1. acknowledge it
the carpet gets pretty lumpy and weird looking if i continue to brush things underneath it. and, for me, the same thing happens with my emotions. better to acknowledge they exist than try to brush them away, dismiss them, or hide them beneath a carpet bottle of wine.
2. make friends with it
this goes hand in hand with acknowledgement. and, if i greet it like a friend, rather than seeing it as the enemy, i can then….
3. get curious
why is this happening right now? was it provoked? has it happened before in similar circumstances? what did you do last time that helped (or didn’t)? how can you respond this time around in order to be more kind to yourself? i’m still learning to ask questions as if asking another instead of myself. this helps prevent my brain from attempting to answer immediately; and, sitting with questions in this way, helps me get to the heart of them from a deeper place of knowing than my conscious mind is able to provide on its own.
4. calm down
take five deep breaths. go for a walk in the park (taking my shoes off and getting reacquainted with the earth) or stick my feet in the ocean if i’m near water. allow myself to stop for a minute or two and let the world slow down a little. notice how the trees sway in the wind, or close my eyes and feel the sun (or snow/wind/rain) on my face. it’s easier to deal with everything when i am grounded, centered and in a peaceful state.
5. find a luminary
there are so many people that are guiding lights for me. and, one of the best ways i know how to deal with overwhelm* is by reaching out to someone that can help me find my way through it.
6. tell your story
it’s when i am at my most vulnerable that it’s hardest for me to stay open and willing to share my story. and, this is when it’s most important for me to do this. perhaps it feels right to find the luminary and tell them my story. and maybe it feels right to put it here too. i have no idea who might find these words at a time when they need them to deal with something happening in their story. also, understand that whatever is going on is a story in and of itself. then i can get curious about this too.
7. say no
in a world of yes, this is often the most difficult for me. because i LOVE to take care of people, it fills me up. sometimes (ok, often) i forget that the yes that i say would sometimes also be important for me to give to myself.
* or any other emotion