This week has been on the stressful side. You know that feeling when it seems like one thing happens after the next after the next… until you reach your breaking point? That’s kind of how I felt yesterday, and the reason I’m sharing this is because after going through this vicious cycle many times in my life I have learned something – sometimes you just have to let yourself break.
It started with the stress of the end of the semester approaching. I had a big novel excerpt due on Monday that I spent much of my Thanksgiving break holed up in my hotel room writing (remember those delicious room service photos I posted? Oh yeah!!). I also had quite a bit of reading to finish for my classes, loose ends to tie up for the cleanse program and many projects to finish in NY before going home for the holidays.
On top of it all, plans seemed to be piling up day and night – fun things that I am happy to do, but I was realizing I had less and less time to finish what I needed to do. Also, when I am busy like this and have less time to spend on exercise, personal health, and time for relaxation I get even more stressed. I am someone who needs to maintain a relatively flexible schedule or else I feel very constrained – who am I without yoga, long chats with friends, wandering walks through the city and spontaneous cooking and blog posting?
A few nights ago I found myself in a particularly frustrating situation regarding something I had worked very hard on. The situation is something I usually would have brushed past and gotten over, but it hit me very hard. My stress level had been slowly crawling up for a few weeks, and this was my tipping point.
At first I tried to rationalize it and tell myself that even though I was really upset over it, it wasn’t that big of a deal. It could be fixed. I stayed up late on the phone that night with my mom and then with one of my close friends (one of the perks of being 3 hours ahead of many of my friends and family – I can stay up until 3 a.m. talking to them without keeping them up too late. Yay for being a night owl.)
In talking to them I realized something: I needed to break. I was trying so hard to hold myself together when all I needed to do was allow the stress, frustration and disappointment to wash over me so I could put it behind me. Sometimes things just go wrong and it’s ok to have a good meltdown over it.
I vented, got it out, and allowed myself a solid personal day to get over it. I slept in, went to yoga, had a Breaking Bad marathon with my roomie and made myself a nice big delicious batch of peanut butter cups. And guess what? Once you deal with something and allow it to happen, things have a way of putting themselves back together.
Today I feel so much more clear-minded, and the issue I was having is completely resolved – because I let it break. I let go of it so I could then take a clearer look at it and rebuild it.
The main point I am trying to get at here is that you know yourself best. You know when something is bothering you and when something is a little off. No one else can know that and no one else can fix it for you. It’s like riding a bike and noticing that one of your wheels has a hole in it but trying to go on anyway. You might be able to ride on for a little longer, but it will be a struggle and eventually you will stop moving altogether. Instead, get off the bike, take a look at what’s wrong and patch the hole.
If you need to break down… do it!!! It’s hard for those of us Type A personalities. Breaking down means taking time out of our precious schedules and even worse – admitting that we may have done something wrong. But you know what’s great about figuring out that you have done something wrong? You get to start all over, and there is no greater gift than being able to start fresh.