swimming in overwhelm

I have twin seniors applying to college at the very same time, and this is the key month for early applications.


What does that mean?


Aside from the anxieties it brings about the future unknowns, it also means way too much going on at once and a lot of overwhelm.


I work with clients on how to change they can change energy when they begin to feel negative or uncomfortable.


Their discomfort usually stems from too much self-doubt, or because they are grappling with an unhealthy relationship, or maybe feeling out of shape.


Another very common reason for energy depletion and negative emotions is related to lack of time and overwhelm.


Time is this limited, precious resource that (for whatever reason, I ask myself daily), we believe we have little control over.


It’s almost as if we feel shame when we can’t keep up with ourselves or finish our to-do list.


And the idea of having some space in the day — to play and do something for yourself — is somehow not allowed.


At least until you get everything else done, for everyone else.


But why is that?


Why do you push your own needs or the activities that bring you joy to the bottom of your list?


Or maybe time for you doesn’t even make it onto your to-do list.


The idea that there is not enough time to do what you love is a trap.


You have time for the things you want to make time for.


So, here is my advice.


As I talk to my college-applying, totally overwhelmed seniors, I hear my voice and try to internalize the words for my own good.


Get clear on what you want and where you are running to in the overwhelm, and mostly your “why” or “reason for being.”


Who is the person you want to be? Are you that person?


How do you want to be remembered? Running ragged and overwhelmed?


What is the idea or project you have that’s still living in your head?


Why is having fun something that remains in your childhood or something you’ll do when you retire or when the kids leave the nest?


When you clarify what’s most important to you and for you, you will not only gain the confidence to say no to what gets in your way, but I promise your energy will elevate, benefitting everyone around you.


Even a sliver of time away from the overwhelm to have fun (Go for a walk! Read a book! Go to lunch with a friend!) will ensure you return to the serious business of life in a lighter and more playful way.


That’s what I told my girls as I brought them to a movie on a school night in the middle of the madness, stepping away to reset but also to gain perspective on the racket that is the college process.


I’m not sure they could hear me in between writing all those essays, but I know they were listening.


I hope you are too.


With fierce love,
Alison

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