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Ep. 102 Break the Cycle of Overwhelm

by Claudine Sweeney
November 11th 2021

Feeling more irritable lately? Feeling more exhausted? Maybe a lack of interest in things that usually interest you? Well, you may be suffering from burnout. In today's episode, we dive into overwh... More

This is episode 100 and to break the cycle of overwhelm You're listening to the Rise up and Shine podcast with Claudine and Ashley as an empty nester and a mom with young kids, we have both shared very similar and very real struggles from chaos to coaches. We now help other women live an authentic and meaningful life. So tune in weekly for girl talk and tips on how you too can rise up and let your light shine bright. This is the rise up and Shine podcast. Welcome back listeners. I have a couple questions for us today. First off, are you feeling more exhausted than usual? Do you have a shorter fuse and are more irritable? Yes. You have a lack of interest in things that normally interest you. Are you getting triggered easily losing patients more often feeling bored feeling brain fog? Yes, well then you, my friend might be suffering from burnout and that's what we're talking about today.

We're talking about burnout because this is so common to women, especially the christian women. We suffer from burnout. We do and do and do and go and go and go until we burn out and then we can do nothing and are good to know one. So today we're going to talk about that and give some practical so we can go from burnout to balance balance. It's always about balance Ashley, I know. Have you gotten there yet. Are you balanced? I'm doing pretty well actually it's it's managing, it's really management of our schedule, our choices, even our thoughts and our feelings So which we're going to talk in deeper detail today, but so just for clarification, I'm not currently overwhelmed and burned out just to let you know I was last week. But also it you know, I've lived like this with having kids and as the kids, you know, really, ever since the kids were born trying to struggle to find that balance. That life work, quote unquote, right to stay at home, mom life in my case how to find that balance.

It's very hard. It was a cycle. It very was much a pattern in a cycle that I would like you said do do do give give give surf, surf, surf and then burn out and I crashed and then I'm no good to anybody and then I feel bad about it guilty and ashamed. I need to show up, I need to cook, I need to, I'm not, you know, you think of all the things you're not doing, that you're supposed to be doing and I was having, you should, you should you should be doing your shooting again. I had a coaching session with a client recently and we were talking about this very topic and I said we when we get into that thought cycle also when we're feeling overwhelmed and burned out and were not showing ourselves grace and kindness that but we're being negative to our own self, then we stay in it longer. You know, we don't bounce back as quickly and as easily because we're shaming ourselves with all that I should be doing this and I'm failing and I'm inadequate. I'm not doing a good enough job.

I'm not, you know, I'm the negative loops. So negative loops. Absolutely. Absolutely. Which keeps us in this cycle of overwhelm and burnout. Right? So today we're gonna talk about what are the things to do to keep us to break the cycle? Yeah. Again, this would have been great information about 20 years ago. I mean, I've burned myself out to the point of adrenal fatigue and adrenal hospitalization. Well, yeah, we're not 100% sure that what what it was, but looking back I probably was. And you haven't been in the hospital since. No, I haven't. That doesn't count. That's different. Yeah, but not burnt out. No, not for adrenal fatigue just happened to me several times because I go, go, go and I think for me to becoming a christian at a young age and really, somehow I got this kind of twisted belief that I just needed to not be concerned about my own interests at all. You know? But Philippians 24 says each of you should be concerned not only about your own interests, but about the interests of others as well.

It says clearly that we of course are going to be concerned with our own interests, but to think of others as well. But somehow that got twisted for me, it was like, I should never think about myself like at all selfish. It's selfish, right? I could be making a phone call or doing something with my kids are doing something for my husband, being intimate with my husband as we discussed the other week. There's so many things I should be doing, what I could be doing right And to take that time to take care of my own self. My own interest was selfish. So first I had to change the belief. I really had to do the work there. Like it is not selfish to practice self care, which we talked about quite frequently. But if you want to avoid overwhelm and burnout, it's crucial, right? And I want to talk about what happens in our bodies when we are overwhelmed and burned out. So we're tired. Right? We are barely making it through the day. I remember when my kids were babies, I was having a pot of coffee a day. I look back now I thought and now I think three cups is a lot.

