A friend on social media recently posted about a “feelings bath.” Her daughter had a rough day, and sometimes you just can’t talk things out. Sometimes you can’t just suggest they just take time away from everyone. Sometimes, we need a feelings bath, a time to soak and cry. I realize not everyone is a bath person. A feelings shower can have a similar effect. It’s comforting. It’s oddly relaxing and exhilarating. It often nudges us to either slow down enough to take a nap or some other much needed retreat or rejuvenates us enough to talk about something or move on to the next thing that helps us feel a bit more at ease or productive. Maybe it’s a feelings drive for you or a feelings walk. Whatever it is, I know there are a lot of us with a lot of feelings these days.
I’m not talking about the everyday come and go feelings, the ones we’re used to ebbing and flowing through. These are the ones that flow or stagnate. For whatever reason, they overwhelm us. Sadness, confusion, hurt, anger, worry—and usually a combination of those and more. It’s not a gender thing. It’s not an age thing. It’s not a class thing. But it is definitely a thing.
We can’t avoid what needs to be processed, but sometimes the feelings are so much that we can’t get to the core. We can’t focus on what needs to be resolved. We need to pause, then intentionally revisit the situation and take the next best steps.
Your first best step might be to withdraw for a brief time. Recognize you’re overwhelmed and let yourself have a moment. Recognize someone else is overwhelmed and let them have a moment.
Soaking seems to indicate taking more on, but sometimes it’s letting more go.