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The Cycle of Overwhelm - What I Wish I Knew

Annnddd breeaathheee… Ever had those moments where you want to hide in a corner, bury your head in your hands and pretend the world isn’t happening? Been in your car and just wanted to keep driving? Closed your eyes and dreamt of being on a deserted island with no phone, laptop or ZOOM! Yea me too.

I was speaking to a friend about things opening back up and being able to start classes again. Getting things up and running makes me a little nervous. Not because I don’t want to see people, teach face to face or because I have become anxious of being around people but because I am exhausted!

Zoom fatigue is real!

I am in desperate need of a holiday, away from technology and some time just for me.

I think many of us have adjusted to a certain way of life (we had to) and if you’re anything like me, we are really good at filling up our time. If we’re already too busy with all the time we’ve filled up, how are we going to make space for social things, travelling to and from work and anything else that we’ve missed, wanted/couldn't do?!?

I'm experiencing overwhelm and I understand why, it’s completely normal considering the situation and I am showing myself love and compassion as much as I can. As well as showing myself compassion, I thought it makes sense to take some practical steps to help manage what I am experiencing. I decided to take Saturdays off, like really off and it's helped.

I said no to walks with friends, I said no to private classes, no to babysitting for my brother. I said no to the pile of dishes in the kitchen and the endless messages on my phone. I turned my phone off, left it in the other room, put on the most comfortable clothes and just nurtured myself ALL WEEKEND!

It got me thinking about all the times I say YES, as I had to say NO, so many times. I thought about how I am still a bit of a people pleaser (we'll save that for another Blog!) despite my long journey of yoga, self care and reflective work.

It brought to light one of the biggest and most significant lessons that I now realise I personally have in this lifetime... BOUNDARIES.

Having Saturdays off is a step in the right direction, the most practical thing I can do is set clear boundaries like these and communicate them to others.

The universe likes to gift us with things at the perfect time and I find this is the case for books. I saw a book on Instagram and without thinking about it too much I added it to my Amazon basket and it was here the next day. It was a book about boundaries by Nedra Glover Tawwab, two sentences in and I knew why this book was in my hands.

I feel overwhelmed a lot, it’s a little cycle I put myself through.

I say yes to supporting friends, yes to supporting family members, yes to projects, yes to work, yes to almost anything where I think I can be of service, after all being of service is the thing that I am here for. I keep doing this until I am exhausted, have a little melt down, cry, isolate, top myself up and then go again.

It's the pressure to be the best daughter, granddaughter, friend, teacher, business owner that I put on myself and ALLOW others to put on me that transforms the beautiful act of service into self harm. This 'pressure' is without a doubt ignited by a lack of boundaries.

So here I am delving deep into my work on boundaries.

I never linked my cycle of overwhelm with my 'lack' of boundaries or should I say 'dishonour' of my unspoken boundaries and I certainly didn't link courage with having them, speaking them and honouring them.

After reading Brené Browns - Daring Greatly (which we covered in last months Empowered Readers Bookclub). I finally understand this correlation and like most learnings (or rememberings), it was a light bulb moment.

Being rigid and inflexible makes me a little uncomfortable. I pride myself on being easy going, free spirited and going with the flow and I don't want to lose this part of me. I have been on the receiving end of relationships with rigid, inflexible and controlling tendencies and it doesn't feel nice, the last thing I want to do is treat people the same. A balance is what's needed here, one that allows me to be free. Free to flow but also keep me safe and that is what boundaries is all about.

Boundaries are SPOKEN words that look different for different people and relationships can not flourish without an understanding and respect of each others.

Our mental health, self care and energy cannot be sustained and balanced unless we understand and respect our own boundaies.

The fear of voicing our boundaries and not having them understood, respected and/or rejected is real and takes great courage. For it's the expressing of our boundaries that often sheds light on cracks in relationships. Make sure you're clear on your own boundaries, then those that truly love you, want to support your mental health and witness you flourish are the ones that will encourage you stick to your boundaries not ask you to cross them.

Keep DARING GREATLY soul family and thank you for reading.

Sending you all love & healing

Leyla x

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