Well hello there wall, didn’t realize you were there until I ran into you… with my face.
Unless you are some kind of superhero, and even the they all have their moments of weakness, nobody can keep going indefinitely. We run out of steam. Burn out. Hit the wall.
Sometimes over and over again.
So when you hit the wall? How do you pick back up?
I don’t know. Well, I don’t know what will work for you. No tried and true way, one-size-fits-all option. There are some steps you can take to prevent hitting that wall, prevention is always the best way to go if you can (and we have some ideas for you here) but let’s be honest, sometimes we can’t prevent the wall-kiss.
Here are a few ways I’ve found to recover. These aren’t feel-good inspiring tips. These aren’t cheap spa pampering tricks you can do on your own at home. These aren’t pretty, flowery ideas of warm fuzzies.
These are the raw, real deal when you’ve smashed into a wall and you’ve got to get back up again.
Let it out. Scream, swear, cry, and throw some punches. On your own, away from anyone or to a safe adult partner who can respect your venting without taking it personally, yell about the wall and the stress that got you there. If it helps, drop a few cathartic f-bombs, punch a pillow, ugly cry, or storm outside and release a guttural yell from your primal side. While this could be scary for your children if it happens in front of your kids, if that does happen- because most of us do blow up at least once in a while in front of our kids- they’ll be ok, so will you. Apologize, share that you too sometimes have strong feelings, and work on recognizing your triggers sooner.
Scrub it out. I don’t love cleaning, I’m not one of those people that feels great satisfaction in cleaning. In fact, I hate it. But I sometimes love aggressively attacking the mold that may sprout in the caulking of our bathtub. It is a safe place for me to take my anger out and eliminate something that is just pissing me off.
Run it out. Or whatever workout helps you sweat and hurt and burn.
Turn it up. Blast the angry girl music of your teens, headbang in your living room, belt out the dance beats until you collapse from exhaustion.
Eat it up. Sure, healthy choices would be best and maybe a carrot will provide you a satisfying crunch (hahahahaha!) but it may require something more extreme such as shoving chocolate in your mouth while hiding in the bathroom. You’ll recover just as soon as you pick yourself up off the floor.
Sleep it off. Getting more of this may have helped avoid it in the first place but once you’ve run into the wall and smashed your head in, whatever it takes, sleep. Family nap time. Skip school to sleep in one day… or two. Make popcorn for dinner and move bedtime for everyone earlier. SLEEP.
Turn it on. The T.V. that is. Get yourself some space to deal with the wall you’ve crashed into by letting your child(ren) get absorbed into their favorite alternate reality. They can handle some binge watching of Sophia the First on Netflix. Everyone will recover.
Pick it up. Grab the phone and call or text someone. Maybe even someone you’ve never considered connecting with. We’re not meant to be isolated and I promise you, you are not the first parent to run into a wall. Someone else is right along with you. Ask for help- company on a walk, a play date, or even someone to watch your kids for a couple of hours so you can cry into a glass of wine.
Breathe it in. Oxygen helps clear our head and a deep breath can slow our heart rate and stop the fight or flight response. Breathe.
The wall sometimes turns out to be exactly what we needed to make changes for more sustainable choices in our lives. It can reveal where our expectations are not in line with reality, where abuse may be occurring, where isolation is defeating. After you recover from the wall, taking stock of what got you there in first place can help you recover more than anything else as you adjust accordingly.
Keep on keeping on, Leakies.
*This is an excerpt from our TLB email, to continue reading, click here.