We all have a certain level of resilience. We are all a lot stronger than we often believe. And we all can cope. Often with far more then we should ever have too.
There are however times in life – when everything just feels too much. When enough truly is enough? After all we are all human. We all have a limit. And when we are pushed beyond capacity – it can feel as though everything is tumbling down around us.
Maybe the waves hit individuals differently – for some they will not be able to sleep. For some they will not be able to get up in the morning. Others will find it hard to be around people. While some will want to distract themselves and keep busy. Some people will not pick up the phone. Others will not put it down. Some will eat more, some less. Some will drink to excess – others cannot think of anything worse then drinking when they are in a dark place.
The waves will look different. For some they will be loud and crashing. Explosive outburst may come. Anger may rise. Frustration may be very real. And perhaps they will let others know about these feelings in quite a volatile away. For others, the waves will appear smaller and quieter – but that does not lesson the pain. Perhaps their silence speaks volumes. Perhaps their quiet and often low mood shows the dark place they are in. Pain is visibly different, it sounds different, and it hits in a different way.
We are after all unique in our humanity.
But thing is for sure – when we hit the wall – we can all hit it hard.
Physically our bodies might scream at us – illness, migraines, insomnia, aches, pains – you name it. Mentally we may feel like we cannot take any more. Perhaps anxiety rises or depression takes over. Sometimes both say hello in equal capacity, and it is so hard to put one foot in front of the other. Psychologically we can feel overwhelmed. We can feel tested to the absolute limit. And as a result, we can feel totally lost.
What then? How do we then start to move forward? How do we begin to feel more like ourselves again? If the storm is taking over – how do we get through until is passes?
We live in a society where we are encouraged to pull our sleeves up and get on with things. Culturally we are encouraged to keep going no matter what. But is that truly good for us? Is it ok to push ourselves when we are totally and utterly drained? If we are honest deep down, we all know it is not – yet still we push ourselves, even at our lowest.
Perhaps it is about giving our selves permission to simply be. Exactly how we are on any given day and in any given moment. If you are struggling. If you have hit your wall. Then you need to be kinder to yourself then ever. You may have days when you feel like you can go for that swim or that walk. But you may have days when you cannot even face getting out of bed in the morning. Listen to your body. Listen to yourself. Remind yourself that you matter. You are important.
It is ok to cancel any commitment. You do not have to beat yourself up about that. You need to focus on doing what is best for you right now. It is ok to take a day off work and to not feel guilty about it. Time off does not only have to be due to physical illness. What about the days where your mental health needs taking care of too?
You do not have to do anything. You do not have to do that cleaning right now. That admin right now. You do not have to see those family members or friends right now. You just need to focus on what you need. Maybe at times you do not even know what that really is. But try and tune in to yourself. You will find your answers. Maybe you can start by recognising what isn’t good for you?
The key to feeling better in yourself is pace. And the importance of that pace is that it is slow. You need to do things gradually – step by step. No pressure. No rush. The only way we start to get back on track is gradually. There is no other way really. Take it day by day. Sometimes hour by hour. And tune in to the things that make you feel truly calmer.
If you are struggling right now – the best thing you can do for yourself is to take some pressure off. You will not be able to go at the same pace as you once did. You will not do the things in the same way – or even feel the same about them as you once did. But that is ok. Its ok to step off the treadmill sometimes. Its ok to step back for a while. Just come back when your ready – in your own time.
Take care of you – everything else can wait.