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Glow with the Flow – Overwhelm

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Welcome to this quarterly edition of the Wellness Blog – I have got some amazing people contributing to this one!
 
 
I chose this the theme of overwhelm for this blog simply because every time I have mentioned it in my own blogs or social media posts, it seems to resonate with so many people. Everyone has some experience, first hand or otherwise, it would seem. And along with that comes many different ways to cope.
I use aromatherapy in many aspects of my life but when I’m feeling overwhelmed – oddly – it doesn’t always come to mind. I would love to tell you that it’s the first thing I think of but it isn’t – I’m not sure there’s room in my head to think rationally about what I need. Isn’t that the definition of overwhelm? Not sure, but it’s how it feels for me. However, thankfully, I work with these precious oils most days so it’s not long before I get a whiff of something that will instantly remind me of what I need to do. Which is to breathe, and breathing in with these gorgeous aromas around me really does help. I’m instantly calmer and having the smell to focus on cuts down on the mental chatter that I often get caught up in.
 
Lavender is universally accepted as ‘the calming and relaxing one’ and I feel that because of that it gets a bit of an eye roll when it’s mentioned. Yeah, yeah, I know that’s supposed to be a good one, but what else is there? Such a shame as this oil is a magnificent all rounder – it has so many amazing uses.
Lavender is used for sleep and insomnia, anxiety and depression, for burns and sore skin, to improve mood and reduce stress, to help headaches and so much more.
 
In addition to using the powerhouse that is lavender, I am a citrus girl through and through (I may have mentioned that once or twice?) and so I am always reaching for a lemongrass oil, or sweet orange – but mostly, you’ve guessed it, bergamot! This amazing oil has a lovely property in that it is both uplifting and relaxing all at once – what a lovely state to be in don’t you think?
 
Taking just a moment every morning (or whenever you need it) to inhale your chosen oil/blend/pulse point can make the world of difference. It is a wonderful practice to reinforce that you are in charge of your day, your choices, your feelings. Pretty much everything we do is a choice and this is a great thing to remember when we feel overwhelmed. Making small positive steps towards getting things under control can have a huge impact – just knowing I’m doing something within my power to make things better gives me a boost.
 
I’m sure you will get some amazing advice, tips and insight in the following words from some wonderful contributors. Enjoy the read.
Please welcome Jack, the founder of Yoga With LaRue. Jack runs many classes in Beccles and the surrounding area and has just released his amazing affirmation cards. Check out the link at the end of his post!
 
In this blog post we’re discussing ‘overwhelm’ – defined as having ‘a strong emotional effect on.’ Who hasn’t suffered at the cold clutches of ‘overwhelm’? I certainly have, and I’m a yoga teacher. (Please don’t believe yoga teachers are always cool, calm & collected. We’re not. We’re just like you!)
If you know me, you’ll know that I love sliding into insta DMs. How do you think I got onto this blog? Before I can offer some wise words and nuggets of advice, I think it’s best to provide some background to little ol’ me – prepare yourselves. Prior to my becoming a 500-hour yoga teacher I used to work in property as a trainee commercial surveyor. In short (you’ve got places to be, I’m sure), this job ruined my sense of being, my joy, and dampened my light. In other words, it overwhelmed me. In every sense of the word. Fast forward to now and I’m a yoga teacher, working for myself. Sure, I still suffer with overwhelm when I have more classes in a week than I bargained for, and my other job gets a bit on top of me, or another light bulb blows. And we’ve all had days where we got out the wrong side of the bed, stubbed our toes, spilled our tea over our clean white shirt and then got stuck in traffic! However, I believe I now have the tools and the awareness to acknowledge the overwhelm as it is creeping in from under the bed and slow its unwelcome energy in its tracks.
So – how do we deal with overwhelm? Being completely honest here friends, I think I’m inherently quite a cynical person. Gratitude previously didn’t come naturally to me. Nor did I find myself looking for the POSITIVES in negative situations. Now I’m that annoying person saying to friends ‘okay, but what’s the positive?’ or ‘Have you written in your gratitude journal today?’. Stay with me here, but I can honestly say that when I’m feeling overwhelmed or ‘in a bad place’ mentally I turn to gratitude and positive affirmations to stop overwhelm and bring some light back into my day.
 
