Post by Portia


Hey Fabulous Fragrant Fanatics,

Recently I was feeling completely overwhelmed. Things had gotten behind because other things had taken priority and I was really feeling the push to get stuff done, and trying to do it on less than enough sleep. This is not a healthy way for me to function and I do know it but because things had to be done I put in the extra and got really crabby. You know that 3 year old inside of us that just can’t wait to come out and have a tantrum? Well, what do you know, out it came.

Anyway, when I’m feeling overwhelmed like that not only do I lash out at those around me but quite often I beat myself up too. They are often joined, I lash out at someone and then beat myself up for being the lowest scum in the universe. You know the familiar sinking feeling? So I thought what could I do to stop myself flowing down that familiar path? Answer. I’ll do a feel good post for the APJ crew that reminds me, and them, that we are not alone. Even though it looks bleak it will all be OK. No one is dead and everything else is fixable or finishable.


Even though it feels bad right now I know that tomorrow will dawn brighter, even if it’s only my attitude that’s changed.


Though I’m feeling crap right now and have 100 reasons to let it all go to hell if I can just push through to the other side of this current mountain of work, friends, life, relationship, home and environment then I will have a breathing space.


Cutting things into bite sized, doable chunks and working towards a goal is the best way for me to go forward. Also, sometimes a moment to reflect. I’ll go make myself a cup of coffee and concentrate 100% on making coffee, that will let my subconscious do some collating. It doesn’t always work but it does let me unwind a little and often a way forward presents itself to me before the mug is empty.


The next one is really hard. You have to take everyone else out of the equation except you and your needs. Sometimes you need to say enough and walk away from a situation. Only you can ever know if you are walking away or giving up and what anyone else has to say about it is none of your concern. You may have to tell them this calmly and rationally, then walk away from them till they process.

548831ba25fd04080b0ec6bd7213b12eIf you’ve walked away or if you’ve pushed through the mountain then you’ve earned a breather, a space. It may be only one hour, a pedicure, a moment when you spritz some incredible fragrance on yourself, put on a 3 minute song in your living room, close your eyes and dance like you did when you were younger (you’ll be puffed at the end but exultant). It may be taking 3 minutes out of your day to read APJ, whatever your space or reward is then you need to understand that you are gifting yourself this moment. It’s a pat on the back for doing your best. Drink in the joy of that special thing you do.


Lastly for this post, and maybe most importantly……


Just in case you were wondering, I feel 100% better right now. My mind is a bit clearer and I have a rough idea of how I’m going to move forward. Now it’s time to make myself a coffee and really enjoy the process of both making and drinking.

Be well, we love you.
Portia xxx


52 comments on “OVERWHELMED – Help

  1. Tiffanie says:

    Yes, you are right on the money, it’s ok to take time to breathe in and breathe out. I tend toward the downward, sinking spiral of shame and self-abasement at times, so your words have helped me today.

    I have a friend who is a bit outrageous and rarely takes things too seriously. She cheers up others when she answers life’s tough questions with another question: “What would Lada Gaga do?”

    Always makes me smile. 🙂

  2. Azar says:

    Thank you Portia! You have really made a lot of things clear in this post! Brad’s 107 year old grandmother used to have a sign in her kitchen saying “It’s easy to give up”. I would probably add, like you said, that its is difficult to know if you are giving up, taking a break or just moving onto to something that works better! I am working on the Yoko Ono right now!
    Azar xx

  3. Erica Golding says:

    This is just what I needed, too. I love you. xoxo

  4. Bernadette Winfield-Gray says:

    Oh Portia, this is spooky. Your caring words were Exactly what I needed today. Good things will surely flow to one who shows such generosity. I am off to soak my tootsies now. 🙂

  5. Lindaloo says:

    As much as I love your enthusiastic perfume reviews, it is these kinds of posts that make me really appreciate your blog. There is always some wisdom you share in these posts that improves my day/mood/life.

    Thank you

  6. Tom says:

    I know what you mean. The past few weeks have been nuts. Hell, the past few months. I’ve found that soaking my feet in a hot tub of soapy water for 15 minutes helps immensely.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Life seems to be speeding up, I thought it slowed down as we get older.
      Feet in a tub. will try.
      Portia xx

  7. Lavanya says:

    Ha – I was feeling a bit overwhelmed just now and then your post popped into my email. Talk about timing! Feeling better already. I am sooooo tired. Just saying it out aloud makes me feel better. Now if the kids and I don’t catch the flu from my husband I think I might be able to survive the week ahead. LOL.

    P.S – Reading through the comments, sounds like this was a post many of us needed..:-) Hugs!
    Lavanya recently posted…Music and PerfumeMy Profile

  8. tammy says:

    I find it so very typical of you that while in the midst of your own feelings of being overwhelmed, you reach out to help everyone else. You are incredible, and I hope you know it, though I don’t think you do.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      You are sweet. Thank you.
      Having wonderful people like you who read, comment and hang out at APJ makes all the hard work worthwhile. It’s the connections that help get me to the other side.
      You are a part of that.
      Portia xx

  9. Kate Hart says:

    I absolutely love this! Thank you xo

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      KATE! Hey there. I absolutely love YOU. It was so good to see you and the baby yesterday. Spoiled.
      See you Sunday!
      Portia xxx

  10. annemariec says:

    A three minute song for your living room.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      ELO! Anne-Marie. Who’d have thought. Some of my favourite of their music was from Xanadu.
      Great choice.
      Portia xx

  11. Teri Singer says:

    hi Portia,
    The perfumes arrived yesterday. They are fabulous. Thank you so much and please feel better. We all have those days..you’re not alone. It will pass.

