Not the Boss of Us: Putting Overwhelmed in Its Place in a Do-All, Be-All World by Kay Wills Wyma

Publication Date: August 21st, 2018

Rating: 2 ½ Stars

I am a self-described, high functioning ball of stress. Ask my husband, at any one moment I am overwhelmed by dishes, laundry, cleaning, my hair, my clothes, the yard, you name it. Even if everything is done, I will stress about “what’s to come.” I feel like many can relate to this. I fail to turn my brain off, even when I’ve left the office I haven’t really “left” the office. I am constantly thinking of the many things I still need to accomplish tomorrow, or this week, or this month. So, when my prior mentioned husband saw me reading Not the Boss of Us, he was thrilled.

Going into this book, I hoped to not only gain perspective on what causes people to feel overwhelmed, but I also wanted to gain an understanding into how to control stressors. I assumed, given the wide-spread population likely affected by these same experiences, this book would provide fact-based research and solutions. Obviously, this was not the case, but I did walk away with several important reminders and perspectives.

  • Social media invades us with “curated pictures posted on platforms [that] tell a story. Then they do what we can’t seem to stop them from doing: inform us about ourselves in relation to others as well as to our own expectations.”
    • It is easy to begin to struggle under the weight of identifiers as “human nature leads us to think we are the only ones feeling a certain way,” when this is not in fact the case. But, social media plays negatively into these feelings and works to further compound.
  • We overlook the practice of thankfulness. Again, we get caught up in comparing ourselves to others we fail to remind ourselves of all we should be thankful for.
    • This simple practice can be done to improve physical and psychological health, sleep, relationships, self-esteem and much more.

In this same vein I deeply related to the following “bombs” we often come face-to-face with:

  • “Status Bombs” – wreak havoc as we compare and identify against the married/not married, job/no job, baby/no baby, homeowner/renter outcomes we see others experiencing.
  • “Stress Bombs” – evoke fear and a sense of anxiety for instance, the fear of failure, fear of falling behind, fear of being left out.

These reminders were important, they conjured deeper reflection and served to right me on my own path of easing the overwhelming feelings many adults face. But, unfortunately these prompts were often hidden amongst Wyma’s own tangled stories and tangents.

*Disclaimer: A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher, but all opinions are my own.

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