Managing Overwhelming Feelings


April 14, 2021

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A little while ago, I asked my Instagram followers what you wanted to read about in this blog. In addition to “amazing Colorado weddings” and “beautiful couples in the mountains,” I received some requests that surprised me: “How do you do it all!?” “Help this girl with all the wedding stress” and “Balance: working, life, wedding planning, and pandemic.” While I’m no life coach, I can share a handful of things that have helped me manage overwhelming feelings. Here are 5 ways that I make that anxiety ball in my chest melt into the feeling of accomplishment.

Black and white photo of desert plant taken by Hillary Shedd Photography, Colorado wedding photographer

First, a little bit more about me. I’m a full time wedding photographer, part time conservation photographer, and fill time stay at home mom to my 7 month old daughter. Having a baby was always a life goal of mine, and I’m so thankful to hold this little rolley-polley in my arms (when I can catch her–she crawls as fast as I can run!). I’m also someone who knows her body well. I’ve spent years tracking my cycle and planning my business around the weeks I feel like networking vs. weeks I’m better hunkering down in front of my computer. Women’s bodies are AMAZING, and I’ll probably write another post on that another time. 

Over these past 7 months, I’ve felt every emotion in the book: excitement to hold this little human, motivation to bring in an income for my family doing what I love (and what I’m good at–woot woot!), anxiety about not having time to do everything up to the level that I hold myself to, and overwhelm when one of the balls (or many…) that I’m juggling are dropped. I’ve been waking up every morning at 6am with Noelle, hustling during her naps, and working late into the night while my gem of a husband makes dinner and does the dishes. I am exhausted, loved, proud, overwhelmed, and ready for a change. Here’s what I’ve learned about managing these feelings.

1. Stop glorifying the hustle.

Instead of sharing how busy you are or how much time you don’t have, share what you’ve accomplished and what makes you happy. Glorify your accomplishments and then take time to recognize when you need a break. I’ve found that it stresses me out more to tell others how much I have to do! When I see people relaxing because they’re ready for a break, I can’t help but be motivated and smile inside. 

2. Make a plan ahead of time.

Do you have a long to-do list in your head? Ever lose sleep because you’re thinking of the next day’s activities? Not worrying about tomorrow is much easier said than done, but I’ve found that writing it all down really helps. I LOVE keeping a bullet journal and also recommend trying out the free version of Trello. Writing down your list will help you not forget anything while seeing the items crossed off will remind you that you are accomplishing things. Get out of your own head. You’ve got this!

3. Recognize your “why” and write it somewhere you can read it every day. 

The “7 Whys” is a method to help understand core issues. Ask yourself why are you doing something, then proceed to ask yourself “why” to the answers 7 times. Yes, it is annoying and you will feel like a 4-year-old, but if you are truly honest with every answer, you’ll find out your core why–aka your core motivation! There’s a reason you’re attempting to do all these things. Whether your reason is love, honor, family, etc. It’s important. Write it down and remind yourself that you’re planning a wedding during a pandemic while working as an accountant through tax season for a reason. #worthit

4. Give yourself grace.

We are living through a pandemic. Life is weird. Trust that you are doing your best. Why are we always harder on ourselves than we are on others?  You are amazing. It doesn’t matter how much you accomplished today. Your worth is not defined by your productivity. Period.

5. Know when to ask for help

Asking for help has been one of the hardest things for me to learn, but it is also THE most helpful thing for me to manage overwhelming feelings. When I am able to communicate what I need to accomplish, what I can do, and what others can do for me, I feel the weight on my chest lift! Clear communication is the best gift you can give yourself and others. This week I came to the realization that I need to put my daughter in daycare. It’s bittersweet, but just the idea of it makes me breath a little easier.  

I hope this list has been helpful for you, and at the very least it reminds you that you are not alone. Together we can help remind ourselves that we are all doing our best. I’m proud of you! And I’m here to help. Please reach out to me with your timelines, shot lists, wedding drama, goals, and accomplishments. I can’t wait to cheer you on! You got this!! 

If you’re looking for a wedding photographer who will document your day in the most meaningful, beautiful way, please contact me! I can’t wait to hear your love story and be your biggest supporter. 

Photos of Hillary Shedd Photography, Colorado Wedding Photographer

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