    Teri. x

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      YAY! Enjoy your fragrances Teri Singer.
      Thank you. I know it.
      We are a cool cyber family here.
      Portia xx

  12. I love Yoko Ono, she has some fabulous ways of looking at life, relationships, the self, etc. Sounds like you really have some good strategies to deal with the overwhelm Portia xxx
    Polly Technic recently posted…Giverny Blooms at Denver Art Museum: Scent Experience by Dawn Spencer Hurwitz at “In Bloom: Painting Flowers in the Age of Impressionism”My Profile

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hey there Polly Technic,
      That is an excellent Drag Name BTW Melita.
      How fricken great are DSH Giverny In Bloom? What a talent she is.
      Portia xx

  13. DarkRose says:

    Thank you, Portia, for opening up this way with all of us.
    I don’t have much to add to what you’ve already said, I emotionally relate to many things I am reading here. No you are not alone – nobody is, never.


    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hey DarkRose,
      You’re welcome. Sometimes writing these postsa is the best therapy of them all. Knowing you guys are out there and that we are all i this together, it’s a different kind of connection but completely valid for me.
      Portia xx

  14. Fifi says:

    Thanks, Portia, for keeping it real as only you can. You are kind, generous, and strong. I really really like the first one; it speaks directly to my divorce experience. And annemariec, thanks for the link to that awesome ELO song. It’s just the thing to jump-start the discouraged heart.
    Much aloha to all,

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      If I have spoken to your heart today, in any way at all then my work here is worthwhile.
      Thank you for being part of our APJ family.
      Portia xx

  15. Francesca Belanger says:

    Wise words. Be kind to yourself. You make so many people happy, and how many of us can say that? bIg hugs to you.

  16. maggiecat says:

    If it helps, I desperately needed to read those sayings today. I’ve taken a sick day, which causes me terrible guilt, but I’m reacting to yesterday’s flu shot, and I…just need a break. I’m taking one. I feel better already. Thank you!

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      You’re welcome MaggieCat,
      It helps.
      Those flu vaccines can really hit you hard. Enjoy your day off, even though it’s guilt tinged and you’re not 100%. What better time to take some deep breaths…..
      Portia xx

  17. Tara says:

    It’s been a really hard week for me too, thanks for this uplifting post. I am such an expert on beating myself up… Need to follow Yoko’s advice. Glad you are on the upswing! It is dark, cold and rainy here, but I need to find a way to find my inner summer.

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Hey Tara,
      EVERYONE is an expert at beating themselves up. It seems to be something we are programmed with and we have to work to retrain ourselves into different habits.
      Big squishy cyber hugs from here. It would be so much better if we lived nearby, you could come over and cuddle up on the couch on the other wing from Jin and I’d make you tea & scones.
      You must be pretty freaking awesome or we couldn’t be friends.
      Portia xx

  18. Michelle U says:

    I am just here to tell you that you are great person and I think this is a great motivational article. You know why it is great? Because it’s 100% real. Many people, including myself, feel like that, and sometimes we just have to let go and take care of ourselves.

    Thank you for this article and thank you for this entire blog! I read each and one of the reviews I find in my inbox and I can tell you that they do brighten my day and they send me the impulse to never stop sniffing!

    You should know that you make my day better every time you post and for that I thank you, dear Portia!

  19. Marion says:


  20. Kandice says:

    Loved your post and hope you’re feeling better by now. I especially liked the first graphic you posted. Thanks for helping us all feel a little more hopeful!

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      By selfishly helping myself first I was able to help you. It’s funny how that works sometimes.
      Yes, feeling MUCH better.
      Portia xx

  21. Undina says:

    Dear Portia,

    Are you sure we’re not the same person? 😉

    I’m peeking out from my own heap of everything to send you a hug and express my support.

    We shall overcome! 🙂
    Undina recently posted…Brand Appreciation: Atelier CologneMy Profile

    • australianperfumejunkies says:

      Often times I have asked the exact same question, the way I know we are not is that you do those lovely graphs and are owned by Rusty. I am owned by Jin, a minor but important difference, though I do know both need feeding, patting and photographing regularly. I too give Jin a treat when people say nice things about him.
      Portia xx

  22. Sun Mi says:

    It seems as though things are overwhelming for many of us right now. I’ve barely been able to read any blogposts lately – but I’m so glad to have laid eyes on this one. Your post is so encouraging to all of us, I hope that you keep finding and developing your inner strength so that you can continue to shine brightly as well. xoxo

  23. Tim says:

    Hello gorgeous.
    Sorry to hear that you went through a rough patch and glad to know you are better now.
    Your situation sounded like mine for the last couple of months with my new job….
    Take care and keep being amazing.
    XXX… T

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