I acknowledge that trying to find positive things in bad situations sometimes can feel overwhelming itself. The situation isn’t helped either by someone acting holier than thou telling you to see butterflies and rainbows and ‘let it go’. But please, I’m begging you now friends, try find ONE small thing to be grateful for. If you’re outside on a walk, can you be grateful for the sunshine? Be grateful for the sound of the birds in the trees? Can you be grateful for that sandwich you just ate? For your upcoming date with that cute guy (manifesting this one, thank you). Or maybe, in the clutches of overwhelm the biggest and brightest gratitude giver is the awareness that overwhelm is here and you’re not spiralling as you may have done previously. Let’s all celebrate the small wins!
 
Another amazing practice I’ve used for myself and in my yoga classes is repeating positive affirmations or mantras. I read once that the most important and powerful words we can say to ourselves are ‘I am’. How many times a day do we say ‘Oh, I am stupid!’ ‘Oh, I am [insert negative comment here].’ Surprise, surprise, our brain is listening and it’s absorbing all of these negative comments as gospel. Let’s flip that concept on its head then. If our brains accept negative lies as gospel, can they, therefore, accept positive affirmations as gospel. Yes, they can.
 
Before I started practicing this myself, I honestly thought it was nonsense. ‘Woo woo’, wishy washy nothing that was never going to help me. Imagine my surprise when I realised it was working. Below you’ll find 5 positive affirmations to say when you feel overwhelmed. You can of course change and amend them to fit your situation – be bold and brave and choose your own empowering affirmations!
 
1. I am overcoming challenges and obstacles with ease.
2. I am confident.
3. I am powerful.
4. I am the architect of my life.
5. I am achieving my goals.
 
Repeat these to yourself (out loud or in your head) as many times as you need. When I first started, I’d listen to the recordings almost like a meditation every morning. Then I began playing them as background noise – our subconscious is always listening whether we’re consciously aware or not. Now I find myself repeating them to myself when I’m walking the dog, cooking dinner, or even during a yoga class when I’m having a moment of overwhelm. If you feel a little insecure about playing them out loud, or maybe you’re not into sitting meditations, try repeating them to yourself as you drift off you to sleep. Or play a recording (see link below) as you’re falling asleep. As I mentioned above whether we’re consciously listening is irrelevant. Our subconscious is always listening, absorbing, and learning. Let’s give it something positive to learn!
Positive affirmations have honestly helped me more than cynical me ever thought they could. So much so that I’ve created my own 20 mantra cards. Let me know if you would LOVE to hear more about them via my Instagram page @yogawithlarue! I also have positive affirmation meditations on my website https://sudor.fit/gym/La-Rue-Yoga and am happy to give you 40% off monthly or an annual membership with the code – LARUEYOGA40.
 
It really is the small things that make the world go round. And, in my experience, small moments of gratitude and positive reinforcement have, without a doubt, had an amazing impact on my life. Why not try it for yourself?
 
Instagram – @yogawithlarue
Let’s welcome Andy Thornton again this edition – a cognitive behavioural therapist and my husband! Andy has lots of experience in dealing with this very subject.
It’s not uncommon today to hear people talk about being overwhelmed and certainly as a therapist it’s a very common word to hear. People who come to see me will very often walk in feeling completely overwhelmed with life. They feel that there is so much going on, so many things that are calling on them, pulling them in different directions, and then they feel they are failing at all of them. When life builds up like this it can be very difficult to know what to do and which way to turn.
It really is a case of not being able to see the wood for the trees.
 
One of the first things we do in therapy is to gently walk through all those things that are going on, and which have become squashed together into one big ball of overwhelm. We take it all apart so that each issue becomes visible in its own right. This makes it so much easier to appreciate that not everything is as big, difficult, or heavy as it perhaps seems at first. When there is some clarity about what exactly is going on, and which issues are really the heavy ones that need to be addressed it is so much easier to take a step back and focus on what needs to be done. When all you can see is a single huge problem that you call ‘life’ it’s impossible to find any single thing you can do that will make it better. It’s only by gaining clarity and breaking things apart that feelings of overwhelm can be understood and overcome.
 
Once you have some clarity the next step is to decide where to focus your efforts. There will usually be one issue that is having the biggest impact on you. Often if you can get to grips with one big issue, and lessen its impact, you will find there is a sort of domino effect and one or more of your other issues are likely to be positively impacted in some way, even if it’s simply that they appear to be less overwhelming. Making a difference in one area is a great way to increase your confidence that you can deal with other things as well, and from a cognitive perspective that’s really helpful because it counters something called magnification of the negative. This is when we magnify our difficulties, making them into something bigger than they really are, increasing our sense of anxiety in the process.
 
