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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Mind-Blowing Burnout: Recovering The Day After and Beyond

The Day After

It's done. The divorce papers are signed. The memorial service for your loved one is over. Your beloved furry companion has passed. You cashed your severance check. The election is over.

How do you recover from a highly stressful event leaving you depressed, discouraged and shell-shocked?

The Day Before Leading Up to The Day After 

As this IS life, no one is immune to dealing with the ever-evolving landscape of life. 

No matter who we are, or what changes we're anticipating--whether 'good' or 'bad'--the day before the 'big moment' is unsettling and disruptive. Our fears and concerns leading up to a significant event temporarily suspends us in a state of fear as we try to bargain our way through to a better outcome in our heads. Yet deep down we know no amount of bargaining or magical thinking can assure the outcome we desire.

In the days leading up to a life-changing event we try to push the fear and worry out of our heads, but we can still feel the dread deep in our guts making us even more anxious about the now unnamed, free floating fear.

In the midst of it we want answers NOW as we contemplate the future uncertainty and what it all means. We want the pain and uncertainty to go away. We want a moment of peace and tranquility. We want things to resolve so we can get on with living.

But in the end we don't always get what we want when we want it. More often we're left to figure out how we can persevere and endure the uncertain times and changes as we go forward. And through these difficult times we find our strength and resiliency and learn what strong stuff we're really made of.

Recovering the Day After and Beyond

When you're left with an outcome you view as disastrous you need to find a way to heal your head, heart and soul. But how do you do that? It starts with taking a break from thinking, worrying, and anticipating the future.

But listen to me...for one moment quit being sad;
Hear the blessings dropping their blossoms all around you. Rumi

Just for Today:

Stop, take a breath--and focus on the present. Take the day off from fixating on your fears for the future, and engage in activities that let you know you are glad to be alive.

Let it be. Let today unfold without thinking about 'what just happened' and how you think it will affect your future. 

'Put up the Beans'. When my mother had a stroke and was in the hospital, my father wanted one of us 'girls' to go home with him to 'put up the beans'. He needed to engage in an ordinary every day activity to ground him and put him in the present. 

Bring your focus back to the present and put one foot in front of the other by choosing to do something completely ordinary--pull some weeds; clean out the junk drawer; clean out the gutters; go for a walk; clean out your closet and donate unneeded clothes; rake some leaves.

Tears are words that can't be spoken. unknown

Sit in Silence.  Give your heart a moment to just be. Listen to the birds. Sit with the dog. Pet the cat. 

Plan a fun event. Give yourself something to look forward to. Arrange a fun get away for the near future. 

Do something else. Gather friends to engage in mindless, fun activities to celebrate the life you share. Spend time with people you are happy to have in your life NOW to laugh and celebrate your friendship. Find a way to make a difference in one person's life.

Now is the time to remember life is to be enjoyed. Stop letting your life be determined by fear and worry.

Be Gentle, Kind and Compassionate with Yourself. Allow yourself to be still. Honor all the good things that have been in your life. Extend your kindness and compassion to others--even those who may sit on the opposite side of the isle from you. Strive to move yourself into a place of gentle healing. 

Find ways to lift one another up so you can all come from a place of strength, not hardness as you move forward.

Let your tears come; let them water your soul. Unknown

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For more than 35 years, Susan Meyerott has been helping people lighten up and step over invisible barriers to change one step at a time. She speaks to your heart, puts you at ease, and makes changing easier than ever before.

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Jean | said...

Sue, *all* your posts are wonderful, but this one is one of the standouts for me, one of the ones I email to myself so that I'll be able to put my hands on it anytime I need it. Your father's "put up the beans" is something I'll never forget. When I want to postpone fretting about something, I've always used the Scarlett O'Hara line: "I'll think about that tomorrow. After all, tomorrow is another day." And I say it, if only in my mind, in a Southern accent, of course!

Susan J Meyerott, M.S. said...

Thank you, Jean. It is so important for us to pause, ground, and refresh ourselves when we face a point of devastation--no matter what the cause. That moment in time when my father wanted to go home and put up the beans is seared into my memory. We learn so much through facing tough times--and hopefully we are fortunate enough to learn the secrets to gracefully get on with 'getting back up and brushing ourselves off' so we stay fully engaged with life.