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Ep #14: Handling the Overwhelm of Divorce | Becoming You Again Podcast

Overwhelm after divorce can feel exhausting. Listen in as I help you handle the overwhelm.

Every woman alive has felt overwhelm at one time or another. So when we go through a divorce and we are faced with becoming a single mother, in charge of making all of the decisions of the divorce, our lives, our children's lives, along with all other responsibilities feeling incapacitated by overwhelm is a real thing.

Listen in to today's episode where I'll be teaching you to handle the overwhelm of divorce.

If you've tried all of the things to help with the overwhelm, you've asked for all of the advice, you've read all the books and you're still ending your day exhausted and overwhelmed with life after divorce, then your next step will be easy. Click here to schedule your free consult with me where I'm going to walk you through your personalized plan to step out of the overwhelm and into the calm life you desire.

What you'll learn from this episode:

  1. The truth about overwhelm.

  2. The two main ways it shows up and why.

  3. The two-step process to taking back control of your life and dropping the overwhelm.

  4. What this could look like in your life.

List to the full episode:

Featured on this episode:

  1. Interested in the Divorce Betrayal Transformation? Learn more here.

  2. Are you lost and confused about who you are after divorce? Don't worry. I've got 51 Ways to Get to Know Yourself Again. Click here to download.

  3. Want to know first hand how Karin can help you with your specific problems and create an even better life than when you were married? Click here to schedule a free consult.

  4. Haven't left a review yet? No problem. Click here to leave one.

Full Episode Transcript:

Welcome back to Becoming You Again. I’m your host Karin Nelson. I’m a certified divorce confidence coach and this is the podcast where I teach you how to reconnect with yourself, create emotional resiliency and live a truly independent life, so you can have an even better life than when you were married.

How is everyone doing today? I’m actually doing really great. I am loving this spring weather that we’re having here in Utah. Where you guys at? Where are you guys living? I am in northern Utah and we are having some beautiful spring weather and it’s about to change. I think we are supposed to get a winter storm which always happens in Utah. I do not know what weather is like in the spring where you live but in Utah it is very much like a couple of warm days and really pretty outside and all of the flowers and trees are blooming and then for like a couple of days we will get a terrible, crazy winter storm, 3 feet of snow – more snow than we have had the entire winter and then it will go back to being really nice outside the next week. So it’s a little bit crazy in the spring but I am really enjoying these warmer days and it is so pretty outside with all flowers and trees blooming.

Alright, so let’s jump into today’s topic and it’s one that I see a lot of when it comes to divorced women. Like probably most of my topics, right? So we deal with so much as divorced women and that is why I am just really excited to be able to give this podcast to you all because I know that there is so much that you are going through that I can help with because I have been there and I have worked through it and I am working with my clients to be able to get through this and I have tools and techniques that maybe some of you do not have access to so I am really just so grateful that I am able to offer you all of this information through this podcast. So first of all thank you for listening and second of all it is just amazing. I am just so excited that this is even a thing.

Almost every one of my clients has been coached on this topic and so I wanted to talk about it in today’s podcast because I think that so many of us women deal with this regularly, whether we are divorced or not, and that is overwhelm. I bet that if we were all sitting in a room together and I asked everyone in the room to raise their hand if they had ever felt overwhelm since their divorce, or even just anytime in their life, really, everyone in the room would raise their hand. Because this topic is so prevalent and if we let it go unchecked it can often become debilitating to the point where we think we have all of these things to do on our to-to list and yet the overwhelm has taken over and we actually end up getting nothing done which continues to perpetuate the feeling of we have too much to do and we cannot get done, or it’s like we’re on the hamster wheel and we’re running around in circles but not actually getting anywhere because we are not getting the important things done. The things that we really want to be doing in our lives, we feel like we’re stuck just doing the daily monotonous everyday things that we have to do and it is so frustrating and exhausting. Right?

So let’s talk about it. Overwhelm is felt when we believe that we have too much to do and not enough time to do it. Or I’ve also had clients who think that the truly world is on their shoulders now that they’re divorced and they have to do it all with no one to lean on for support or help. It’s kind of the same type of thought, right? There’s too much to do and how am I possibly going to get all of this done? Which then creates this feeling of overwhelm when we are thinking those things, right? And then how does it show up in their life when they’re thinking this?

I think there are two main ways this shows up in our lives as divorced women. The first way is we procrastinate doing things on our list because we’re constantly reminding ourselves that we don’t have enough time and there’s too much to do so we don’t even start doing anything. Right? It’s just like, we’re not even going to have time to get it done so why even start? So for example saying things like, I know I have to look for a job and start making more money but it’s too hard. I’m not smart enough for that job or I know they’re not going to hire me because I don’t have the schedule I need so maybe I’ll look for something else next week but right now it’s just too much for my brain and I really just need to check out. It is too hard. It is too heavy. So we put off the really important things because we’re feeling overwhelmed.