Working in this way, and bringing your attention to bear on the most important issue you are facing, means that you are less likely to feel overwhelmed because you can clearly see everything that is going on, and you have decided where you are going to start. In doing this it becomes easier to let go of some of those smaller concerns because you know you will get to them at the right time, if they still need to be addressed. There is a really helpful mantra that I learned from a friend of mine who is a private pilot. If things get overwhelming when you are flying there is a risk that you’ll become so caught up in thinking about other things that you forget to keep on flying the plane. So when things get a bit tricky the mantra to remember is ‘Just do the next thing’. This is perfect for times when we feel overwhelmed in life. What is the very next thing you need to do? That’s all you need, find it, then do it. Then you do the next thing, then the next after that and so on. In this way you steadily and systematically work though everything that you need to, all the while staying in control and avoiding becoming mentally tangled up in a spaghetti bowl of ‘stuff’ that can be so challenging.
 
Please meet Kelly – she is the co-founder of a wonderful skincare brand I have ben using for a long time now, Husk and Seed. Kelly and Wendy make beautiful vegan, cruelty free, kind to the planet and your skin award winning products and are always on hand with questions or queries. I urge you to check them out!
Skin care is self care!
As qualified therapists for both body & mind, we know that a good skincare ritual is as beneficial for your mental health as it is your skin health. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of using Husk & Seed Skincare, you will know that we are more than just a practical range of products that improve the look and feel of your skin. We are also about mood-boosting moments of me-time!
 
When skin looks and feels good, we tend to feel better about ourselves.
Having troublesome skin can really knock our confidence and devalue our self-worth. Caring for your skin in a gentle way using 100% natural products can help to reduce common skin problems such as acne, eczema, dryness, redness, pigmentation and oiliness.
Apply some mindfulness to your skincare routine
Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment and not overly reactive. It’s a wonderful tool for people who suffer with anxiety who can often feel stuck in a mindset of worry and stress. A skincare ritual to look forward to can give you some space to focus on the moment and break out of the worry spiral. This is particularly useful at night-time when anxiety can increase.
Being mindful during a skincare ritual might look something like this: Take a deep breath and start by looking at yourself carefully in the mirror. Examine your skin and all its features: dryness, oiliness, puffiness, acne, blackheads, sore areas. By paying attention to the look and feel of your skin you can recognise what your skin needs that day. Some days it will be a simple cleanse, sometimes a face mask, at other times extra hydration.
Also, be mindful of what you are putting on your skin. Check your ingredients labels for any ingredients that may not be great for your health.
 
Pampering the skin releases mood-boosting chemicals.
Physical relaxation sends your brain the message that it’s time to calm down, reducing our fight-or-flight stress response. By taking time to massage your products into your skin either with your fingers or a massage tool, you are reducing stress, boosting circulation, refining the jawline, reducing puffiness and improving your sense of well-being. Here is a simple facial massage that you might like to follow: Making sure you have clean hands, apply a little bit of Overnight Replenishing Oil or Botanical Day Oil to your face and on your fingertips. This will create a little slip and prevent you dragging your skin as you move around your face. Tracing the heart-shape of your face start in the centre of your forehead, push down quite firmly or use circular motions to ease tension.
Do what feels right, linger longer on one spot if it feels good, move on if it’s too sore. If you suffer from sinusitis, you might find it helpful to press either side of your nose where there is a lymph drainage spot as this can release the pressure. Just 3 or 4 minutes of this treatment has so many benefits to your skin and mind.
Avoid being overly practical
Take time to find skincare that you love using. This brings little moments of joy in the day and something to look forward to. Some things to consider when choosing skincare are: does it feel good going onto your skin? Does it smell pleasant? Does your skin feel good after? Sometimes it’s the smallest pleasures that bring the most joy!
 
Find Husk and Seed here –
Instagram – @huskandseedskincareuk
Please meet Amanda – blondie and brownie extraordinaire! The array of flavours this girl comes up with is pretty special! Amanda wears so many hats and was very keen to share her experiences on this topic – this contribution will 100% help someone reading so please absorb it all!
When I saw Sam advertise that the theme this time for her blog was ‘Overwhelm’ I knew that I wanted to contribute; if only as a personal way to communicate and navigate my thoughts because I feel like if there’s only one word you can use to describe yourself mine would be overwhelmed.
 
