How do you deal with overwhelm in a feminine way? – Part One

Women overwhelmDo you ever find yourself in overwhelm?

Overwhelm has a nasty habit of sneaking up on us, especially at this time of year.

We’re now a week into 2013.

Goals and intentions have been set.

…and now that you have them, and you’re looking forward at everything you would like to do this year, it can feel a little daunting.

OK, a lot daunting.

OK, downright overwhelming.

We look longing back at the Christmas season, because then we had an excuse for not doing much, it was the holidays, we are all supposed to relax and just have fun.

But now we’ve shifted gear.

It’s New Year…time of New Years Resolutions or “New Year, New You” messages that have ben springing up all over the place.

The party is over, and now we’re all about getting on with creating the year ahead.

…and we want it to be amazing, awesome…the best ever.

No pressure or anything…(!)

…and we wonder why at this point in the year we can be feeling a little nervous, anxious, filled with a sense of overwhelm with one single thought ringing in our ears…“How am I going to do it all?!”

…followed swiftly by “Where do I start?”

It’s these thoughts alone that are responsible a whole raft of familiar feelings and behaviours…

…the undeniable desire to go and hide under the nearest duvet and just ignore it all.

…the persuasive voice inside your head that encourages you to ditch your New Year’s Resolutions and just let yourself have one glass of wine / chocolate bar / other naughty treat (*delete as appropriate)

…the urge to begin organising, sorting out, keeping busy with a variety of simple, seemingly important tasks to distract you from getting to what you really want to be working on.

How do we deal with this sense of overwhelm?

So how do we, as feminine women, make it to the end of January without barricading ourselves in our bedrooms, eating every chocolate bar in sight or having a mini melt-down?

The first step is simple.


Take a few deep breaths in and remember, you’re not alone…there are plenty of other people feeling exactly the same way (I know, I’ve been hearing from several of them!)

The next step is to focus on how we can handle this overwhelm from a feminine perspective.

It’s so easy at times like these to jump into our superhero outfit, slap on our masculine masks and proclaim to the world “I can do it all…just watch me!”

Well…you can do it all, we know that…but I have a few questions for you:

  • Do you have to?
  • Do you want to?
  • Can you do it all without burning out?
  • Do you have to do it all now?
  • Are you trying to do it all perfectly?
  • Can you do it all and still stay true to the real feminine you?

So how do we approach these thoughts and feelings of overwhelm, and keep going in a feminine way?

I know what overwhelm feels like, so today I thought that I would share with you my top ten ways to deal with overwhelm in a feminine way…to keep you feeling feminine, no matter what you’re facing.

1. Ask for help – We women are great at trying to prove that we can do it all by ourselves, especially when we feel the sense of overwhelm creeping in, and this approach automatically puts us into more of a masculine mode.  One of the masculine traits is competitiveness, and that can relate as much to yourself as to other people.  So the feminine approach is one of collaboration…understanding that you don’t need to do it all alone…and that asking for help when you need it is actually a sign of strength.

2. Allow yourself to receive help – Asking for help is one thing.  Allowing yourself to receive it is another entirely.  As we know, flow is a key trait of the feminine, and flow happens in two directions…both giving AND receiving.  How many times has someone offered you help and you’ve responded with either:

  • No thanks, I’m fine
  • I’ll let you know
  • That would be great (and then haven’t followed up to actually receive it)

So allow yourself to receive the help that’s offered when you feel that sense of overwhelm, you’ll feel much more feminine and supported…and the person giving will also get to feel great at being able to help…it’s a win-win!

3. Just focus on the next step – Aiming for goals like this is a bit like running up a hill, if you focus on the top of the hill, or the huge distance you need to climb it’s easy to get a huge feeling of overwhelm or to get disheartened.  But if you just focus on the next step before you know it you’re over the top of the hill and running down the other side! Because the next step is always doable, it’s always within reach.  Before I was injured last year I was training for a marathon…and writing a blog about my journey.  If you want to know all about focusing on the next step, check out this post about “The girl who went up a hill but reached the top of a mountain”.

4. Avoid comparison – It is so easy to compare ourselves to others…and often the media doesn’t help, with the criticisms and comparisons that are broadcast in magazines, on TV and online.  But there are real problems with comparing yourself to other people…primarily because you are comparing yourself to your perception of who they are, what they’re doing and how they’re doing it…not the reality.  How many times have you been having a challenge in your life, where you’re feeling that familiar overwhelm and yet you’ve shown the outside world your ‘I’m fine’ face?  Well this is often true for other people as well.  When we compare, we are judging ourselves by other people’s standards, experiences and behaviours, and other people by our own.   Remember, the only person whose reality you can really know is your own…so accept that we are all different, we all have different strengths, weaknesses, challenges, gifts and experiences…the only person whose matter are yours.

Check out next week’s newsletter to find out the last six of my top ten ways to deal with overwhelm in a feminine way…

…and I encourage you to try at least one of the four ways I’ve shared here this week…to keep you feeling feminine, no matter what you’re facing.

Stay Fabulous!

Claire x

Click here to jump to part 2 of “How to deal with Overwhelm in a feminine way”


4 replies
  1. Cristina
    Cristina says:

    You’re so right Claire! I really need to work on the first two; I’ve had enough of being Superwoman and now I just want to be me!

    • Claire
      Claire says:

      Good for you Cristina! Those two are often the ones that women find so challenging, so you’re not alone. So, let me ask you a question, could you play with it this week? Could you find three people to ask for help from, even if they are in very small, simple ways and then allow yourself to receive and simply say ‘Thank you’? It could be anything, holding a door for you, helping you to carry something, asking for advice… I’d love to hear how you get on with it! x

    • Claire
      Claire says:

      Oh, and look out for part 2 on Monday…or check out the newsletter for the rest of the list…you may find some others in there that are helpful! x


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