Getting to Yes, And

Liz Fosslien: Big Feelings


Liz Fosslien

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Kelly connects with writer Liz Fosslien to talk about her new book "Big Feelings: How To Be Okay When Things Are Not Okay."

The timing of a book about big feelings seems prescient.

“So the book is all about big feelings, uncertainty, perfectionism and burnout. My co-author and I pitched it before COVID and we were asked by the publisher: ‘Do people really have these big feelings? Do they want to talk about it? Do they want to read a whole book about it? These aren't really pleasant things.’  And then we came up with a bunch of different ideas, but nothing really seemed to stick. Then, about a year into the pandemic, our publisher came back to us and was like: “You know what, I think people might want to read this book now.”

And this is personal for you, right?

“This was very much born out of my personal experience: when you wake up and you feel this nebulous anxious dread cloud within you. To just jump into action and start doing and doing and doing and psychologists call this anxious fixing. I would immediately get up and vacuum. I would go through my email, I would create projects for myself, I would load the dishwasher. I was just doing stuff all day to escape this scary emotion. And what that does is it just burns you out because at the end of the day, you're exhausted and you've never taken the time to stop and sit with that emotion and ask what is actually driving this, what do I need to feel better?”

Can you share one of the tips you have for dealing with big feelings?

“Something that I found useful is worry time. Where if it's something you're worried about that you can't do anything about - like the global pandemic is happening -there's not really something I can do as an individual. Just say, ‘Friday nights between five and five thirty, that's my worry time and before that I'm just not going to think about it: that's my 30 minutes to fall apart. But, for now. I'll just push it to the side and come back to it Friday at five.’”

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