I can feel the panic and my heart feeling like it is beating out of my chest when I am overwhelmed and that adds fuel to an anxiety cycle, which can feel like a vicious circle. Over the years I have learned to recognise the symptoms earlier and can put into place some strategies to help me out of that cycle, but it has taken a lot of time and a lot of therapy to do so!
For me anxiety and overwhelmed seem to go hand in hand but that isn’t the case for everyone. Feeling overwhelmed can affect anyone, at any stage of their life.
 
Being able to prioritise tasks is key for me to keep on top of those overwhelming feelings beginning. It doesn’t always work but I think it keeps me more in control. Before I ran my small business I was a primary school teacher and the workload is very similar in terms of you don’t finish at 5pm, you are being pulled in different directions and for every one job you cross off the to do list, another three are added. That adds pressure because you don’t ever feel like you’ve ‘finished’ for the day and you have to learn to be ok with that. But what you do have to do is prioritise and from that long list set two/three tasks that have to be done today and then take the win that you’ve achieved those ones.
 
My life revolves around a list. Sometimes I am so overwhelmed at night laying in bed trying to sleep I have to make a list and get it all out of my brain and then I feel like I can switch off. When I feel like everything is too much my list consists of the tinniest things like make the bed, unload the dishwasher, print postage labels. Things that I do daily without thinking about but in those times I need to feel like I am accomplishing things to survive.
Running a small business is tough. You don’t have one job you have all of the jobs from marketing to sales, production to accounts and everything in between and by no means are you an expert in all of them. I have learned over the years to ask for help, which I used to see as a sign that I had failed and wasn’t independent but it really makes such a difference to receive some help and nothing bad has happened because I asked someone to help me. I listened to a podcast with Richard Branson last year and he said that he wasn’t an expert in many things but he would find the people that were. Hearing that made such a difference to my mindset. I know his empire is on a different scale but the principle behind it makes perfect sense.
 
When I do take a break and book some time off (although not that frequent) I now switch off all of my notifications on my phone and iPad. Social media, emails, the website sales app and even my business banking app. I walk away from it all as I can find the constant notifications can increase that feeling of being overwhelmed and then the purpose of having a holiday is ruined. I have also now drawn a line at the time of the day in which I respond to message on social media. Unless it’s an evening that I have set aside to work then if a message comes in past 6pm it will be responded to the next day. I used to think I had to respond instantly and I’d be in bed at 10pm messaging a customer who wanted to place an order. I have had to set some boundaries and I now don’t see it as unreasonable that a message sent passed 6pm has to wait until the next day.
 
Being reflective is also a tool that I have when things feel too much, to try and get to the root issue because for me there’s usually one thing that is causing my panic and then everything else is adding to it. Once I can find the root cause I then try to work out a plan to solve that particular problem or to get a certain task done. There’s also the conversation I have in my head to ascertain which of my thoughts are rational and which are irrational. That’s the only think I learned from a CBT course years ago that was of any use for me.
 
To round up all of my thoughts I would say that you need to find out what works for you to manage these feelings. It will take some time to find that out but it’s an investment you can’t afford to not make.
 
Instagram – @browniebakessuffolk
 
Please meet Robyn. I first met Robyn at a Wellness Event and I just knew by looking at her she was a yogi – she exuded calmness in a way I’d never seen before, even if she wasn’t feeling it. A beautiful person inside and out!
Navigating Feeling Overwhelmed – A Yogi’s Perspective.
 
I clearly remember the overwhelming feelings of anxiety and uncertainty as I stepped into my first yoga class. Where do I put my mat? Am I wearing the right clothes? Am I supposed to stretch first? What the heck is a downward facing dog??
 
Walking into that studio alone was one of the most overwhelming situations I have willingly put myself in. But that studio quickly ended up becoming my sanctuary, the place I went when life felt too much, too overwhelming. For me and many, many others, yoga is a place, a moment, a movement and a tool where, when life seems too much to handle, we can find some respite.
 
Yoga teaches us that stress and feelings of being overwhelmed often arise from the disconnection between mind and body. The fast pace of life, the demands of work and personal responsibilities and that constant pressure to achieve more, all contribute to this imbalance. On the mat, we learn to slow down, to listen to our body and to anchor awareness to the breath to help our minds stay present in the moment.
As a yoga teacher, I’m in a privileged position to witness the transformation that occurs when students embrace yoga to counteract feeling overwhelmed. Powerful practices such as Pranayama (breathing techniques), setting intentions or using mantras, as well as physical challenges are all great ways to calm body and mind. During practices I see foreheads unfrown, shoulders soften, legs stop twitching and some deep, stress releasing sighs.
Asanas, yogic postures, are the most helpful way for me. Let’s take, for example, Vrikshasana (Tree Pose). From standing, take one foot to the inside of the opposite thigh or calf. Notice the sense of grounding to the earth through the standing foot. Notice how your breath naturally calms to help find your balance. Notice how the focus of the mind moves away from that to-do list and turns inwards. How your gaze fixes to one spot to provide a sense of stability. And how perhaps, over time, you can reach your arms and lift your gaze skywards, like a tree with its anchoring roots and its branches growing tall. We might sway, we might fall. But we anchor those roots and we get back up.
 
