Shower Thoughts IV: Overstimulation Due to Oversaturation
For those of you (like myself) who need to google a translation of Roman numerals, welcome to Shower Thoughts #4: the series where I (in a non-creepy way) invite you into the space where we have the most profound, unfiltered thoughts- the shower. These are usually convoluted, rambly, and most definitely never have a clear conclusion or answer. But we always end it exfoliated and squeaky clean with a whole load off our chest.
So what I’m here to try and put into words in as little as a 10 minute shower (we’re not trying to waste water over here) is the feeling of being over-stimulated and overwhelmed as a result of an oversaturation of media and information. Now bare with me because this is as much of a learning curve for me, as it is for you.
I think we can all agree that the last 2, 3, maybe even 5 or so years have seen media and information flow through the internet at an accessibility which is increasing more and more rapidly. This can be said about accessibility to news, education, shopping, etc. Yes, I’m looking at you girlie #1077 on my FYP trying to tell me how to fix my gut health.
So while all of this is great, I feel like there comes a point where this oversaturation starts feeling like too much; it starts becoming overwhelming. On any given day, I don’t know whether to focus on getting my life together using my iPad, waking up at 5am to go to the gym, romanticising my life as much as possible by giong to all the “hidden London gems” or focusing my entire finances on replacing my entire wardrobe. Do I really have a gut health problem? Is it IBS? Do I have undiagnosed ADHD? Am I wasting my life away? Have I been buying the wrong shaped jeans my entire life? Is there a specialist I can go to who can answer all of these questions in one go?
Sometimes all of these things begin to severely overstimulate us, which, to some people, can be extremely mentally and physically debilitating (raise your hand if you’ve been personally victimised by your FYP!).
Now let me diverge for a second. If you’re anything like me (a kid who grew up with a feeling of severe academic superiority who happened to pick the wrong degree in Uni), then you may have felt something similar before it had anything to do with your personal life, per se. I distinctly remember feeling so overwhelmed and uninspired by the work I had to do, which made me too unwilling to do it in a timely manner, which in turn made me feel anxious, and the cycle continued. This kind of feels very similar.
I’m left in a constant state of begging myself to give myself a week or two off. A week or two to just do absolutely nothing and worry about absolutely nothing. But why do I constantly feel like an unbooked day is a waste of my time and life? Probably because a whole load of people are insinuating that being fully booked is the ideal we should be searching for.
While to a certain extent all of this is great- I mean being able to find the answer to anything you might be wondering is a wonderful thing. Not gatekeeping information and making it universally accessible is all we could have ever hoped for. So why do we feel so drained?
Maybe we can think of it the same way we do with things which physically overwhelm us: big crowds, lots of different noises. You know the feeling when you can hear an ambulance siren, loud talking, a weird banging noise, you’re in a big crowd, your friend tries to ask you a question and you just flip out. What often helps us with that is getting to a place where you’re feeling a bit more calm, checking in with yourself, and stepping back out.
So I guess where I’m going with this is trying to tell you (and myself) that ignoring all those voices on your feed or FYP and giving yourself ample time to just… exist? “Unproductively”. Is okay. It’s necessary. And if you feel like you have mountains to climb (whether those mountains are gut health or your wardrobe), then you have all the time in the world to do them at your own pace.
So slow down, stop rushing, and take it one day at a time (not in a Cassie talking to Rue way, but you get me).
Something on your mind? Share your thoughts with the Whering community:
If you have an idea for an article around fashion, culture, environment, news, wellness, shopping or DIY, submit a pitch to us! Share a short paragraph outlining the article you would like to write to email@example.com. We will get back to you as soon as we can.