Whole & Unleashed

What to do when sh*t hits the fan

 image by ian froome/unsplash image by ian froome/unsplash

Hi friends!

If you follow me on social media, you’ll see I just posted about injuring my back. I won’t go into full details about the ‘how’ right now but I will shed a light on how I’ve been coping.

You know all those mindfulness exercises, self-care tips I share and try to practice on a daily basis? Well that’s when they REALLY COUNT.

It’s when things don’t go our way that these practices matter THE MOST

It’s how we deal and how we approach these curveballs. Because while we can’t change the circumstances, our attitude and approach makes a huge difference. Now, I’m not saying these tips will suddenly solve everything and make it all better but they are a good start hopefully! 💖

1) Let it out

“There’s no lemon so sour that you can’t make something resembling lemonade.”  — This is Us

I felt the pops in my lower back and then an excruciating pain trickling through. There I was, on the floor terrified, frustrated, annoyed. Ain’t nobody got time for this! But isn’t life funny this way, it’s never dull. Full of challenges and surprises.

My thought pattern automatically went into all the things I could’ve/should’ve done instead. And we all do that

Look, venting is important!

But there’s a difference between complaining and venting. When you complain, you’re the victim. You put yourself in a helpless position.

Although you may feel this way you are not.

When you’re venting, you’re processing, letting that energy out so you can move on. 

So let your frustration and pain out. Don’t neglect them. Talk to someone you trust or a professional, write it down…whatever you’re comfortable with, so you can release that energy. Feel it all when you’re ready. Otherwise they get locked inside, slowly anchoring you down. Eventually, they will burst. They always do

2) Be proactive and not reactive

“Nothing will work unless you do.”—Maya Angelou

Focusing on why it happened doesn’t change the fact that it did happen

What can I do right now that will help the healing process?

So that’s what I’m doing. I made a couple of calls, talked to specialists and for now I can only rest. Sit back and give my body space and time to heal. Icing it here and there and trusting my body to do the right thing. In the midst of feeling powerless, I was trying to do as much as possible to speed the recovery but the only thing I can do right, under these circumstances is to rest.

And boy is it hard. I guess that’s the part of letting go. In trusting my body, trusting things will be ok (whatever the outcome)

3) Move with ease, be at ease

“How you practice is how you are” — Strala Yoga

It’s not just about doing yoga with ease, it’s also living with ease. I could let the anxiety and worry consume me and tense up my entire body. But that won’t help with the healing AT ALL.

Our bodies need to be relaxed to heal. 

When you’re stressed out, your body is in fight or flight mode. The stress hormone ‘cortisol’ starts building up. Look, that’s great when you’re trying to run away from a lion. That boost of energy is what you need at that moment, to survive. But sometimes our bodies can’t differentiate between the stress of a work deadline vs. running away from a predator. So what happens when there’s too much cortisol in your body? Here’s an excerpt from the hearty soul:

    • Redirects circulation to muscles and the heart (run, Forest, run), and away from digestive and detoxification organs
    • Proteolysis, or breakdown of muscle (burning muscle for energy)
    • Counteracts insulin, causing insulin dysregulation and increased abdominal fat storage (storing energy to run from the next lion)
    • Suppresses the immune system (who cares about bacteria when a lion is chasing you?)
    • Reduces bone and collagen formation (developing osteoporosis and looking young isn’t as important as getting away!)
    • Damages brain cells responsible for learning and retrieval of memories (although short term emotional memories are enhanced to remind you to avoid the lion pit in the future)
    • Prevents deep, restful sleep

Terrifying right? That’s why when we’re constantly in a state of stress our bodies can’t heal.

This is where being at ease is SUPER important.

Being at ease is a state of mind, a state of being.

Certainly easier said than done! But it’s recognizing what we can do in this specific scenario and accepting it (even if it sucks)

Look, I’ve been bed bound for a couple of days and can barely move without excruciating pain. But I do know that I’m getting better, slowly.

I’m surrendering, making the best of this unexpected detour to slow down. Treating myself with kindness and appreciate my body’s ability to heal.

And this whole slowing down and being easy leads to my next learning:

4) Focus on the present

“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.” ― Mother Teresa

Oh yes, this one is all about ‘carpe diem, seizing the day’. Being grateful and mindful for what you have.

I’m often driven by the ‘bigger picture’ that I can easily lose myself from the present. We often overlook the things that are going well and get easily fixated on the things that aren’t. That’s why mindfulness practices are so important.

Now more than ever. 

Why? Well because in this day and age, the world is filled with distractions and everything is screaming for our attention. It’s crucial that in order to hear ourselves (our desires, wants and needs) we stay connected to ourselves

And that connection happens when we learn to tune out the external noises. When we learn to appreciate the little things and BE in the moment. 

There are many ways to bring mindfulness to your days. Here are some I love:

This is where self-care begins, from the inside out.

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