By connecting our body, mind and breath, we find a pathway to calm. To override the overwhelm. And to be in the present moment.
 
Instagram – @asana.sessions
Please meet Jo! She is the owner founder of Nudge Boutique, a Norfolk business and makes amazing skin, body and haircare. Jo is an expert in mature skin and her blogs are always well worth a read.
Breaking the Cycle of Overwhelm
Like many women in midlife, I am part of the ‘sandwich generation’ which means we are caring for elderly parents and our children or grandchildren simultaneously. Many of us are still at work and experiencing symptoms of the menopause, all of which can easily lead to stress and overwhelm.
I understand that creating space and time to deal with those feelings is difficult when you are being pulled in all directions. Oddly enough, I didn’t really start dealing with mine until I was diagnosed with chronic pain and Fibromyalgia.
 
Stress is believed to play a major role in flare of fibromyalgia and chronic pain, so it forced me to work at keeping my mind and body in a rested state as much as possible.
Along the way, I have figured out a few key triggers that I hope may help you break your own cycle of overwhelm.
 
Boundaries
A boundary is a limit or a line that we won’t go beyond. When we say yes to something when we really mean no, one of the feelings that warn us we have crossed a boundary is feeling overwhelmed.
Other types of emotions that signal our boundaries are being crossed are anger and resentment. So, if I start to feel overwhelmed, angry or resentful, I remember that this is proof my boundaries are working as they should, and I need to say no or renegotiate what I can and can’t do.
 

Permission
When I was at the peak of overwhelm, it was because I wasn’t taking time to rest. Learning to be a Natural Skincare Formulator taught me how to step away from everything and everyone and spend some time doing something that was positive and created feelings of relaxation and joy.
I also learned to feel okay about taking time to enjoy a relaxing bath or face mask without feeling guilty and as if I should be doing something else! When I finally felt ok about taking time out like this, I realised the only one that was ever stopping me from doing it, was me! It was never my circumstances or other people!
 
Community
Chronic pain can be isolating, which can lead to feelings of overwhelm because we are cut off from help and support. I am an introvert, so my natural tendency when I feel like that is to pull away, and that can create a vicious cycle. Sometimes, the answer isn’t to withdraw and turn inwards, but to do the opposite.
Spending time focusing on helping others, going for a coffee with a friend etc. can really help lift the mood and feel connected again.
 
New Things
They say that feeling overwhelmed is the body’s way of asking us to slow down, but I think overwhelm can happen for a myriad of reasons and that they are not all negative. I think we can feel overwhelmed after something new and exciting has appeared in our lives too!
During happier times, it is easy to thrive off the excitement and doing too much all at once, but eventually the body needs to rest. It can’t sustain excitement, just as it can’t sustain too much negativity and toxicity.
 
Busy Seasons
There will always be times when life demands that we push through, but it should never become a way of life. For me the answer has been pacing, even when I want to, or can do more, I have had to learn to set achievable goals and tell myself to slow down!
 
Life Changes
Any event of series of events that brings sudden change, especially the unexpected and unwanted can leave us feeling out of control and overwhelmed.
 
In a world that teaches women to be strong and ‘you got this’, sometimes it’s nice to hear that you don’t always have control over everything that happens to you. Sometimes, we don’t have the answers, or the resources, the power or ability to change events, what then?
When life gets too much and too overwhelming, I find one tool that helps me is to ‘act like an ant’. Ants pick up one grain of sand from its work site to move it to another, and it is a helpful way to behave while navigating through a sea of uncertainty. Unless there is a need to plan something, I stop looking too far up ahead take one day at a time. I focus on one task, normally the most important thing on my agender for that day, and when that is done, I move on to the next. By letting go of what I can’t change, and doing what I can, I feel more in control.
 
Whether you are spiritual or not, the wisdom of the Serenity prayer from Alcohol Anonymous comes to mind… ‘God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference’. Surrendering what we can’t change can really help move us out of overwhelm.
 