And it can also look like we’re trying to do all of it. We’re trying to do all of the things and we think that we HAVE to get it done. We have to feed the kids. We have to make the lunches. We have to get them off to school, and go to work, and clean the house, and run the errands, and exercise, and help the kids with homework, and then cook, and then communicate with the ex, and then take kids to sports and of their other activities, and we have to make the decisions about the divorce, and we have to make the decisions about co-parenting, and we have to show up as the co-parent who is being in control and being reasonable because the other one is being so unreasonable and we have to pay the bills and make the money, and save and try to parent effectively as a single parent, and try to control the kids from feeling unhappy or disappointed or sad after the divorce and then we’re trying to pretend that we’re not feeling sad, or unhappy, or disappointed because we do not want to make our kids feel that way and we do not want them to know that we are struggling and then by the end of the day we just feel completely exhausted. We’ve given no attention to ourselves and what we truly want and need. We’ve been emotionally checking out and pushing down how we are actually feel instead of processing through our emotions which is very energetically draining. And we’ve been so involved in take care of everyone and everything else in our lives that we are just physically, emotionally and mentally spent. The overwhelm is real. Right?

So these actions may look different, but they are actually coming from the basic same thought and they are definitely both creating a feeling of overwhelm. If you’re new to the podcast then I’ll quickly remind all of you newbies and maybe some of you who have been listening but maybe have forgotten that any time you’re feeling something it’s coming from what you’re thinking. Your feelings are never coming from anything outside of you. So the overwhelm is not coming from your to-do list, and all of the things that you think you need to get done during the day. It’s not coming from the divorce and the pressure of the divorce and needing to co-parent effectively and it’s not coming from being the parent and having to make all of the decisions and it’s not even coming from trying to find a new job and make more money. It’s not coming from any of those things outside of you. The overwhelm is always coming from what you’re thinking in the moments when you are feeling completely overwhelmed. When you’re feeling the pressure. It’s coming from what’s happening in your head.

When you’re feeling overwhelmed you’re most likely having some kind of thought like, “I HAVE to do this” or “I HAVE so much to do and I don’t have the time to do it.” Or “This is so hard. I never have time for myself.” Something like that, right? It’s coming from some underlying story that you are obligated to do these things and if you don’t everything will fall apart. Your life, your kid’s lives, your family, the world even sometimes. We feel that pressure. All of it will fall apart and so we have to do it because no one else will. There is no one else.

But here’s the best news that I’m going to share with you. This is a lie. There is no truth whatsoever to this story. When you tell yourself this story that you have to do these things, you are giving away all of the control in your life to ‘time’. You are giving away control of your life to ‘outside circumstances’, to the society, to your kids, to your ex, to everything else. What you are doing is giving way your control rather than realizing that you are now and have always been in complete control of what you do and don’t do.

So how do you take back control of your life and stop feeling overwhelmed? How do you stop telling yourself this story? There are several steps that you can take to step off the hamster wheel of overwhelm. Right? Sometimes we feel like we’re running on that hamster wheel. I’m going to teach you these concepts so when you’re wanting to stop feeling overwhelm the first thing that you can do, and I say this a lot but it’s true, and it works with almost everything, is take responsibility for the choices you have made in your life that have gotten you to where you are right now. What your life is right now is a biproduct of the choices that you’ve made in the past. Yes. I’m telling you, you played a part in what’s happening in your life right now. Now do not hear me wrong at this point. I am not saying that the challenges that you’re having right now in your life are your fault. There is a difference between blaming yourself and owning your choices and that’s what I’m talking about here. You owning your choices.

I just finished reading a book called Everything is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo. We are reading it in my Becoming You Again Book Club and if you’re not in the book club you can totally join. In the description it will take you to a link that you can get to join the book club. We read about every month or two another self help book and this last one that we did was Marie Forleo’s book, Everything is Figureoutable. She has a chapter that is almost dedicated specifically to this whole idea of really taking ownership and responsibility for your own choices. Not blaming yourself. Not saying that it’s your fault the things that have happened to you. There’s a lot of things that we can’t control but there are choices in our lives that when we take ownership over it we will gain control over where we want to go next. How we want to show up in our lives because of those choices.

So for example, I was coaching a woman who was going through a divorce. According to her, her soon to be ex is a narcissist who was constantly messing with her and doing his best to make her look bad in front of the kids because she will tell them, “Dad’s going to come get you and we’re going to go meet him and he’s going to take you for a couple of days.” And then he’ll cancel at the last minute and she’ll be the one left to pick up the pieces. And then on top of that she felt like she was making all of the decisions. She had to sell the house and move and have the kids full time and work and deal with her emotions and make sure her kids didn’t get disappointed about their dad and really hoping that they didn’t see her as the mean mom. And just really trying to intervene with all of the things in life that we try and do as moms, right? And the part where she gets to take responsibility in this story is by understanding that she has decided to take the kids full time. She has chosen to follow through with a divorce from this man (whether or not she initiated it). She may or may not have wanted the divorce or even asked for it – but the responsibility comes in her accepting that she’s making the choice to follow through with the divorce and raise her kids 100% of the time. She’s making that choice. And so allowing herself to take responsibility for that puts her back in the driver’s seat. Rather than feeling like life is just carrying her around. She’s sitting in the backseat being driven every which way and she has no choice over the matter. So when you can accept that responsibility of your own choices that when you get to reclaim your power to decide now where do I want to go from here.

