It’s the end of Stress Awareness Month in April and we’re heading into Mental Health Month for May. Two perfect segues into my topic: overwhelm. Let's discuss.
What is Overwhelm?
The basic definition is: to be too much to deal with.
More importantly though, how do we experience overwhelm?
For me, overwhelm feels like an ascending tornado of energy that starts at your feet and consumes your whole body, with building force as it makes its way up to your head.
Here are some of the symptoms of overwhelm that I’ve noticed in myself and the experiences that others have described:
April is Stress Awareness month and I can’t think of a more stressful experience than being tired all the time. You drag yourself through your day, you have various aches and pains and you never get to your heartfelt, exciting goals.
You miss out and your days blend together until another year passes and you’re no closer to writing your book, starting your business or traveling to your dream locale.
I will mention the elephant in the room: get restful sleep, eat nourishing food, drink plenty of water, move your body and practice good sleep habits. For some of you reading this who have done all the obvious things and still feel exhausted and soul weary, read on.
As a sensitive, empathic person you feel things very deeply. Not only do you feel what you’re feeling with a great intensity, but you also feel what your family and friends are feeling. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that your first instinct...
Few things bring me bigger joy than tiny toys.
Have you ever picked up a miniature chair that a craftsperson lovingly designed with tiny tools?
There is something so incredible about the skill, precision and artistry of this profession. Is the Making of Tiny Things a course being offered somewhere? How does one even get into that?!
The best memory I have of my childhood is when my Papa who was a very gifted cabinet maker/woodworker presented me with a handmade dollhouse. I couldn’t wait to fill it with tiny furniture, tiny dolls and all the accoutrements of the little doll world.
I went with my Nana to a small shop in Gastown located in my hometown of Vancouver, Canada. We picked out tiny teacups and saucers, tiny chairs and a capsule wardrobe for the tiny occupants of my new dollhouse.
I can’t even count the amount of hours I spent picking things up in the dollhouse and “playing house” as little children...
There are a lot of sayings out there like “put yourself first” or “you have to love yourself before you can love someone else.” You may read these and wonder how do I know when I’m loving myself? How do I know where to start?
When you start the process of really loving yourself, you have to train your mind and body to recognize that love. For example, you can wake up every morning and tell yourself to “have a good day”, but once you get to work, your boss starts getting on to you for not sending out the memos yesterday or asking where his outline is for the big meeting this morning. If you let that affect you mentally, the “have a good day” mantra goes out the window.
Your mood can crash like a trail of dominoes: you get upset, you feel like you failed, you start looking at everything else you do wrong and before you know it you are feeling frustrated and angry at yourself. This is where you lose sight of being kind...
If you are like me and many others, then you either have struggled or you currently struggle with that little voice in your head telling you everything you are doing is wrong. It seems like no matter how great your day is going one small inconvenience can distort your whole mood for the rest of the day.
Your mood all comes down to your mindset and allowing yourself to feel that inner confidence no matter what is happening in your life. Maybe you made a typo on an important email and now your boss is upset with you. Do you let it affect the rest of your day or do you say “I made a mistake. How can I ensure this doesn’t happen again”? Throughout life, we will come up against roadblocks, both physically and mentally. It is our confidence in ourselves that will make or break us. If we let these roadblocks define us then over time we will continue to be unhappy, have self-judgment and put ourselves down.
For example, if you are in a toxic romantic relationship and...
The pandemic has been amplifying the feelings of isolation and loneliness for a lot of people. If you’re sensitive to begin with, this sense of disconnection can be overwhelming. That’s why I wanted to give you some tips on how to create more love and intimacy in your life (whether you’re alone or with someone).
What is Intimacy?
The classic definition is “closeness, familiarity”. We achieve closeness by allowing others and ourselves to be close. That can be said another way: not keeping people at arm’s length. During these times we can’t physically be close, but that is not what I’m referring to. Closeness and intimacy is a feeling of safety, common ground and sharing a moment together.
I understand that there are many factors that go into trusting someone to be close to you emotionally and in other ways. You may not feel ready to open your heart completely to someone or to family members. Yet.
Start small and pick your...
How do you deal with being single: a) when you don’t want to be b) COVID makes everything weird c) this was supposed to be your year?
Regardless of the fact that plenty of people are in the same boat as you, Hallmark Cards, Lindt Chocolate and De Beers Diamonds want you to feel like you’re the only alien who hasn’t found someone to love yet.Before we continue, I want you to know a few things.
First of all, this post is not meant to solve all your problems (or any of them actually).
And this post may not change your life (I am OPEN to someone contacting me after reading this and being like, “omg, your post changed my life!”)
What my intention is with this post is to make you laugh and lighten the heaviness in your heart for a few minutes, like the Cat Lawyer video did: “I’m on live. I’m not a cat.” (seriously, if you haven’t seen the video I’m talking about, after you read this post, go watch it)
Communication is Key
This may seem like an overly simplistic point, but communication is one thing we seem to struggle with as a society. All you have to do is take a look at the shouting matches on social media to see that we are not the best communicators. Now add in a struggle to be yourself and feel safe and loved as a people pleaser, and you have a recipe for anxious or avoidant communication.
What is Healthy Communication?
Communication is akin to expression. When we communicate, we are telling ourselves and others who we are. If we have a fear of showing up as ourselves, we are not going to be able to communicate authentically and in a healthy way.
To that point, healthy communication is about true awareness of self:
What do I want?
How can I express myself in the world that feels good?
What is my message?
What needs to be taken care of?
What are the Fears that Stop Authentic Communication?
1. Fear #1: If I say what I think, my friend will not like me and I will be rejected.
This fear is not just for high school students: people pleasers feel like this until they are old and grey. Because the number one goal of a people pleaser is to be liked, being liked takes precedence over being real. Depending on your level of fear as a people pleaser, you can play this out in an extreme way or a subtle way.
Subtle: You agree with your friend when she suggests restaurants, movies or activities because you have an unspoken agreement that you don’t disagree with your friend. You are able to express your emotions and have honest conversations otherwise.
Extreme: You are friends with someone who organizes and runs the whole premise of the relationship. In other words, your friend sets the pace, mood and context for everything. You don’t express true feelings and the friendship is one-sided and you feel unsupported.
2. Fear #2: My friend will get...
You Are Too Overwhelmed by Other People
What I know to be true as a Healer who Empowers People Pleasers to love themselves and have loving relationships is that People Pleasers are very intuitive. In fact, they have highly developed abilities as an empath and feel other people’s emotions so much that they are practically living inside other people's bodies. The problem is their intuition gets drowned out by other people’s emotions and experiences; they spend much of their time getting back to themselves, if at all.
You Listen to the Saboteur in Your Head
Another issue is that People Pleasers have a history of being made wrong or their feelings and experiences have been denied. They internalize an inner critic that is so loud it becomes the only voice they follow for guidance. In other words, they follow the voice that says, “you can never have love” instead of the gentle voice that says, “you deserve to be cherished.”
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