Instagram – @nudge_boutique
Please meet Teri – an amazing woman with an equally amazing story. Parts of this will resonate with so many of us, this is one you will want to share with friends – there is a way forwards if you have suffered like this!
 
When I saw Sam ask for small business contributors for her blog to write something about the theme of overwhelm, I instantly jumped on it because I feel like overwhelm has been the single most consistent emotion in my life, and is really responsible for how I’ve ended up where I am today.
I spent my entire childhood being called ‘highly-strung’ by most of my older relatives and family friends. I was an excitable, exuberant child who really seemed to feel every emotion deeply; both the good and the bad. If I was happy, I was really happy, but if I was sad or angry, it was more like depression or rage. Everything was extreme because I felt it all so deeply. I don’t remember a time I was ever not overwhelmed by emotions, but as a child I just learnt to live with it and didn’t really care- or I suppose, understand- that that wasn’t everyone’s experience. It wasn’t until I was older- a teenager/young adult- that I had a realisation that not everyone finds life so overwhelming as often as I did. People all around me seemed to be able to handle stress and emotions without it consuming them, so I spent a lot of time acting and pretending that I was that way too. I used to laugh in university, and leave my essays to write until about 24 hours before the due date. Everyone used to cringe, and I’d say, “I thrive under pressure”. In actuality, I found my endless list of assignments daunting and would be overwhelmed, bury my head in the sand, and then surge into overdrive and a different type of overwhelm to get them done at the last minute, because the idea of not completing them was overwhelming. Rinse and repeat, and I can see now where I began to become addicted to the rise of adrenaline and cortisol. I did, somehow, manage to complete all of the assignments, and I graduated with decent marks and began my career as a teacher when I immigrated to the UK from Canada. There were hardly any teaching jobs available in my province when I graduated university; I applied to over 60 posts before I made the decision to move, and all of those posts had at least 100+ applicants. Even when I decided to move to the UK, I did it all incredibly quickly; I had an interview in mid-November, applied for the visa in late November, and had moved my whole life to be teaching in London by 3rd January. All of which, as I complained constantly, was incredibly stressful and overwhelming. At this point in my life, if I wasn’t overwhelmed naturally, I seemed to be determined to create stress to have something to be overwhelmed about.
I spent 9 years in the classroom, and although I absolutely loved my job, I did find it very overwhelming. Most of that is down to me; there are ways to deal with stress, but I hadn’t learnt any (besides pretending I could handle it when I couldn’t), and I had spent so much of my life being constantly overwhelmed and stressed that I didn’t know how to be any other way. It wasn’t until I became physically unwell with an overactive thyroid, which my doctor was very clear in explaining is hereditary but triggered by stress, that I realised there had to be another way, because I couldn’t carry on like this. My mind had felt scrambled for ages, but it wasn’t until my physical body started reacting to the stress I was putting myself under that I began to take things seriously enough to consider a lifestyle change. Although medications helped some physical symptoms, the biggest battles were still in my head.
I began searching for an alternative way to get to the root of my struggles. I started meditating, using crystals and essential oils and reiki, and mentally I transformed. Essential oils provided me instant calm, crystals made me feel supported, and reiki and meditation helped me clear my mind and turn off the constant chatter of anxiety. I was, for the first time in my life, able to be introspective and think before I reacted, and wade through the tidal wave of emotions I felt to ascertain what was a fact, and what was a story I was creating for myself. Reiki and meditation gave me the space to breathe and reflect; reiki, for me, is like a warm hug of comfort at the end or beginning of a day, and meditation for me helps me label my emotions and work through situations. Slowly but surely, the overwhelm that once ruled my every move was now less and less frequent. It still exists, of course, but naturally rather than a necessary emotion that I need- or crave- to function.
 

Now, I am excited to be starting my holistic business which has meditations, reiki, crystal healing and spiritual life coaching on offer. All of the tools I use are what helped me to be able to remove myself from the stress-addicted cycle I was in, and it is my hope that my offerings can help others in the same way: in a whole way. Ironically, being overwhelmed is what gave me the confidence and grace to start my business, and I’ll always be grateful for the times where I was overwhelmed, because now I know how good it feels to be able to navigate heavy emotions healthily. Despite the fact that I am starting my business from scratch, and should be very overwhelmed, it still doesn’t compare to the daily rollercoaster I used to ride, and I know that my holistic tools have really helped me on that journey.

https://holisticallyteri.co.uk

Instagram – @holisticallyteri

Please meet Amanda. You may remember this lovely lady from the last blog – this time she is back with some amazing practical advice for you. I would love for you to try this and let us know how you get on!
 
