Are you feeling completely overwhelmed?
And at the same time just wanting the year to be OVER?
You may be thinking, can the insanity of 2020 just take a break already?
Ok, we are in October and let’s all just count down PLEASE.
When will this get better?
I think my acupuncturist said it perfectly when she shared about a sleepless night she had this week where she had the killer combination of watching the US presidential debates, her cat was throwing up, and her bedroom smelled from a new paint job.
Everything all at once.
Another friend of mine shared how even though his work is at an all time high, he’s a single dad and all his son’s schooling is virtual, plus trying to manage a tumultuous joint custody battle.
And this doesn’t even factor in the pandemic.
Which is affecting us all, at every level.
No wonder you feel overwhelmed!
You may feel like you are climbing an endless staircase, thing after thing just going wrong. It can be exhausting.
So, how do we manage so much occurring at once?
How do we stay connected to our dreams and what’s most important when you may feel like you are just trying to get through this year day by day?
And how do we keep a sense of hope and motivation when there is no end in sight?
Headaches are horrible.
They start with a sensation of warning, and then quickly constrict my head, squeezing it in, and fatigue soon follows. Everything shut downs, and whatever plans I had all stop.
And for me, the headaches are usually accompanied by either sound sensitivity or light sensitivity. The simplest conversation sounds like a roar and a comforting light becomes a beacon of pain searing into my eyes.
And then sometimes, there would be the killer combo of all three. Physical pain in my head, sound sensitivity, AND light sensitivity.
Full blown migraine.
When they first started happening last year for the first time since my childhood, I was disturbed, but wanted to believe it was just stress, or something else.
But, as the frequency increased, I started to really panic.
When the symptoms came on, I would feel so scared.
I didn’t want the headache to happen!
I would bargain with the universe and plead, and yet it would come.
For months when I would start to feel the headache arising, I would just get more anxious. So many nights, I was just breaking down in tears.
I was completely overwhelmed.
Trying to handle the pain, not being able to see OR hear all at once was a lot.
I couldn’t function and found countless nights absolutely lost to migraines.
I was desperate for answers and started seeing new doctors, getting blood tests, and looking into our home environment for possible triggers.
And every test came back with something new that was wrong.
My home had mold.
I was deficient in many important minerals.
My hormones were upside down.
I had food allergies.
I had gut toxicity….
The list went on and on, and each new piece of information just seemed to pile onto what was already a daily struggle.
And with learning about each thing that was wrong, I had to do something new.
Change my diet.
Remediate our home.
Begin a intense supplemental regime for my hormones.
Prepare and eat almost all our meals at home.
Start taking a charcoal binder to detox.
Start doing daily Qi Gong.
Vastly cut back on screen time and stop going to live entertainment.
My anxiety increased, and some days I just felt so hopeless.
Was this ever going to get better?
I felt so overwhelmed, I needed some way to ground and find a path through this insanity.
I started tracking my days and was desperate for some sense of hope, so when I had a day where I felt good, or was able to clear my headache, I would label it a “pink heart day”. I printed out monthly calendars and sharpened a light pink colored pencil.
Last September was the worst month, 2 pink heart days.
Then in October, because I started a new supplement regime and changed my diet, it jumped up to 12 pink heart days.
Then 13 in November.
15 in December.
With discovering my mold toxicity in January and starting the charcoal binder, I had a huge surge to 20 pink heart days.
Then 23 in February, and a repeat in March. April was rough because I got Covid, and I fell back to 17, but then returned to 23 in May and in June, the month I looked down at a positive pregnancy test, I had 26 pink heart days.
2 to 26 in 10 months.
Last fall when I was struggling so much with all the pain and changes, my incredible husband said to me,
The trend is our friend.
This became a beacon of hope for me to continue on, as I was watching my pink hearts increasing, albeit slowly, but surely.
And then, when I had a relapse and fell back in March and April, he also reminded me of what I have known from healing from my divorce.
The healing path is not linear.
It goes up and down, that’s why it’s more important to look at the overall trend, and to do this, I needed to really step back and look at the WHOLE picture.
It was clear from the beginning, this was not an easy or quick fix. After all, where I was with my health was the culmination of many years, and many things coming to a head at once.
As they normally do.
My body is a makeup of MANY systems, and they all interrelate. My living environment, what I eat, my hormones, and my energy.
They are all connected.
And they all come together.
They had ALL been coming together in my migraine.
All saying in a unified chorus,
This isn’t working!
We need to do things differently!
And sitting in a dark room with no noise, I chose to listen.
It brought me to surrender.
So I could listen to what my body needed and wake up the next day to take action towards what was most important in my life.
It can be so easy to just want to bury your head in the sand with so much going on.
Trust me, I get it.
If I could have run away from my migraines, I would have, but there was no running. There was no escape, and after months and months of trying to FIGHT them, I finally realized that every time I tried to STOP them and get so upset, it only made my symptoms worse.
There was the headache, and then there was the worry and overwhelm ABOUT the headache.
I was actually piling on even more by getting anxious about them. My anxiety always made my headaches worse.
And the biggest thought that would take me down?
The headaches will never end.
This one was a doozy, and I found myself crippled by this thought for months, especially in the beginning when I didn’t know WHY they were happening.
Until one day when I felt myself panicking as symptoms came in, I decided to try something new.
I decided to relax.
I placed my attention on my breath.
I stopped fighting.
And while the headache still came, it was much less intense.
Evidently I had been making it worse.
Have you ever felt this?
Take a moment and take stock of where you are.
Grab a piece of paper and write out all the things that are overwhelming you. Just dump it all and don’t hold back.
Now, step back and ask yourself,
Are you fighting these?
Do you believe they shouldn’t be happening?
And most of all,
Are you beating yourself up because they ARE happening to you?
Now, take a moment, and close your eyes. Breathe deeply three times, holding your hand over your belly to feel it rise and fall. You are allowed to feel whatever you are feeling.
Look at the list again with the thought, What if they could change? If so,
What are all these things trying to tell you?
If there was no judgement against yourself, what are all these things pointing to?
What do you feel is not working?
What is the trend you want to see in your life?
For me, it was balanced hormones, less headaches, and more energy.
What it is for you?
Overwhelm always occurs when we are holding too much.
It’s a direct message from our body, minds and spirits that we need to take a breath, take a step back, and simplify.
You can picture overwhelm as climbing steps full of laundry, a backpack, a glass, and coats. All way more than your arms can handle! So, stop and let everything fall, so you can actually LOOK at it.
There is information there.
Just like there was for me with each test that came back for my home, my body, and my mind.
And that information allowed me to create a plan and take action to AFFIRM my life. There had been enough destruction, and my body was screaming.
I imagine you came into 2020 with beautiful dreams.
And I imagine you have been doing the best you can, but have felt so overwhelmed, carrying too much to handle.
So, set it all down.
Connect back to what is most important, and take stock of what you are telling yourself. Stop fighting, because the year is not over yet, and things may very well get worse before they get better.
So use what you have, and begin to track.
What is a pink heart day for you?
What is the trend in your life right now, and what do you want it to become?
Because the actions you take today are what create your life moving forward.
You actually have great agency today, in THIS moment to create change in your life.
Something that really stuck with me was a coach saying,
What you do today, you will see the results in three months.
Your point of power is the present moment.
The past is over, so reconnect to the life you want.
Come back to your breath and relaxing your body so you can clearly see what you need.
The path is not linear, but it is a path, and your answers are within. Choose today to return to what’s most important.
Pink hearts abound.