3 Tips to Feel Powerful When You’re Manic

Manic Panic

One Sunday afternoon we said goodbye to my husband and father to our 3 kids. We hugged and kissed and said many I’ll miss you’s.

And once his truck left the driveway, I took a deep breath. He would be gone for several weeks, and I was left to hold down the fort, and the lawn, and the kids, and my job, and the laundry, and…

It was time to get to work. I looked around the garage and mentally noted every tool, table, and block of wood that was out of place and covered in a layer of sawdust. I heaved the worktable from the middle of the garage floor to the back wall and started organizing and sweeping. Then I threw a load of laundry into the washer, started scrubbing the shower walls that had been neglected for too long, and I ordered the gardening tools I’d saved in my Amazon favorites last year, determined to start that garden before Spring. Time to meal-prep! But look at those browning bananas. I might as well mix up some banana muffins while I’m in the kitchen…

I leapt from one task to another, many times leaving items incomplete or getting distracted by the next thing that needed my attention. Then I hit a wall. 

Mommy needs a break! I shouted to my kids as I collapsed onto my bed in exhaustion. I heard the beep of the Playstation turning on. Knowing I’d be out of commission for a while, they took advantage of this time to play video games. My back ached. My fingernails were dirty and peeling. I was hungry and thirsty, but too tired to get a glass of water. My husband had been gone for less than five hours. I sighed, physically witnessing the fall-out of my manic panic. 


Have you ever felt manic panic? There might be a trigger, like the realization that your partner will be gone for an extended period…or something smaller like a change in routine. When you’re in the throws of manic panic, you may feel a burst of energy and motivation to get things done, or a thousand things done, all at once. 

But like most highs, this mania is followed by a crash. You may feel physically, mentally or emotionally exhausted. This isn’t just from the physical activities. It’s a sense of losing, and attempting to regain, control.

Whether you use this trigger to clean your house, start a new project, or begin barking orders at your team, you may feel an insatiable need to gain control when something has thrown you off course.

Turning Control to Power

When you need a sense of control, it can come with a false sense of power. Authoritarian power happens when you take control of a situation in a vacuum. Cleaning the house or deciding to pivot your entire team to a new project can result in undesirable fall-out. 

You may feel a sense of control when cleaning your house, but the exhaustion that follows isn’t typically accompanied by satisfaction. Manic panic continues to pull at you, even in the exhaustive state, convincing you that the work is still not done. The work is never done.


3 Tips to Feel Powerful When You’re Manic

So how can you turn this energetic mania into power? If you can be self-aware that this energy is bubbling up, you can more mindfully direct it towards the real priorities and enlist the support of your team to drive the most important projects forward. 

Tip #1: Move your body. The initial burst of manic panic can be shed with a quick walk around the block. Moving your body helps direct the energy so it isn’t caught inside of you, buzzing to get out.

Tip #2: Make a list. When your head is buzzing with all the things that need to get done, it’s often helpful to get them out of your head and onto paper. Much like moving the energy through your body, you can move your thoughts through written words.

Tip #3: Enlist support. Once you have the excess energy shed and remaining energy focused, don’t make decisions in a vacuum. Enlist the support of your family or your team to tackle the most important things that need to get done. 

I know it’s hard. I’m right there with you. 


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