Overcoming Overwhelm With 2 Quick Kinesiology Tips!
 
Feeling overwhelmed by life’s demands and challenges? Trust me you are not alone and I work with many women who are struggling with this; women who feel flooded with a huge number of tasks, responsibilities, information and emotions. Unfortunately, overwhelm, whether constant or occasional, can very quickly lead to a feeling of anxiety and being unable to cope, due to the sheer volume or intensity of what they are experiencing.
 
As a Touch for Health Kinesiologist and Hypnotherapist, I have a number of techniques and balances that I use in sessions to help clients conquer overwhelm. However there are also simple tools that you can use yourself as often as you need, and I would like to share 2 specific actions and tips to help you instil calm and balance, reduce stress and regain a feeling of control making your day more manageable.
1. Emotional Stress Release: This simple technique helps release emotional tension stored in the body’s energy system.
Sit comfortably, place two fingers of each hand on your forehead just above the eyebrows, apply gentle pressure. (see picture) Take slow deep breaths as you hold this position for about 2 minutes. You will encourage blood flow to the front of the brain and coordinate the right and left hemispheres of the brain to help logical thought, calm meridian energy and alleviate emotional overwhelm and improve focus.
2. Hook Ups is another technique that can be helpful for alleviating overwhelm and reducing stress. This exercise aims to promote relaxation and balance in the body and mind. Here’s how to do it:
 
Sit in a comfortable position with your feet flat on the floor. Cross your ankles. Extend your arms straight in front of you, with the backs of your hands facing each other. Cross one wrist over the other and interlace your fingers.
 
Bring your intertwined hands up toward your chest, or just keep them in your lap.
While in this position, take slow, deep breaths for a few minutes. Focus on your breath and try to let go of any tension or stress you may be feeling (see picture). Hook Ups help calm the nervous system and restore a sense of balance and relaxation.
 
These exercises are Kinesiology self-help tools I often give to my clients, remember, for optimal results, consult a trained practitioner who will use the full range of Touch for Health Kinesiology techniques in a balance session.
 
Instagram – @amandasavory.hypnosis
 
Please meet Freyja – another returning contributor with yet more knowledge to share. I love this piece as it starts to de-mystify astrology for me! Enjoy the read!
 
Using astrology to combat overwhelm
 
What do you think astrology can be used for? Do you think the study of the stars is really something so utilitarian? Or perhaps it’s more divine than that? Looking back over life to this point, all forty years of it, the biggest transitions have been overwhelming for me. Beginning and ending romantic relationships, getting engaged, rehoming a much loved dog, moving house too many times to mention, getting married and having children, becoming a step mum, living through a pandemic, breastfeeding and co-sleeping. The list could go on. Not being great with change (but always loving the end result once the journey is complete) something inside of me has learned coping mechanisms over the years. Those began with simple things like taking a bath, reading books, getting lost in a subject of research and wonder and learning more about, well, let’s be honest, me, as a person, as a being, as a spirit and a soul. But there was a problem. Struggling to marry logical with ethereal has regularly taunted my sense of self. On the one hand I need practical, tangible, “real-world” proof that something “works.” The other hand, the one that has become disproportionately large over the years, allows a deep knowing that some experiences, many experiences in fact, are driven and affected by a force greater than the physical structures in front of me or the people I invite into my life to be friends, lovers and family.
Planetary study reassures in a joyfully logical way with the sheer mass of astronomical data from which astrologers work. Like a processing plant for recycled paper, we take a mash of raw ingredients/ data and form it into literature and language that translates to the human experience. In many ways, astrology is tangible and ethereal, logical and divine. And I find that very calming. Adding rational, logical, mathematics to the unexplained powers of the universe, the divine support of the universe, just helps me to contain the (sometimes overwhelming) sheer expansiveness of life itself and the myriad situations we find ourselves in where we might want a little re-assurance. The astrological Moon, Mercury and Venus and how they show up in our lives can be explored for deeper knowledge about ourselves via websites such as www.astro.com or www.astro-seek.com Emotional overwhelm is connected to the moon as this governs our emotions and our daily habits. Mental overwhelm is connected to Mercury as this governs the way we think and process information as well as how we take in and give out information. Tangible overwhelm is connected to Venus as this connects to our finances, material possessions and the status of our relationships. With a better understanding of these 3 psychological archetypes our individual sense of overwhelm and calm balance can transmute our lived experience into something far more tangible and manageable than simply feeling all at sea.
 
