Dealing with overwhelm: Quiet the noise

Becky Mollenkamp
4 min readMay 16

If you are in (or feel yourself entering) a state of overwhelm, one helpful way to manage the stress is to quiet the noise around you.

By Becky Mollenkamp, PCC

Feeling overwhelmed is a common problem among my clients, and it’s not surprising. They are under constant pressure to do more, be more, have more. They must also deal with a world where information comes at them faster and louder than ever before.

It’s common to feel overpowered by the weight of responsibility and expectation. It’s easy to feel consumed by more noise and distraction than you can handle. It’s perfectly normal to be burdened by your own thoughts and feelings.

I’ve written before about what causes overwhelm and the signs of overwhelm. That same article also shares six ideas for dealing with overwhelm, and is definitely worth a quick read.

But today I want to share one more method for how to stop feeling overwhelmed (personally or professionally). And that is to quiet the noise around you.

Photo by Kristina Flour on Unsplash

When you feel overwhelmed

I’ve felt overwhelmed a few times in recent years (it’s to be expected as someone who runs a business while parenting). In 2018, I realized I was reaching a breaking point. My overwhelm was activating my anxiety and pushing me close to panic attacks.

When I reached that breaking point, I closed my Facebook group, stopped using Twitter, unfollowed negative people on social media, took a break from my podcast, stopped promoting my courses, and wrote content for my business only when I felt inspired (instead of forcing myself to create new blog posts every week).

In the fall of 2020, I felt a similar swell of overwhelm. The heated Presidential election and COVID-19 pandemic caused my anxiety to spike again.

At that time, my feminist book club read “Digital Minimalism” by Cal Newport, and each of us did some version of an information detox.

I stopped watching the news, whittled my Facebook friends list to under 200, removed most apps from my phone, unsubscribed from most email lists, I used social media for only work, and largely stayed off my phone.

Becky Mollenkamp

Accountability coach for feminist founders.