It is, it was a lot. It is a lot. But I was having a cup of coffee a day, but it wasn't really helping much right in all honesty, but you're tired. You can't focus your more forgetful where you tend to be more emotional. I know for myself my muscles tense and I feel a lot of stiffness and pain in my neck and shoulders, shallow breathing, right? Because we're a little bit more on uh like uh flight or fight survival mode. Yes, we're more on fight or flight survival mode. For sure, anxiety. You might be feeling panicky depression, symptoms for sure. And also our immune system has a harder time fighting off infection and viruses. And so that's not something we want going on right now. But then what happens when we feel this in our body, then it leads us to coping behaviors. So then we're sleeping a lot more. Then we're withdrawing from relationships with her husband's with our friends, maybe even our Children. You know, I remember when my kids again, we're like three or four, there's the birdy again when my kids were about three or four, I was having them watch some tv you know like the uh thomas the train and I'm like just chilling out on the couch in the other room doing on my own phone watching stuff because I just barely making it, I was barely surviving um emotional eating.

You know, we might be eating too much, we might be eating not much at all. People don't really do that, do they? When I get really stressed out, I don't eat. Oh yeah. That I was just joking. Yeah. No it's my go to I tend not much. Have I ever said that before and you know what's interesting? I don't feel hungry. Yeah. When I'm really well, what is hunger ever have to do with comfort eating? We're not eating because we're hungry we're eating because no. Well yeah, that's true. But then we binge tv social media, our games, we just want to veg out and zone out basically. But then what happens then then it leads us to relationship challenges, feeling shame, negative, thinking about ourself, right? The should I should be doing this instead um un productivity. So again we feel worse because now we're not getting anything done, A loss of purpose, decreasing our self esteem and confidence. I mean, no wonder we get burned out in over a while, which is funny because I feel like in our Western civilization in America we really um lift up productivity, the hospital busy, like that's really busy.

Yes, and if you're not then you're lazy and um the opposite of it is not lazy, right balance, that's a bumper sticker. The opposite of lazy is not business. Whoever has been following our podcast all the, you know, this year and a half, they probably wrote maybe they're going to be making all these bumper stickers. I like that one actually, that was a good one, I'm gonna write that on my was do you remember it right before I forget? We haven't recorded the opposite of busy is not lazy. I remember it's huge. So my our youngest daughter has been with us for almost a month and after a week she was telling me she was, I was telling my boyfriend that you're always on the go. Well that it was not a compliment. It was not a compliment. I think she was overwhelmed by my activity. Oh, I'm overwhelmed by all your stories and it was very convicting because I really thought when the kids are grown, I'm going to really slow down, you know, and after my show and they're out of the house.

I know and they're out of the house and I thought I'm busier than I've ever been now. I don't know what's going on. Of course all the moves didn't help, you know, and traveling all over, but I just was really convicted. And the other thing for me when you're talking about how our bodies can react, I start getting very weepy. I just start crying. Like that is my signal because it happened to me last week. I was like, I just felt like crying like there was nothing was wrong. And I'm like, I'm hitting burnout, I've hit my wall and I just started crying and I'm like, okay, there's nothing wrong in my life. I'm not unhappy. There's nothing to cry about. But all I want to do is cry and I'm like, and then I was mad at myself then that's where I go to, I'm like, why did you say, why did she say I did? I shame myself. Why did you do that? Why did you say yes, Why can't you ever, you know, and then the repetitive default thinking. So I had to stop, you know, use the tools that we teach. We actually use them on ourselves all the time say no, I'm not going that direction. That's not true.

I did it. It's OK. Now we know better. We're going to do better next week. Right? So as of tomorrow, I'm starting to say no. So if you call me, you need something from me, I'm probably gonna say no to you. Gorgeous. Not answer. I just not answer. I might not answer for a few days. So and what happens is we end up getting stuck in this place, right? So we're shaming ourselves. We feel bad about ourselves. We have this negative thinking patterns about I should be doing something else. And so we get stuck. And then it takes us a while to kind of get out of it. But eventually we pick ourselves up again and then we go go, go do do do serve serve serve. And then we're right back there. Right? You know, like you said, the same thing happens to me. I know if I'm really emotional and I feel like I'm just going to burst and start crying on a whim that I oh, okay. I've been doing too much. I need to have a day. And one thing that's really interesting is that we have a hard time as women as christian women to think that it's okay to have a bad day or a day where I'm just, you know, I just need to take it easy, maybe it's a movie day, Maybe it's a, you know, we kind of get all excited about the cooler weather.