So where do you go after you accept responsibility for your choices? Then next thing you get to do is you get to recognize that you don’t HAVE to do any of it. Like I said before, overwhelm comes from a story that we’re telling ourselves that we have to do it all. We have to carry the weight on our shoulders, we have to get it done. If we don’t do it no one will. But none of that is true. You don’t have to do any of it. Really. Truly. None of it. It’s all a choice.

You don’t have to sell the house. You don’t have to go to work. You don’t have to get the kids off to school or help with their homework or make dinner or pay bills or get ready in the morning or even be their mom anymore. You don’t.

One of my mentors tells this story of when she realized this in her own life. That it was all a choice. She was feeling really overwhelmed by motherhood and parenting in general and she was at the park one day with her boys and they were playing and she was sitting on a bench and she had this thought, “I could just leave right now and stop being their mom. I don’t have to continue being their mom if I don’t want to.” And she said that that realization for her changed everything. It changed how she looked at everything in her life from then on and it gave her back her power. It allowed her to stop feeling overwhelm instantly. Because she finally realized that she didn’t have to do any of it. Moving forward she was going to intentionally be choosing what she would do and not do.

And this is where you’ll find your power too. In choosing. Now, I get it. You’re probably yelling at me as you drive in your car listening to this podcast saying, “Karin, you don’t get it. I really do have to go to work because if I don’t go to work then I’ll lose my house and then I’ll lose my insurance which means I’ll probably eventually lose my kids.” And yes, you’re right. Those might be some consequences to choosing not to go to work and not to make money – but it would ultimately be your choice. That’s where the power lies. In knowing that you have the choice. Always.

You decide what’s really important to you and what you’ll include in your day and where you’ll spend your time. Everything else will either not be a problem or not get done and it will still be ok.

When I’m working with my clients and we get to this realization what we do is we make a list of all of the things they think they have to do. Everything. Literally every little thing that they think they must get done in their day, their week, their life, their year, right? Or if they don’t everything will fall apart. And then we go through it, literally one by one, and decide if they are intentionally going to choose to keep it on their list and get it done or work on it next week or maybe take a look at in a month but whatever it is there is intentionality and choice and once that happens it’s like the overwhelm magically disappears. It’s so amazing.

So for me, I used to feel very overwhelmed about making sure dinner was made every night and that the house was picked up before bed. This was something that I really felt like I needed to do while I was married and I tried to keep this up after the divorce. But as I became more involved with growing my business, my coaching business, and I was still working full time and being a single mom and I was dating and I was trying to fit in time for work, and business, and kids, and boyfriend and all; of my own needs and on top of that, right. And I was still trying to make dinner every night and keep the house as clean as possible; I realized that thinking that I needed to have the house cleaned and thinking that I needed to have dinner on the table every single night was making me feel overwhelmed. Those thoughts were like, I have to get this done and I didn’t like feeling overwhelmed. I don’t like feeling overwhelmed. So I did an assessment and decided what I was willing to keep doing and what I wasn’t. Making dinner every single night and cleaning the house constantly did not make my list of things that I was going to keep doing. It doesn’t mean that I gave up completely on both of them. Of course I still make dinner a few nights a week and then some nights we order out and some nights we literally go to the grocery store and everybody picks what they want to make for themselves and other nights it’s like fend for yourself. Whatever you can find in the fridge or cupboard that’s what you get, because I’m not making dinner. And as far as cleaning goes, I get to it about once every week or two. The kids help much more than they used to and when the house is messy I don’t walk around and make it mean that I’m a terrible person or that I’ve done something wrong or that I’m not good enough or worthy because my house is messy. All it means is that I’ve chosen to prioritize other things in my life. And I am choosing to not create overwhelm for myself by thinking that I need to get this done, that it has to be done.

So what in your life are you telling yourself you HAVE to do? Take responsibility for it and then decide if it’s something that you want to intentionally choose to continue doing or if it’s time to let it go.

Alright, that’s it for today. I will be back next week.

If you like what you heard on today’s podcast and you want to know more about working 1:1 with me, you can go to and schedule your free consult to find out more. That’s www dot Karin nelson coaching dot com.

Thanks for listening. If this podcast episode agreed with you in any way, please take a minute to follow, rate and leave a comment. And for more details make sure to check out the show notes by clicking the link in the description.



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