and a lot of pressure to not forget things. It’s seeing the approaching deadline and being paralyzed by fear. I feel like a hampster in a wheel running around and just making no progress at all.

If you find yourself in this place as I do quite frequently take a step back and evaluate your situation, prioritize your needs, assemble the troops, and do the next right thing.

Here are a few things I need to remind myself of whenever the paralyzing force kicks in.


A lot of times I’m stress paralyzed because I have the list in my head and not on paper. I’m worried about getting it all done and possibly forgetting that I start little projects everywhere. Get it down on paper. Evaluate if the expectations that you are placing on yourself needs to be done. What can come off of the list?


There is only so much of you to go around and so much time to do things. After you have written down your list, prioritize. Inevitably you won’t accomplish everything, but at least you will accomplish the most important things.


I forget to do this all of the time. Ask for help. My kids are on a Daniel Tiger kick. Toddler moms sing with me, “When you’re feeling frustrated take a step back and ask for help.” It’s true! Enlist the help of your children, spouse, friend, or mom to help fill in the immediate needs. It’s important in moments of non-conflict or calm that you teach your kids to help. This principle helps tremendously in moments of crazy as they are now able and equipped to accomplish the tasks at hand.

Do the Next Right Thing

This piece of advice is my most valuable. When you cannot see the tree for the forest and are completely overwhelmed and unsure what to do. Just do the next right thing. Take bite size pieces. One step at a time.

Remember mom, you can’t accomplish it all at once

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2 thoughts on “How to Deal with Stress-Paralyzation

  1. Hi Hun,
    Aunt “T” here, God love ya, you are doing an incredible job! Just wanted to tell you that I lit a candle for you on Sunday at my church. Know the overwhelming feeling of depression most of my life. Hang in there!!