Dear EFAP: swamped

Thank you to those who have written to “Dear EFAP” for input on your dilemmas. As you are aware, we read every inquiry that comes in but we are only able to print a small selection of responses.  Our “pithy” answers are modeled after the lighter hearted Dear Abby style and are grounded in common sense.  If your issues require a more personalized level of support please call Employee Wellness/EFAP (1-800-505-4929) and we can confidentially book you a counselling appointment with a senior level therapist.

We welcome all inquiries – please submit these to All printed responses use the anonymous descriptor that you sign your inquiry with and do not reveal any identifying information.  Our goal is to support you through insight and common sense.

Below is our response to the next selection – enjoy!


Right now, I am feeling so overworked that I cannot breathe.  I want to work and do a good job, and I feel honoured to be asked to do it, but the volume is just too much and I am sinking. Help! What should I do?

– Swamped

Dear Swamped

I am so sorry that you are experiencing what you are experiencing. It is great that you are reaching out.

The first thing that I would encourage you to do is to take your work load issues to your leader. Sit down with them and see if they can help you sort out some realistic deadlines to space out the work in light of the current volume. Some things you might be able to stop doing, and your leader may be able to assist you in parceling out some of the work to others.

You do not have to do this on your own. It is great that you are so passionate and dedicated, but we also want you to take care of yourself. Letting your supervisor know where you are at can really help, as they have the ability to help you to create a workable plan. Good luck, and if we can help at all with support as you navigate through this issue, give us a call at 1-800-505-4929.

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The advice offered in this column is meant to be used as general guidance based on the facts provided. The opinions or views expressed should not be relied on as treatment or counselling services. If you are a VCH staff member and find yourself in need of counselling or support, please contact Employee Wellness/EFAP toll free at 1 (800)505-4929 or (604) 872-4929, your family doctor, or another appropriately trained and qualified specialist.

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