What has it been about this week? Melt downs have been all over the place.
From children to world leaders –alright even me – there comes a moment when you have had it up to here.
It’s rarely just one thing.
- An isolated rejection here.
- A canceled appointment there.
- War in the middle east.
- An unexpected death.
- Financial uncertainty.
- Dysfunctional family dynamics.
It would be great if in every circumstance, you could pull on the wonderful resources you have at the ready. Calling a friend/partner. Walking the dogs. Breathing. Asking, ‘is it really true?’ Breathing again. Staring at the night sky. Drinking tea.
But every now and then the chaos swirls so fast and hard and hits you from every direction, and no matter what a thoughtful life coach might offer you, you hit a wall.
I found myself trying to hold it together this week and one night I couldn’t contain the frustration. You know that moment when things are welling up inside you and you know you just might burst? I wanted to burst, not release the emotion drip by drip.
So I put on a robe and slippers and quietly went downstairs. I sat in the darkest corner of the living room and I sobbed. I cried as long as I needed so that I could squeeze every last ounce of frustration out of my body. And that is what happened. The emotional pressure was released. Adjustments would still need to made in the morning, but I was able to sleep through the night.
I’m well aware that scientific studies on the value of crying are all over the map. That’s ok. I spent 5-6 minutes with the heavy tears, and then I was able to take deep breaths again. I didn’t have to solve the problem, I needed to get through it.
For the record, journaling, talking, physical activity and focus are generally my ‘go to’ suggestions and methods to manage frustration. These practices are extremely valuable when you’re facing uncertainty.
But there are those times when a meltdown is inevitable. If you’re in a public place, you’re unlikely to be like the toddler I was in front of in the checkout line who screamed uncontrollably for what seemed like forever. In those moments, breathe, ask “is this really true?” and kindly tell yourself you will not think about this thought right now.
And then when you’re in a safe place – the shower, a dark corner of your living room, on a trail far away from humans – a good cry won’t hurt.