supporting overwhelm


My daughter and I both experienced overwhelm this morning.

This familiar territory feels like a fog descending over a spaghetti-like jumble of thoughts in our minds and results in various physical manifestations which can greatly hinder our ability to cope and work with the experience.

With 5 confusing pieces of homework seemingly crowding in on her, my daughter went into a negative lock-down, struggling to organise them into a manageable feast. This sense of overwhelm manifested physically as a curling in on herself in an attempt to hide away and not deal with it. This curling in also restricted her breathing which obviously limited the amount of fresh oxygen she was bringing in as well as preventing her from effectively calming her nervous system. Her verbal communication also became aggressive.

I was feeling the pressure of needing to straighten my spaghetti-like thoughts surrounding my new workshop, knowing that getting my ideas down in a list would help me feel clearer and calm again. I noticed that my tension was manifesting as an uncomfortable ache in my upper stomach which has caused health issues in the past.

In my less conscious days the combination of both of us being in this state would have equalled explosion, but we had a much more positive and constructive experience today!

Upon noticing my own tension I was able to consciously relax my stomach, easing the muscles with a gentle massage and breathing deeply into my tummy (this only took a minute or two btw). From here I was able to help my daughter open herself again and even to laugh off the negative slump. Despite her resistance to reaching out to her friends for help I showed her that they were all feeling the same by persuading her to send a group message; this helped her no end and saw her relieved and smiling again! I helped her find manageable ways of organising her homework and she even finished two pieces there and then – yippee!

I was then able to get my work done swiftly and we were able to move on happily to do the thing we had really been wanting to do all along…..painting 😀

As a parent, being self aware not only models great self management to our children but also helps everyone in the family to traverse life’s challenges with less drama and more love.


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