About a month ago, I hit rock bottom. OK, maybe I’m being a little over-dramatic. Not rock bottom but it was bad. I was sick, I had sick kids, I was traveling, work was piling up and I had experienced a relationship drama that could have been on a reality TV show. I am not kidding. I felt like my life was falling apart. What terrified me most was that I was beginning to feel like I did in the worst stage of my depression a year ago. I was overwhelmed and lacked focus. I doubted myself and everything I was doing.
How did I get there? My world had changed completely since this time last year. I was feeling good, I had lost over 40 pounds, my depression was under control and I felt like I was on the right track. I’m a Virtual Assistant for goodness sake! I have resources and skills. I am a Professional Organizer and an Expert on Productivity. Why couldn’t I pull myself together?
Reality is that life happens. No matter what we do, sometimes we just can’t prepare for or handle what life throws at us. I lived in that horrible place for about a week. Then I realized I needed to do something about it. Steps to get back on track:
- Acknowledge where you are. Feel your feelings. Send yourself love and understand that you are human and it’s OK to have a setback. Try not to beat yourself up.
- Share your pain and ask for help. Talk to a friend, spouse, counselor, coach – anyone who you know will listen without judgment, offer support and be there for you no matter what.
- Nurture yourself. What one thing can you do right now for yourself? Take a bath, get a massage, anything to relax and renew.
- Create a plan. Gather your thoughts, to-do items, prioritize, delegate, do whatever it takes to get caught up and back on track. (Hint – that probably means asking for more help!)
- Create rituals. Take steps now to take care of yourself, set up systems and make things simple so when you get off track again (and you will!), you can get back more quickly.
I used to feel like I took one step forward and three steps back. Now, if I step back, it is just one step. And, in my new awareness, I can learn from it and it allows me to take three steps forward.