Self Care Corner: Big Feelings are A-OK

Elena Aguilar, author of Coaching for Equity, sent out a newsletter talking about the word “Overwhelm.” Often hearing that word is enough to make folks feel a lot of big feelings. Aguilar describes it as a combination of 3 emotions: anger, fear, and sadness. I don’t know about y’all, but when I feel overwhelmed at work, I’m usually angry about the lack of support for myself and my students, afraid I won’t be able to serve them, and sad that I alone can’t change this system. Aguilar shares a tool to help folks work through those emotions connected to feeling Overwhelmed: ACE. ACE stands for: 

  • Acknowledge the feelings
  • Cultivate compassion for yourself
  • Expand the story: “What else is at play, what other perspectives might you consider, and what wisdom can you gain from your emotions?”

It may not solve the problem, but this tool can help you process your emotions and validate your experience in a way that allows you to move forward.