Might seem like an odd question, yet it’s so important! There was a day last week where I just couldn’t hold it together. Brain fog was intense, so concentrating for more than five minutes at a time was out of the question. I felt extremely sensitive and my eyes were randomly filling with tears for no apparent reason, and at inopportune moments. Essentially I was a barely functional wreck of a human.
In such a state, one might jump to the conclusion that something seriously emotionally tragic or profoundly stressful is causing them to shut down. One might even start examining one’s life and searching for all the reasons why they’re falling apart at the seams. One might even procure a list of evidence to indicate that life is simply unbearable in that moment. And doing so would likely make one feel much much worse!
Instead, should you find yourself in a similar predicament, I encourage you to pause, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and turn your attention to your body. Notice if anything feels amiss. Are you hungry? Is your blood sugar low? Are you thirsty? Did you forget to drink coffee with your breakfast? Are you about to get your period? Are you sleep deprived?
All of these physical issues can manifest as mini emotional breakdowns and for some reason, it’s easy to skip right over your body and start drilling into your sordid emotional past or present for the source of your distress. There might be real emotional stress that’s making you feel shaky, but first, make sure your physical self has what it needs to function before delving into all that (hat tip to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs).
For women, it’s especially important to examine where we’re at in our menstrual cycle. Hormonal fluctuations are very real, and they deserve respect. We aren’t machines that can function at the same level and produce the same output day in and day out. We fluctuate, and therefore so does our energy, our ability to focus, and our emotional sensitivity. This is not something to be mocked, denied, or rejected. It’s something to be embraced and nurtured!
The day I was referring to above, my period had just started. I was in pain, and my hormone levels were in major flux. In an attempt to minimize, I had experimented with a change in my supplement regimen that month, and well, needless to say, it was a bad idea. Noted!
I could easily have picked apart my life and identified everything that was overwhelming me. In fact, I felt myself doing just that! I’ve been on an intense therapy journey and thought, “Wow, everything is coming to the surface!” Thankfully, I stopped myself from going any further into a pit of despair and acknowledged my cycle, acknowledged the very real physical distress my body was experiencing, and chose to nurture that instead.
Next day, I felt great!
The point is, you have a body. Listen to it. Give it what it needs. Let that be your first stop on the path to nurturing you. When you feel good physically, you’re in much better shape (pun intended) to tackle the many other challenges of human existence.