I actually had two meltdowns this past weekend. Unfortunately my sweet undeserving kids received the brunt of my exhaustion, tears, and some yelling that I’m definitely not proud of. As a naturally even tempered person meltdowns, freak-outs, and totally losing it happens infrequently- but as a regular old human they still happen sometimes.
This past weekend was the perfect storm; 2 am night at the hospital with my mom ( and everything both leading up to and following her admittance and 2 day stay), my daughter getting diagnosed with lyme disease, all while not quite walking on firm footing after being away for the whole summer and school starting, along with all the regular everyday stuff. I was just plain vulnerable, ripe for a breakdown- which ( by the way) almost always leads to a breakthrough.
Some may argue that being a Yogi means becoming immune to such tendencies. While my overwhelm has lessened considerably over many years, being in a body means that from time to time things inevitably pile up. To me being a yogi doesn’t mean avoiding such instances altogether, but learning how to move through them with less suffering.
I feel pretty lucky to have the tools needed for a quick recovery, and the understanding that while pain isn't optional- suffering really is.
Let’s start with what doesn’t work, which I find just as valuable as what does.
Here’s a list of what not to do ( if you actually want to feel better):
* Get drunk
* Binge watch Netflix
* Stay up all night reliving the horror
* Eat junk food
* Ignore, avoid, numb, deny
Full disclosure-this list was easy because I’ve done (and sometimes still do) all these things. This time I was able to keep the what not to do’s to a minimum and spend more time and energy on actually taking care of myself. Ayurveda ( yoga's sister science of health care and self care) teaches us that a sure fire way to suffer is to ignore the past, which means healing requires us to actually learn from yesterday.
Here is what does work to feel human and whole again after falling apart:
*Let yourself cry, scream ( hopefully not at anyone), and/or journal with big messy angry handwriting. I find this is a must- I had a dance/yoga/cry fest that left me feeling surprisingly renewed.
*Turn screens off early - a little distraction may not be a bad thing, but everything in moderation. For those who have a hard time sleeping, the earlier the better.
*Get to bed before 10- puffy eyes and all. Not much ( if anything)that can replace a good night's sleep.
*When you're a little more calm explain to your loved ones what you're feeling, making sure they know it’s not their fault you flipped. Let them know what they can do to support you. If you're not sure, take some time to ask yourself- if you don’t know how could they?
*Massage your feet with oil- I like coconut for cooling with a few drops of lavender for calming. ( If your not sure where to begin check out my self massage video)
*Eat only if your hungry ( something light and easy to digest like vegetable soup) and drink water even if you're not thirsty ( too many tears can dry you up quick)
*This one is huge- wake up early. Ideally before the sun. Let the one time of day when darkness turns into light work it’s magic on your mood. Sit with yourself, move your body. Count your blessings, but don’t discount your pain.
What are your go to's for quick meltdown recovery? What helps you move from from breakdown to breakthrough?
Are you looking to fill your self healing toolbox? Join me at the end of September for the next round of The Daily Sacred. In 12 weeks you'll learn how to develop daily routines to feel more balanced and aligned, daily practices to take your healing into your own hands, and daily renewal to integrate more ease and joy into your life- all from the wisdom of yoga and ayurveda If this sounds like just what you need let's talk. Space is limited and the start date is around the corner.