Life is not always a walk in the park. And maybe it´s not supposed to be as challenges offer opportunity for growth and for discovering our innate inner strengths, which are within all of us.
And yet, we might come to the point where we feel stuck, lost, lonely, bereft of meaning, helpless and ashamed that we arrived at the lowest low and that we cannot handle life in a better way. We might find ourselves suffering secretly as we think it is just our own fault and incapability.
I know what this feels and it took me a lot of exploring, trial and error and I am sharing here what worked for me to move through this period in my life:
Allowing my feelings and embracing them.
All too often we want the situation we find ourselves in to stop immediately, or we want to run away. What we actually are trying to run away from, is the overwhelm, the not-knowing, the uncertainty, the emotions of sadness, grief, fear, or whatever shows up for you in this moment. I shared here (link to another article) what you can do when you find yourself in an emotional rollercoaster.
Imagine going on a walk with your dog and taking off the lead. It starts chasing off ahead of you and a moment later it will be behind you, sniffing around at what it has discovered. It hardly ever walks next to you, and perhaps it does prefer not to ;-).
Something similar happens to our thoughts. They rarely stay in the present, but instead chase off into the future or hang around in the past. They often imagine the worst outcome, or experience regret for what has happened. Thoughts of this kind constantly change, and what we worry about today, may be different to what we worry about tomorrow. Yet still they keep us in a loop of stress, worry, self-pity, rage at others, or frustration.
So in order to become present and to find ease and calmness, regularly check in with yourself:
Where are my thoughts? Are they helpful, positive, kind? If not, allow them to fall like the leaves from the tree and don´t cling onto them. All it takes is practice. Just as you would enjoy training a dog, you can train your mind easefully too.
Seeking help and connecting to others. You don´t have to do this on your own. Simply the presence of another human can help you balance your nervous system.
Journaling. Write down what´s on your heart and mind. Just get it out.
Becoming aware of coping mechanisms: when do you think “I need a drink, a cigarette, some sweets” just because you feel a little unease welling up inside you. What kind of feelings are coming up in those moments? Can you stay present with them without distracting by giving in to those impulses?
Reducing time watching news. News will usually make us feel contracted, hopeless, fearful and invoke thoughts of “everything is going in the wrong direction!!”. When you are going through a crisis, you don´t have so save the world, but only take care of yourself.
Being mindful about checking social media accounts. Both rarely present the whole truth. If we compare others´ seemingly colourful or successful lives to our own, this will undoubtedly leave you questioning yourself even more. You don´t deserve that.
Nurturing and nourishing yourself with good and natural foods, inspirational books and uplifting people.
Going into nature as much as possible. This is an important one for me and I share here (link to article) more about my way of doing it.
Doing something – as tiny as it can be - that brings you joy! Call a friend, buy a flower, put on some music you love, or whatever, could allow you to feel a little upliftment in this moment.
Moving the body. Sometimes all we feel is apathy and tiredness. That´s ok. And yet it is very self-loving to move your body so that we can shift the energy. Going for a walk, some yoga stretches maybe even some dance moves.
Remembering that everything comes and goes, and finally…
Trusting that you are experiencing this for the most benevolent reasons and that there is a perfect timing for you to move through and out of this. Have patience, be kind to yourself and know that you are stronger than you think! Much stronger!