Oh, I'm going to curl up on a couch and watch movies. But then when we're running ourselves ragged for whatever reason, were not allowed to curl up on the couch and they have a movie day. So it's so important to be able to watch that in ourselves. Right? Rosh those patterns. And so what I do with my coaching program with my clients, we talked about the three B's. So its behavior, its body, its beliefs. Okay. And really where I like to start, number one is in the body because we tend to notice first what is happening in our body. How is my body feeling? Right? It's feeling it's feeling stressed. It's feeling like the muscles tighten our shoulders, tighten, The breathing is shallow, right? You kind of feel a little jittery or honors flowing out of your. That water is flowing out of your eyes. Exactly. And so when we recognize what's going on in our body, then it tired. That's a big one. Right, fatigue. Then we can also label emotions to it and emotions are, I've put in there with the body. So let's label, okay, I'm feeling stressed and feeling frustrated because emotions manifest physically, right?

It's a very physiological thing in our body and then we go to our behaviors. Okay. So when I'm feeling this way, when I'm feeling really overwhelmed, stretched just burning out, what do I do? And that tends to be our coping, right? So you can have healthy coping styles, unhealthy coping styles. So, but this is really just being aware, start by being aware of what we do. You know what? Like for me, one of my coping I've talked about before coffee and chips, that's what I like to go in tv for sure. So if I something was really stressful, I just in my mind I want a cup of coffee or and you know, it's so funny. Uh my son last week I was getting really stressed out and I was having a breakdown to my husband and my son comes over and brings me my coffee mug. He knows mom's coping mech and how did he know he's my comfort? I thought, oh my gosh, this is too sweet. Mind would bring me a gallon of ice cream ice cream. Yeah, yeah, I don't keep it in the house and they'd have to go drive and get it and bring it back.

But anyway, it is so funny. So really recognize, okay, when you're feeling overwhelmed, what do you do right? You kind of shut down and withdraw. Um and then you go to what's going on in your head. You know the beliefs and the thoughts, So are you shooting yourself? I should be doing this. I'm not doing a good enough job. I'm totally, you know, failing today. I'm failing as a wife, as a mom, as a friend. And so and those beliefs feel so true, but just think about it to whatever thoughts are on repeat become beliefs, right? So when you're repeating certain negative things to yourself, it becomes ingrained in your brain. It's a condition in your neural pathways that now it's a belief and it feels true. So then it's hard to come out of that. That's why we feel stuck while we don't know why fault because the default now takes work to correct it, right? Yeah, it's work definitely. And we can't overcome and break the cycle of overwhelmed if we aren't aware and it's just being aware of these things.

So body behaviors and beliefs and if you are just watching and just kind of recognize what's happening like what am I doing? What am I committing to? Um how am I serving? How are my boundaries? Like, you know, am I saying yes too much. What's going on in your choices right in your day to day schedule That could be causing you to head down this path to, to overwhelm and be aware without judgment with curiosity and just kind of, I like to think of it. Like I'm learning myself. That's interesting. Oh, that's interesting. That's what I do. So I come into it as a really curious and I want to know like why I am the way that and why do I do the things that I do and make it more kind of this fun curiosity rather than shaming yourself and criticizing yourself. That is absolutely what we want you to avoid. Yeah, that's such great input and wisdom and advice. And I think for me as I've gotten older, I've also changed. So it does become very interesting.

Like I'm like, it's interesting. I am curious because I've changed and giving yourself more grass definitely given myself more grace. But in my fifties I'm very different woman than I was in my twenties, hopefully for the better. But I don't know why I'm nodding as if I could relate to you because I'm not there yet, but not interesting. Not Oh good. Yes, so that's my future. I'm excited, but it is, it's a fun way to go. Oh, that's interesting. I just thought that or said that or felt that like there was, I think it was a couple of weeks ago, my husband and I, we were talking about something and it wasn't going well probably about some project around the house that wasn't happening. I think that was the last thing that really irritated me and I got triggered so quickly and I was like that's weird. Like that literally hasn't happened in a long, long time. And so when I got home I thought well that's interesting. I mean I wonder why I got triggered so quickly, Like I haven't been upset like that in a long, long time. Um and I didn't come to the answer of it, but I just thought that's really interesting.