If you would like to explore your own astrology further there are plenty of resources for self-study at the drop of a Google search. Another option is to book a consultation with a professional astrologer:
 
Freyja is available for 121 astrology readings at www.freyjaastrology.com
Instagram – @freyja_astrology
Please meet Kelly – a Transformational Life Coach who has written a completely wonderful piece for this blog. I’m sure my shoulders relaxed a few inches just reading this, so I can’t wait to put this technique into practice! I also love that Transformational Life Coach has the initials TLC – coincidence? I think not 🙂

The 5 Sense Mindfulness Technique
 
Do you ever feel like your emotions are in complete control of you and just come to a place of feeling totally overwhelmed?
Emotions can do that, especially those emotions that we prefer not to feel, you know, the negative ones.
Guilt, sadness, anger, frustration, anxiety, the list goes on. These are all valid emotions but so often we are told to ‘look for the positives’ which can make us feel like we are doing something wrong when we experience them.
 
So, firstly I want to reassure you that ALL emotions are valid and deserving of your attention. The positive ones AND the negative ones. By giving them space to be felt this allows you to find acceptance and most importantly some self compassion which helps to relieve that feeling of overwhelm.
 
A beautiful way to do this, to allow those negative emotions to be heard and felt and not simply dismissed, is through mindfulness.
 
Mindfulness is about coming to the here and now, both in mind and in body. If the thoughts that are causing the overwhelming emotions are focusing on something that has already happened or is yet to happen you are not in the present moment, you are either in the past or in the future. By bringing yourself into the here and now you can start to quieten the mind and give space for how you are feeling.
 
A wonderful technique to use to ground yourself when overwhelmed is to tap into your senses. The great thing about this exercise is that it can be done anywhere. Whilst you’re walking or jogging, whilst you’re sitting at your desk, when out socialising or whilst travelling for example. Anytime you feel overwhelmed this tool can be used. It can be done in a matter of minutes or you can give it longer if appropriate.
 
There is no right or wrong way of doing it, just simply allow your senses to connect with your mind and embrace them all.
 
Here is the 5 senses technique:
Start by noticing 5 things that you can SEE – try to encourage yourself to look far and wide rather than whats immediately in front of you. Notice things you would ordinarily not be aware of.
Then notice 4 things you can HEAR – again push yourself to really listen to all the sounds ging on around you both near and far.
Then notice 3 things you can FEEL – The fabric of your clothing, the ground beneath your feet, the sun on your face etc
Then take a moment to notice 2 things you can SMELL – cut grass, baking/BBQ, perfume, a candle etc
Lastly, bring your awareness to 1 thing you can TASTE – if you carry mints with you, take this opportunity to have one or take a sip of your drink.
 
These can be done in any order and ensure that you don’t judge yourself for not being able to find the right amount. The fact that you are seeking things out is enough to bring you to the present moment.
Take a deep breath and then check in with how you feel. Do you feel calmer? Remind yourself that you are allowed to feel ALL emotions. Your emotions are linked to your thoughts and so by taking control of what your mind is thinking about, the 5 senses, it helps calm your emotions and reassures your body that you are safe and that your feelings are valid rather than dismissing them.
 
I often use it when exercising. As a runner I can become overwhelmed with the fact that I still have 2 miles left for example and my inner critic starts to tell me that I need to give up. But by using the 5 senses technique it takes my mind away from the pain and endurance and before I know it I’ve completed another half a mile or so and have discovered that inner coach again.
 
It’s also a great technique if you are in a social scenario and feel out of your comfort zone. When you tap into your senses and focus on finding different examples it can encourage you to take yourself for a walk or go grab a drink which eases the pressure that perhaps you are putting on yourself.
 
Give it a try the next time you are feeling overwhelmed and remember that this is a tool to keep in your pocket and bring out as and when you need it.
Let me know if it helps you…
 
Instagram – @kellytabiner_tlc
So there you have it – a whole toolbox of reading matter for you to delve into when feeling overwhelmed. I’d love to hear from you if you try any of these things, let me know how you get on! All of the contributors would love for you to have a little mooch around their websites and social media links – give them a follow if they resonate with you.
 
I’ll be back with another collection of musings for you in December for the next quarterly edition of Glow with the Flow – in the meantime I shall be back next month with my own ramblings!
 
Love and light,
 
Sam xxx

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Sam Thornton

Sam Thornton

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