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Learning to Detach to Save Myself

I tried logging on to my laptop yesterday to submit a post. For some reason unknown to me at the time, my internet was out. I blamed the wind, the change in weather, whatever else was bothering me at the time, but I never did get up to understand why. Frankly, I didn’t care.

Yesterday was one day in a list of long days over the past week that went wrong for me. I finally understood all that colloquial talk about King Midas and his gold they referenced all the time back in the days. One thing after another went wrong. By Saturday night, I had such a huge headache I was unable to see out of my left eye.

Now, I’m all about the mindfulness and stuff. Yoga – check. Whenever I can get my body to bend these days, that is. Going for walks, taking deep breaths. Check and check. Yet nothing I tried seemed to bring down my stress levels, so I did what most people do at this time. I pulled out the biggest, snuggliest throw I have, laid down on the couch and watched as much television as was possible. Did it any of that help? Not at all.

Finally, I resigned to my room, turned off all the lights, forced some Tylenols (get the plural?) down my throat and napped until the headache left, my breathing went back to normal, and I felt like myself again.

Thankfully, this is not a typical day for me, just one of those days that summed up a bad week. And once again, they’re few and brief in the great scheme of my life, but nonetheless, still painful.

“My heart bleeds for the underdogs,” I blurted out over a BFF dinner date last night. I can’t help it. I allow others’ problems to weigh me down, especially when they’re my clients. Not sure why, but I’m a sucker for other people’s struggles and it’s not because I don’t have enough of my own. I enjoy helping people in need out of life’s ruts, but before anyone gets any ideas – it’s not just any people – just the ones I service.

When I’m in one of those down days – or weeks, as evidenced over the past week – I tend to detach, to step back and get lost in my own little world, to look deep within myself and work things out, to understand what brought me at the place I’m at and why. Ninety-five percent of the time, this method works. It helps me unwind, to revisit the pain, emotional or physical, to understand what makes me tick. I’ve been here before, I remind myself, and I will find my way out again.

I’m sure by now that I don’t have to reach into the depths of my browser to quote the number of Americans who are stressed or even depressed these days. We see those numbers frequently in headlines, at doctor’s offices, and if you work at my job, in internal emails. It’s not something we can avoid, and we shouldn’t. Instead, we should take the time to understand ourselves to better come up with ways to self-care. It worked for me this weekend. I was able to understand why I react the way I do to  certain situations so I can build up immunity to those issues when they come up again.

I learned something about myself this weekend. Like how resilient I am, but at the same time, how vulnerable I can become when I’m constantly on the “go”.  I learned that it’s okay to break away, to shutter yourself from the world around you to unwind and decompress. I also learned that by learning more about myself and how I react to certain situations, the easier it is to jump right back up into the fray and start up all over again.

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