I didn't get down on myself like why did I do that? Probably I was starting to feel a little overwhelmed because we have had so many things going on and people in our house for the last for almost three weeks a month altogether and business retreat that I went on. It was just a lot. Um but definitely to be aware is the first thing and to have no judgment and you touched on it, but one of my practical XyZ to say no to just say no, like no, I'm sorry, I can't do that. I already have an appointment that day and you'll be okay. Yeah. Okay. That even if that appointment is for yourself. Yeah. You know I have, I have appointments scheduled with me. Yeah, not so much that who really wants to get together and say sorry, I have an appointment with myself. But I do, I know like next week I have a lot of white space on my calendar purposely I'm leaving it white and my challenge is going to be not to fill it to leave it white and to put something that takes intention. It does take intention and it's hard because my default is to just go, go go, but I can't, especially at my age I just can't, I can't keep up the pace that I used to be able to do, which wasn't healthy anyway because I suffered from burnout.

So just say no, just like the famous drug commercial of the seventies just say no my friends well and when you think about it, we ultimately have two choices, right? So I can shame myself and get down on myself about how I'm feeling or I can empower myself right to rise above it. And so but what we tend to do is we think, well I just wait till my circumstance, you know, changes or my schedule clears and then it'll be all better and then I'll be fine, right? Like when your kids are all grown and out of the house, then you'll get to rest then or when then when then so not true friends, not true. So you have two choices. So but what shame does is it keeps them in that victim mode keeps them as life is happening to me. And I know that I lived this or you can think you can have more power, right? You can empower yourself and you can take more of control and take intention as you are blocking off that time next week of nothing and having your boundaries and saying no when you need to say you know and rise above whatever circumstances are and take more control over your schedule, your time, your energy.

So it will help prevent you from keep getting into that cycle of burnout and overwhelm and another practical, which we've already touched on and we touch on almost every time. I feel like it's self care, but really spelling it out self care, you have to take care of yourself, find things that are healthy coping a hot bath, a massage. Those I love massages, those are huge for me if I can go once a month, I'm feeling great, healthy food, eating nutritious food, drinking lots of water. Yeah that I'm not good and I'm trying really hard to get good at drinking lots more fluid because I can go go go and go, oh I forgot to drink my water. And the minute we start to feel thirsty we're already dehydrated. Yeah. Oh I know I've been dehydrated the last few weeks, getting headaches now. I haven't been that dehydrated in a while, but I know part of it is also the cooler weather but also it's been really busy and just more stress for the last couple weeks that I've been going to more coffee and I'm trying to just t t which is really frustrating to yeah, I'm like I'm not even drinking should.

So I'm like beyond dehydrated self care self care and that is my whole coaching program for stay at home moms is self care because I have found such a value in it in my own life and when I talk with other moms with who have young kids that is like the number one thing that goes out the window is us our self care because we think it's selfish and we also think there's other things I should be doing and my kids need me more than you. Your kids will and your husband and your friends, anybody will want you when you're at your best, you know when you can show up, fill your cup up and then be able to give you come from a better place, right? And I promise you, if you're not doing it in your twenties, your thirties and your forties, it's not going to be natural, won't be your default mode of operation in your fifties. It just isn't you think, well when the kids are grown that I'm gonna totally take care of myself, it just doesn't work that way because it hasn't been the norm and so your brain isn't wired that way. It doesn't think that way. Like I don't naturally think, wow, I should just go really take care of myself.

I still have to really work at it even though I have more opportunity to do it, my schedule still gets full and booked with things that I'm like, how did this happen again? It takes intentional planning and weave it in throughout your day. Yes, Alright listeners, while we hope that this has been some practical tips to help you come from burnout to balance and stop the cycle of overwhelmed because we none of us want to be there and we cannot rise and shine when we're burned out until next time. Mhm. Alright, everyone, thank you for joining in on our conversation today here on the Rise up and Shine podcast. If you haven't already, please take a second to hit that subscribe button, so you never miss an episode and while you're at it share this episode with a friend who you know it can bless today if you want to visit us as well on our websites, you can catch Claudine over at Clotting Sweeney dot com and Ashley at mind over chaos dot com. Our links are in the description.

We also have some free resources there for you as well. So remember ladies, no matter what you are facing in life, it is never too late to rise up and shine and live your best life. Yeah. Yeah. Go mm

Ep. 102 Break the Cycle of Overwhelm
Ep. 102 Break the Cycle of Overwhelm
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