We all have experienced traumatic events in our lives. Not only do big things happen, like a sudden loss, illness, or a breakup. Sometimes difficulties can come in little pieces that, by accumulation, make us feel overwhelmed, out of balance, and unable to connect with joy. Constant pressure at work, problems in relationships, financial stress, physical pain… who is not living at least one of these situations or something similar?
When it seems that it is too painful to feel what is happening in our lives, we want to make it disappear. We often tell everyone we are all right, but we feel miserable and carry on with our lives the best way we can. We try to avoid facing all we don’t want to feel because we believe the problem is too big. We run away from the fear, heartache, or pain, we intensely feel. But it is stored in our minds and bodies, and reappears from time to time.
There are strategies to go through these periods when things feel like more than we can face. Observe yourself and see if you are using any escape mechanism or are distracting yourself, to avoid facing the life situations you have in front of you. Is it working? What will help you resolve your problems, in the long run, is connecting with your body and the pain it stores, and investigating the story you have in your mind about these events. Approach it, even if it is little by little. And then allow all of it to be released.
Maybe you have been controlling the pain for many years, trying to be sure it doesn’t reappear on the surface of your life. Perhaps you locked it away a long time ago in a safety box and thought you would never have to see it again. But whatever is affecting you, even if it is very old pain, will not disappear because you ignore it; just the opposite. The more you ignore it, the harder it will try to get to you. Love yourself enough to help yourself to heal.
Soothe yourself, be kind and understanding towards yourself, and nurture yourself, if you want to support yourself in your healing. But what happens when our lives don’t go as we want or we face serious problems? We tell ourselves: it is my fault. Doing that adds pain to what we are already experiencing. We dislike who we are or our life, because we blame ourselves for not knowing how to resolve the situation we are in. Now we have two problems: the inner sense of shame, guilt, or frustration, plus the pain we are experiencing.
Become aware of what is happening to you. Do it, but don’t inflict more pain on yourself. To resolve any challenge in life, the first step is to add more Love to the situation. Love includes the acceptance of whatever is happening, the time to process it, the releasing, the forgiveness, the treating yourself with care, the asking for help if it is necessary. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Be your own friend, not your enemy. There is no problem big enough that it cannot be solved with more Love towards yourself and your life. Love is a great cure for situations of all kinds.
Help yourself to go through tough times. Healing is a process. We all have thorns stuck in our hearts, hurts, and disappointments. Love is a powerful force and your ally in facing pain. Whatever you want to change in your life, it can be transformed. But the solution to face the pain you are looking for is not out there, but inside yourself.
The more you trust your goodness and innate power and connect with them, the faster you will be able to resolve what you are facing and move forward. You cannot make the events that happened to you disappear, but you can give yourself the opportunity to use them to transform yourself and become more resilient and stronger. Remember that, like the Phoenix Bird, you have within you the power of regeneration and wherewithal to heal and be new again.
”To heal is to touch with love that which we previously touched with fear”
There are moments in life when you need radical self-care. When things accumulate, you are too busy, your calendar is full of personal and work or business matters, and you start feeling depleted, tired, stressed, or anxious, this is the time to stop and reflect on your present circumstances. It is the moment to take time for you. Time to take good care of yourself, replenish batteries and regenerate.
You are not like a machine that, when the battery is low, can be connected to the power and, in a short amount of time, is restored to the original energy level. We tend to ask our bodies and minds for more than they can give. We postpone our needs, prioritize others, and sacrifice our well-being for many different reasons. I do it inadvertently with a certain frequency. I am not the one to tell you that you should stop. I want to remind you that it is your responsibility to take good care of yourself.
Once you lose your health, good mood, and zest for life, it will take you more time to recover than if you stop and take some restorative measures when you observe the first signs of overdoing, fatigue, lack of joy, or burnout. Life loses its meaning when you are not feeling well emotionally, spiritually, or physically. It makes sense that this happens, but we ignore the signs repeatedly until we are in trouble, get sick, or need a long vacation to recover from all the excesses.
You will feel it. Your body will send you enough signals. You will see it in your mood and the absence of happiness. If you need to stop, do it now. Don’t procrastinate on this matter. If you don’t, life will do it for you. Usually, in a big way, at the least expected moment, when you don’t have time to stop, when you have to solve many things, when you have big plans for your life, business, or family. Life will impose order. Self-Care needs to be radical. No excuses. Nothing else is more important when you need to take care of yourself.
Wouldn’t you prefer to take care of yourself now, not lose your balance, and enjoy life to the fullest? Or do you want to keep running around until your battery is so low that recharging it will take a long time? It is your choice. It seems that life pushes you in one direction, and you can only say yes to your commitments and those that keep coming. Different things may be asking for your time and energy: family members, work, children, moving homes, an illness…
It doesn’t matter what it is. What is crucial is that you recognize early enough that you need to be there for yourself and take care of yourself to serve others properly. Do it because you Love yourself, because you owe it to yourself. Learn to say no when necessary. Decide what you can and cannot do. Delegate, postpone, or ask someone for help if you need it. You are not invincible.
It is for you to recognize what you need. Still, if you listen deeply, you will hear a voice whispering inside yourself, asking for things like sleep, rest, silence, relaxation, clean air, proper breathing, movement of a certain kind, stretching, hydration, or a concrete kind of food… The voice communicates with you all the time, but you may not hear it in the middle of the chaos and noise of modern life.
Think about how our ancestors lived. They were more in touch with nature than us; they ate food from the season and had time for conversations, music, lecture, contemplation, and walks. They lived slowly, and we don’t. I invite you to consider if slowing down may help you to take radical care of yourself. You are the most important being in the world. There is only one like you. There is no substitute for you. Don’t undervalue yourself. You deserve to be good to yourself.
