Take a break for your health when your world is spinning out of control
For the past few months, I have been running around doing a lot of things that I have no interest doing. Life was just extra busy with so many annoying things that it has been much more difficult than usual. I was so tired and frustrated and angry about the many different things I had to do that were occupying most of my time and compromising my health (dystonia and chronic pain), and I wasn’t doing anything that I enjoyed. In fact, I got to where I wasn’t even interested in doing anything at all.
I even found myself experiencing bouts of depression, which I have not experienced so deeply in a long time when I suffered with chronic depression when my dystonia was at its worst. My brain has been so preoccupied and burned out with so many things that all I was doing was worrying non-stop.
I wasn’t taking enough time to breathe and check in with myself and ask the question: “what do I need for me right now?” Actually, I was doing this, but my only answer was, “solve all the seemingly endless problems so you can rest.” This felt like the right answer, but the truth of the matter is that what I really needed was a little time for myself in the midst of it all. Not taking better care of me caused me to feel even more overwhelmed. Not doing this goes against everything I talk about and write about in my blogs and book.
Today I made some choices to do some things that weren’t particularly interesting, but things I used to find to be of interest. As I began doing them, my brain began to settle and not worry so much about the rat race I was running for so long. I just needed to take one step towards something that I enjoy doing for me to feel a sense of relief… and even a little bit of joy. I also needed to do something where I felt like I got something accomplished. On this day, it was voting, some very light grocery shopping, and a little cleaning around the house. These are things where I felt some sense of control.
I don’t know what works for you in these situations, but for me it is doing something that I enjoy doing, even if I’m not in the mood for it, and completing a task that has been on the back burner. Once I get going, my interest grows and my creative mind gets flowing, with the end result being stress reduction, which is what I felt today for the first time in a very long time. It even led to writing this blog pretty much on the fly.
In retrospect, I could have gotten to this point at any time over the past few months, but I resisted doing my regular self-care, mind-calming practices because I felt like I would lose control of everything I had to do. The reality is that the only way for me to get that sense of control was to let go. Having done that today, I feel much more grounded and a little more like the old me, with some better perspective.
Whatever you are going through, please don’t forget to take time for yourself. Give yourself space to breathe and do whatever else you can to reduce your problem solving, hypervigilant mind from going into overdrive, which is when it is most difficult to reel back in. Everything that seems like an emergency usually isn’t when we pull back and get perspective. It just feels like an emergency when we are constantly in the midst of it. Please be good to yourself and let everything fall into place. It almost always does.
Tom Seaman is a Certified Professional Life Coach in the area of health and wellness, and the author of 2 books: Diagnosis Dystonia: Navigating the Journey (2015) and Beyond Pain and Suffering: Adapting to Adversity and Life Challenges (2021). He is also a motivational speaker, chronic pain and dystonia awareness advocate, health blogger, volunteer for the Dystonia Medical Research Foundation (DMRF) as a support group leader, and is a member and writer for Chronic Illness Bloggers Network, The Mighty, Patient Worthy, and The Wellness Universe. To learn more about Tom, get a copy of his books (also on Amazon), or schedule a free life coaching consult, visit www.tomseamancoaching.com. Follow him on Twitter @Dystoniabook1 and Instagram.