The new dawn: How to identify and deal with summer overwhelm

As we roll in, and then out of August, the mind often turns to the future. 


Here, in the UK, due to the academic year we are used to, we are often naturally pulled to mentally operate using the start of the academic year as a time to reflect on a fresh start in life personally or in the work we do. (Some clients actually use an academic scheduler.) This is even more likely if you have children as so much revolves around their schedule and school holidays.

The Office for National Statistics reports that, in April to June 2021, 75% of mothers were in work and 92% of fathers. Most people are therefore working yet must also navigate their personal and family life. It can, very seriously, lead to greater stress. This year, I have also had to navigate a water leak affecting two rooms, insurance companies, difficult contractors, surgery, one parent out of action, a child starting a new school, medical appointments and so on. It’s all part of life and I do it with acceptance and gratitude.

As a working parent, it can get overwhelming and feel challenging at times. Your muscles may tense up and you may or may not notice this. You know at some level, though that tension, sadness, anger or anxiety in you is rising. This is not good for you. You are best to deal with it, rather than ignore it - that often means you are prioritising something else.

As a parent, you typically have to multi-task or stop something to attend to a child, especially more recently with both the holiday period and flexible working from home now so common. Younger children require even more attention but teenagers also need the support and attention of parents - quality attention so that they feel valued and heard.

Where two parents are juggling family life, it can appear easier to others, yet it is not always the case. Never judge a book and all that…

Spending time together over the UK summer months if scheduled and mentally prepared for, (deliberately or subconsciously) is a blessing and can be very enjoyable. When you are overwhelmed though, it is hard to appreciate what joy such time can bring. I encourage you to try to see what is possible with an open, fresh outlook and to then savour those moments.

It is, I understand, difficult at times when you want to do your best as both a parent and in your job. You may get distracted, you may get irritable, you may make mistakes. At work or at parenting.

Overwhelm can show up as:

  • greater tiredness
  • irritability or anger that is unusual for you
  • increased guilt and inner tension about how you are dividing your time
  • less focus
  • more stress and worries about the future
  • physical exhaustion

The impact of this is that you are not able to give the best of yourself to yourself, your family or your work. This awareness is present at some level and can add to the already mounting stress. It also means your body is reacting to stressful forces without regulation.

Here are a few tips for what to do to help minimise stress and overwhelm:

1. As you notice stress rising, take a break from what you are doing either by physically removing yourself from the situation, or by taking five deep, calm breaths with your mind focusing on the breaths (this can be done as a toilet break – even the children will allow you that).

2. Write down what you are feeling even if, in the moment, it is bullet points. Get overwhelming thoughts out of your head.

3. Stand up and shake your body. Physical movement can assist in reducing the bodily sensations or tightness of stress.

4. Talk to a trusted partner or friend or a community of like-minded people. For example, if you are a female over 40 you might want to join The Thriving Woman’s Club, a free Facebook group for like-minded women. 

5. Do not ignore the mental, emotional or physical signs of overwhelm. See your doctor and talk it through, or seek out a therapist or a coach who can help you to successfully navigate the challenges and the joys so that you can spend more time and energy doing what you love.

For more ideas about what can help, or to embark on a six-week coaching programme to support you to effectively get to that place of comfort over discomfort, get in touch with me at

I’m Anita Gohil-Thorp, a MindThrive coach and wellbeing strategist. I have been coaching for over a decade, providing life and career coaching to business owners, professionals and anyone ready to take their life from cruising in the passenger seat to taking a leap in the driving seat. You can contact me at and discover how working together will help you to quickly map out the calm life you desire.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Stanmore HA7 & London W1A
Written by Anita Gohil-Thorp, Promoting self-leadership to career goals & life confidence
Stanmore HA7 & London W1A

Anita is a highly rated coach, mentor and trainer. She provides transformational mindset growth and wellness through powerful coaching. She presents on coaching for goals, stress management, mental resilience, time management and more. Readers of this piece will be gifted a 10% discount on Anita's fees up to 31 August 2022.

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