”Our lives are so busy, and for many of us the demands are overwhelming. Some of us focus so much on the needs of others, we lose sight of ourselves. Stop, for one moment.
Take a deep breath. Be still. Refocus. Concentrate on improving your life. One situation at a time. You can’t be much good to others if you’re no good to yourself"
We experience many things every day. We accumulate thoughts and feelings, and frequently we don’t invest time in understanding and letting them go. We live fast. There is no time for going inwards. Life continues. This is the way we act until we enter into a crisis, and we have to stop. It can happen in the form of an accident, illness, loss, financial problem, a relationship issue, or disconnection from ourselves.
If you don’t stop, life will stop you. It is necessary to devote time to heal your experiences, all of them. To process what happened to you. To find a way to release or forgive a situation or event. It is not a good idea to suppress what you feel, ignore it, or blame others for the situations you are involved in.
You are here to learn something from every little thing that happens to you. Don’t ruminate over a problem or issue; take what you have learned with you and continue living. Don’t allow yourself to get stuck in the same patterns or ways of reacting to life. Observe yourself.
When your body gives you signs of discomfort, unexpected pain, or lack of energy, don’t wait until you feel sick or in pain. Pause, and take a break. Take care of yourself. Allow yourself to do nothing for some hours. Find the time to heal now.
Listen to what your body is trying to tell you. Don’t pressure yourself to be well. Just be with what is happening. Every illness has a deep meaning at a soul level. Be on the side of your body and Love it, instead of thinking about why it is not working properly. Your body wants to be healthy. What can you do to help? Or what can you stop doing to help your body return to wellbeing?
Time is the key element. I am not talking about time in hours and days, but more about an internal time where you listen to what is happening inside you. We ask others how they are very frequently, why not do the same with ourselves. Check in with yourself. Not in a judgmental way.
Find time to be with yourself, your wounds, your incomplete business, your unhealed relationships, or whatever you are feeling right now. We don’t allow ourselves enough time to charge batteries, to reconnect with ourselves and our inner world. We want to continue with our lives immediately, but things are resolved at the right time, not when we want.
Don’t take the easy path of getting busy and not having time to feel or release. It only will help you postpone the inevitable. Later on, you will have to confront what you abandoned along the way. All those things you have accumulated won’t disappear from your life just because you postpone dealing with them for long enough. They dissolve when you confront them and consciously decide to be with them, feel them, understand them, take responsibility for them, release them, forgive those involved, including yourself, and set yourself free to move on and start anew.
We want to resolve it all quickly. I know because I have been there as well. I do many things, and ask and ask more of myself until I realize that I have forgotten to cultivate my inner peace and how to feel good with myself. Don’t take your life, health, or relationships for granted. Give thanks for everything you have. Gratefulness is the secret of life. You have received the gift of life. Stop, feel, and live. And when the moment arrives, take the time to heal.
"Healing may not be so much about getting better, as about letting go of everything that isn’t you — all of the expectations, all of the beliefs — and becoming who you are"
Rachel Naomi Remen
All of us have experienced moments when we felt overwhelmed, overworked, exhausted, or out of energy and enthusiasm for life. Life’s circumstances will put you in a spot where you don’t have any other option but to accept the challenge and do what needs to be done.
The reason why you feel so tired can be an excess of work, the deadline of a project, or just not enough personnel in your company. You may be experiencing stress from your relationships, maybe your marriage is not working, or you have lost a loved one and are grieving. Maybe you can’t sleep at night because you are taking care of a sick family member or your child, or just thinking about how to pay the bills at the end of the month.
The worry will eat away at you. You won’t be able to find a solution by worrying. Instead, you will add more energy to the problem. You will drain yourself and run out of energy. This is the energy that you will need to be able to focus on what you can do differently, and on how you can receive help. Yes, you can receive help, if you allow it to happen. You are never alone, and you don’t need to know how to resolve every situation you are faced with.
Take a deep breath… yes, now. Do it now. What are you going to lose? Just let me guide you. Take another breath, and now a deeper one. When you exhale, let go of all that is worrying you. You haven’t had enough with one breath to release everything? Then take another one, and one more, until you visualize all the worry, stress, anxiety, and dark clouds on your mind going away. Great! Thank you for trying.
Now, focus on inhaling the most wonderful and powerful energy that you can imagine. Every breath you take is a new beginning, and when you inhale, you take in all the new you want in your life, and when you exhale, you let go of all the old that you don’t want in your life anymore.
Why have I asked you to do this breathing exercise? Because I know that it works. Because I also needed to read it. I have the temptation to put more things on my calendar than I can accomplish. I start big projects, and travel around the world, and I serve my clients, but I need to remember that I cannot lose myself in the process, that my well-being and health are my first priority, and that nothing will make sense if I lose them.
When you feel so tired that you cannot think clearly, when you need a crane to get up from bed, when you cannot relate with others without getting triggered and angry and the smallest things bother you, stop and breathe. Just that. Reconnect with yourself, reassess your priorities, and ask for help if necessary. To whom? To whoever will come to help you.
The help you need can come from an unknown person, a colleague, a friend, a sibling, or a being sent by the Universe (there are a lot of them ready to help you if you allow it to happen), or even a book or a message. Be smart enough to not sacrifice yourself for any cause, person or reason. If you Love yourself enough you will understand why you cannot do it. You are the most valuable thing you have, and unless you are ok, you won’t be able to help anyone else.
"I’ve decided to be happy because it is good for my health" - Voltaire
Judith Costa is a Life and Love Coach, Seminar Leader, Writer and Speaker. She has a Masters degree in Psychology & Psychotherapy and an MBA. She helps her clients to overcome their blocks to Love, to Love themselves and to manifest the relationship they want.