From Flooded to Focused

Unpacking the Human Condition Entry #1 by Lois Barth, Human Development Expert, Behavioral Wellness Meets Professional Development Consultant, Keynote Speaker, Coach and Author

April 29, 2021

Being a highly sensitive empath I feel flooded regularly, it’s not an atypical experience.

My wiring is both a gift and a “growth opportunity” (euphemism for real bummer at times). The upside is that because I feel other people’s energy and am very tuned in, I am often told by my coaching clients that I bring deep insights and when integrated into their lives it makes a huge difference. I feel things on a very deep level. So granted it’s a mixed bag AND I wouldn’t have it any other way!

The big change for me is learning how to deal with the feelings of being flooded in a productive way that allows me to reboot and absorb the lessons and learnings that come with each experience and use them to grow and to use these insights and experiences to focus and move forward. It’s been a life-long process.

Recently I had the delicious honor of three robust days with my former intern turned Rockstar (speaker, coach, and entrepreneur extraordinaire) to do a three-day deep dive with her so that we can support each other in our personal and professional goals. It was magical AND we were both exhausted, fried, and yes flooded by the end of Day 3. AND we can’t wait to do it again!

From all the “ahas” and “breakthroughs” and heart-to-hearts my sleep patterns were mythical and anything but restful, which didn’t help much. But what allowed me to reboot and rejuvenate and start the process of really implementing and internalizing all that I learned, was making different choices than I would’ve before.

In the past, I would have done the trifecta of exhausting myself further by:

  1. Making a plan of action right after each day- PALEEZE, I didn’t even have fumes to put in my tank.
  2. Review my notes what I had learned and try to translate them into action.
  3. The worst- Play catch up with what I had put on my things-to-do list.

On paper those would “make sense” but just thinking of them made my stomach have a heart attack and want to eat a boatload of dark chocolate!

Instead, I did something RARE for me after pivotal intense experiences- A WHOLE LOT OF NOTHING. I crawled into my PJ’s (no matter what the time) I fiddled with my new WYZE Journal (woo-hoo productivity toys), and I really took in the gift of time well spent with a dear friend and lots of quiet.

May sound like a giant “DUH” to you, but not to me! I have found the hard way, that if I don’t find a way to self-soothe I will definitely self-numb, it’s inevitable. Self-Soothing gives you the ability to reparent yourself and bounce back and self-numbing leaves you more exhausted and depleted.

During the pandemic, it’s human to be flooded both with positive experiences (new position, move, work venture, rights-of-passage with your kids) as well as the challenging ones (financial and health challenges and just same ol same ol).

Are you finding yourself flooded and want to eat, vape, shop, worry yourself sick and media junkie your way through it (in addition to a vast array of even more dangerous practices)? No judgments, but I can promise you you’ll feel even crappier and more exhausted afterward.

Here’s a three-step plan I do and recommend to my clients and the groups I speak to:

  1. STOP- DO NOT PASS GO (Push through, muscle your way through it) do not Collect $200 and instead BREATHE! Maybe shallowly at first but then deeper when you’re ready to.
  2. Check-in with your energy- Spinning, wired and tired, exhausted and fried, somewhere in between? The simple act of staying present even for 30 seconds will help you locate what’s going on and what the next action is on your own behalf.
  3. Shift Gears- you can act your way towards productive thinking a lot quicker than think your way into positive action. If you are feeling deep fatigue, focus on rest even if sleep doesn’t come out of it. Soothing music can help a hot bath or shower if you have the energy to do it. If you feel flooded with conflicting thoughts, just take out a piece of paper and write down words or call a friend and say you need to spill your beans. If you feel wired and tired and frenetic, stroll around the block or put on some rocking beat and dance it out.

Take an action even a teensy weensy one that supports you in honoring how you feel and where your energy is. Your body mind and spirit will thank you. The next morning or even three hours later you’ll feel rebooted even if just slightly and be able to move forward.

Now more than ever when we learn how to self-regulate by soothing ourselves the more resiliency we will build. We’ll also be able to reboot and glean the lessons and opportunities of both the challenges and victories we’re experiencing in our lives.

Hey, we spend 38 hours figuring out how to use our iPhone 78 we can take a few minutes to honor how our own “operating system” works best!

How do you reboot when you’re feeling flooded?

I’d love to hear from you.

Thanks for tuning in and not tuning out.

Ready to feel better, more inspired, and more fulfilled in your life? Click the email me at and set up a complimentary Discovery Call to see how coaching can help you do that. In the subject field please text Discovery Call and we’ll be in touch soon!