Need something to pull you back from the edge? These tips may help.
Life is hard. If you’re like most people who have been white-knuckling it through the last 18 months, you may be thinking, “I can’t handle one more thing.” There’s nothing normal about our current circumstances. The adult sentiment from the back seat of this uncomfortable, long ride has become a resounding, “Aren’t we there yet?!”
I’m hanging on by a thread. I need a time-out. I need a moment. I need a great big Woosah! Don’t you?
When I feel like I’m getting too close to the edge of myself and about to meltdown or crumble, these things are my lifelines:
Take a mental health day.
Whatever this means to you … do it! Call in to work both inside and outside of your home. Put your friends and family on notice and take the time you need. Clear your calendar of ALL things and delegate the essential tasks and childcare to capable adults. Your kids will be okay for a bit. They may watch cartoons all day or eat cereal and string cheese for dinner, but they will not die!
This is hard to do but worth it! Turn your phone OFF! Most smartphones have a do not disturb feature that allows you to have calls diverted. Set exceptions for emergency calls. No email, voicemail, and definitely avoid reading the news or social media during this break. Twenty-four hours of phone freedom can help take the weight off.
Call a Therapist
Call and make an appointment, even if you aren’t exactly sure what’s wrong. Make a commitment to show up. Don’t have a therapist? Sites like www.psychologytoday.com make it easy to locate someone. Virtual visits are often an option. If it makes you more comfortable, ask a friend or family member for a recommendation.
Pray and/or Meditate
Journal your thoughts, fears, and hopes. Make note of the blessings and good things that happen. Spend time in the quiet. Read materials that motivate and inspire you. Find time to make note of what you are thankful for each day.
Our emotional well-being is tied to our diet more than we realize. Stressed people eat poorly. Eating well and regularly can help balance your blood sugar, increase immune response, and help with hormonal regulation. Avoid processed sugars. Get plenty of protein, healthy fats, nuts and seeds, fresh fruit, veggies, and whole grains. No energy to meal plan? Task someone in your life with feeding you well for a couple of days by cooking for you, bringing you meals, or gifting you with a meal delivery. Think of that person who has said, “I wish I could be of more help,” and let them know this is how they can serve you!
What a difference a long nap or a full night’s rest can make! Being overworked and tired is a prescription for disaster. Let the dishes hang out in the sink, put the laundry basket down, turn down that event you don’t really want to go to anyway, leave the kids with a capable adult and go rest.
Confide in Someone
Let someone in your life know what you are feeling and be honest. Trust that if they love you, although they may not fully understand, they will try their best to support you. We need allies and accountability partners, and they want to see you well, happy, and whole!
Take a shower
A long bath or uninterrupted shower has a way of making us feel more human and centered. In this time and place, you are a woman in need of a moment alone, and you are not to respond to non-urgent requests for your time and energy. You are recuperating and charging up for the things ahead.
We all know what makes us happy. The key here is to find music that brings you out of the funk. Have a dance party with or without your family, sing out loud, sing off-key, and enjoy!
Visit a Beautiful Place
St. Louis is full of picturesque locations to walk, ride, run or just sit. Being under the open sky has a way of building our perspective and slowing us down. Not an outdoor person? Opt for a museum or drive through a beautiful place instead!