I hear a faint screaming over the noise of my bedroom fan. It’s dark, what time is it? It’s my 6 month old son. He’s awake way too early again. I wonder if he’s teething. Pain shoots up my right leg into my lower back as I roll my body toward the edge of the bed. My sciatic nerve is on fire. As my legs hit the floor, I’m jolted by a sharp pain from my swollen right knee. I’m not even sure how I injured my knee. I can barely bend it. It takes me a good 30 seconds to stand. My first 10 limping steps are brutal. I pour myself a glass of water from the Brita. When the cold water hits my teeth, I yelp like an injured dog. The filling fell out of my molar exposing the nerve. I haven’t been able to exercise effectively for 3 weeks. It’s taking it’s toll on my emotional and physical health. I’m irritable. My wife feels it too. The weight of running my business and my family hangs on my mind like a crane hook. I have so much to do but I know sitting in my desk chair will only make my sciatic nerve much worse. I’m 36 years old but I’m walking like a 90 year old rodeo clown. This is the start of my day. What a perfect segway to inspiring others to live the life they have always dreamed of!!!!
Have you ever had a day like this? I just took another sip of water and it felt like I was getting punched in the jaw. I have more than I’d like to admit. I’m a life coach after-all. Shouldn’t my life be near perfect? It’s far from it but I’m learning how to bounce back from days like this.
Here’s what I’ve learned:
1. Stop Wallowing As Soon As Possible: I don’t know why us humans default to wallowing in our pain and misfortune but I know that the longer we do, the longer our pain lasts. Sometimes we even make it worse. We perpetuate our negative thoughts by focussing on them, mulling them over in our minds and over processing them. We eventually end up feeling like victims. Self medicating with comfort food, alcohol, chocolate and Netflix is often the natural next step. Even if you were having a good day, self medicating would make you feel worse. Stop wallowing as soon as possible.
2. Climb a Tree: Figuratively. Get a “big picture” view of your life. A collection of challenges hit you all at once. It’s temporary. This is not the reality of your life. These challenges will pass. There is much in your life to be grateful for. You can see the words on this page. You can breath. You have a say in what your next move is. These challenges do not define your life.
3. Acknowledge Your Part: Guess what. You had a part in this. I haven’t taken care of my body. I need to stretch more. It’s been too long since my last dentist appointment. Sometimes, I workout too hard without proper stretching or preparation. I need more sleep and I need to eat better. What is your role in the struggles you’re facing? Do you often find yourself saying, “It’s not my fault?” If it’s not your fault, you may as well pack it up and quit, because you can’t do anything about it. Taking responsibility is empowering because it means you have a chance to do something about it.
Identify what you can do to help each one of your challenges and commit to doing those things for the long haul. This too shall pass.
If you need some ideas or perspective on your challenges, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.