Sinking in a Storm of Overwhelm
I think it's so easy for parents to lean into a thought process that leads to feeling overwhelmed. As we juggle decisions regarding our kids, such as: school, extracurricular activities, how to raise them, and what is right and what is wrong, we worry about the future of our children, and what they're going to become, and if they're going to go to college. We worry about how to juggle household duties, job, business, and family. Parent guilt is real folks. These issues are magnified when you have children with special needs and you continually ask yourself if you’re making the right decisions.” I shouldn’t have done that.” “Am I screwing up?’ “I just get so tired sometimes” “Do my kids know how much I love them? I try so hard, but, yet they don’t seem to notice how hard I try.” And let’s not forget about finances; will the bills get paid every month? How much do we set aside for our kids’ futures?
The definition of overwhelmed is:
overpowered, defeated easily by a greatly superior opponent
overcome by force or numbers
completely overcome or overpowered by thought or feeling
It's so easy for us to lean into ‘overwhelmed’ and really buy into that thought of being overcome by the number of issues we must deal with. However, when you really take it apart, separate the essential facts of life, and take out this story that your brain, the seeming superior authority, is trying to tell you about those facts, you really can overcome and clear out the clutter of of that paralyzing overwhelmed feeling. You can help your brain organize and release anything that is not serving you.
Many parents have become so accustomed to feeling overwhelmed that they indulge in the feeling. It's comparable to having a glass of water. Your body is thirsty and a timer goes off to drink but instead of drinking the water you drink the feeling of overwhelmed because you're simply so used to it. With the hectic lives and full schedules we have these days, parents have become adjusted to feeling overwhelmed; it has become a badge of honor…we must be one of the better parents since we are always planning, running, worrying, and exhausted. We must come to recognize and realize that frenetic overwhelmingness is swallowing us up; it is taking away from our life.
It is vital to allow your body and your mind to process the overwhelmed feelings and just say, “stop,” take some deep breaths, and then self-talk: “okay, right now I'm feeling overwhelmed.” Breathe in the feelings and try to determine where it is being stored in your body. Locate it and then add as many descriptive words to that overwhelmed feeling as you can. Take a moment to completely experience the feelings so they can pass. As you come to practice this, you will realize that resisting overwhelm is much more exerting then just allowing it, processing it, and letting it pass. This frees you to direct your thoughts and your energy into key decisions that are more constructive. Instead of trying to push away the overwhelmed feelings continuously, letting it weigh us down that causes fatigue, we can become empowered.