What To Do When You Are Overwhelmed

What To Do When You Are Overwhelmed

One of the greatest blessings I continually receive each time I go on retreat with a group of women is the reminder that we are all the same.

We may look different on the outside or portray different strengths or assets through our social media profiles, but at the end of the day, there is absolutely no denying that we are the same. We all have pain, we all have doubt, we all have worries and fears and insecurities.  We all have dreams, and aspirations, hopes, and desires. But currently, our society is functioning as to highlight our differences creating separation instead of supportive community.
When I sit in a circle, truly present with another human, it brings great relief and comfort to know that they, like me, experience the full spectrum of emotions and experiences that come with being alive at this specific time. It provides a feeling of tenderness and sweetness to see myself in their own eyes. I don’t feel like I need to pretend to have it all together or show up a certain way, and man, what a feeling to be free to be who I really am…messiness and all.
As I’ve openly shared through my social platforms, my dad unexpectedly passed away one month ago on Sunday and experiencing an overwhelm of emotions would be an understatement.

…I’ve felt joy reflecting back on his memory and pain at the loss of him being gone, I’ve felt strong and embodied thinking of the ways he lives on through me and small and weak wondering what life without him looks like moving forward, and I’ve felt so full of love being so deeply supported by family and friends, yet empty from a devastating loss of one of our own.

I shared all of this in the opening circle at my retreat a couple weeks ago and as I shared my heart so vulnerably I saw women nodding along, saying “me too.” Maybe they hadn’t lost their father but each one had their own unique story of loss and thankfully, coming back from that loss.
Today, inspired by recent events in my own life, what to do when you are in overwhelm.

Growing up my dad always used to remind me, “everything in moderation.” I’ve carried this reminder with me most of my life as a personal permission slip to be willing to try almost anything as long as it was, as he would say, in moderation. But as I’ve gotten older, and more responsibilities have fallen on my plate, living in moderation hasn’t always been possible.

When I met and fell in love with my husband, there was absolutely no moderation. I was consumed and overwhelmed by his presence; all I could do was think about him and talk about him and be with him. Moderation went out the door.

When I first learned about yoga and leaned on the practice to heal a broken heart and fragile spirit, I practiced every single day, for hours each day. I needed it for my healing and healing doesn’t happen in moderation. It needs to be committed to fully, without reservations as if it’s the most important thing in the world to you, because it is.

While I am not a new mother, I have many friends who are, and I see them absolutely consumed by the responsibility of caring for their child. I’ve worked with a handful of new mothers in my coaching practice and time and time again they are looking for balance. But here’s the thing, as a new mother I would propose that being out of balance IS balance. Caring for a newborn baby or toddler is all consuming and no one expects motherhood to be approached in moderation. It is messy and overwhelming and challenging. That’s OK. 

Grief is overwhelming. Like I mentioned above, I’ve experienced the spectrum of emotions every single day since his passing and in just a moment I can go from laughing to crying to anger, then joy, then pain, and confusion. It flows over me, and that’s OK. I won’t feel this way forever. But, if I am to suffer alone in silence it all feels a lot harder. So I share with friends, I tell stories, I write blogs, I post about him on social, and know there is someone, even if just one person, who feels comforted knowing that like them, I too am currently overwhelmed with grief. And that’s OK.

The problem with feeling overwhelmed, with grief, with motherhood, with art, with love, or any other facet of life, is that we often don’t give ourselves permission to be with it, to feel it. Because we look on Instagram and see everyone else seemingly happy and smiling and living this oh, so perfect life, and that makes us think something is WRONG with us. No, no, no, my dear friends, please don’t fall victim to that thinking.

Being alive, being human, in and of itself is overwhelming, and that’s OK. The antidote is community, connection, and being with others. And in turn, through connection with friends, family, and community who will reveal their hearts to you, you will come to see, that perhaps it’s not the overwhelm that is the problem, but the disconnection from sharing it openly and authentically with others.

I am very clear on one thing – my work in this world is to pull back the veil on the separation between each of us and facilitate a space where we can truly be together, heart to heart with our joy, pain, victories, and feelings of overwhelm. I invite you to join me.

Comment below and let me know how and where you need support in your life or email me directly at Carlyhealthcoach@gmail.com.

Loving each of you dearly and deeply.