“Don’t forget that you’re human. It’s okay to have a meltdown. Just don’t unpack and live there.” ~ Deb Sofield
Last Monday was a sucky day.
I woke up anxious and alert at four in the morning, but couldn’t accomplish anything because the rest of the house was still asleep.
Laundry couldn’t be started because the dryer is on its last leg and sounds like a herd of elephants. Dishes couldn’t be put away because the clanging of plates and silverware wakes the whole house.
And when I attempted to walk the dog, he abandoned me for the warmth of my bed sheets.
So I quietly got ready for work, so that once my son was off to school, I could get to the office early—which was good, because I had a guidance counselor meeting with my son later that day. (Which of course ran over, and I barely made it on time to teach my noon Gentle Yoga class.)
When I got to my class, I found that my “yoga boss” would be observing my class that day. So of course, I mixed up my right and left during the sun salutation sequence and remained off for rest of the class. Ugh.
Then my “9 to 5” boss asked me to do something that I thought was beneath me, and the words, “What am I doing with my life?!” came out of my mouth. (But—thank goodness—not to my boss.) These words reverberated throughout my crabby-patty mind.
When I finally got home, I was greeted by an empty house because my son was at my ex’s.
Sure, I had practiced yoga that day—and done at least 20 minutes of morning meditation—yet, I was unable to shake my overwhelming “sucky day” feelings.
I know none of the things that set me off on my manic Monday were important or life threatening—but these little things can really get to me and derail my progress.
When big, bad things happen, I always break the glass on my emergency self-care strategies. But when little, bad things happen, I tend to let them build up, and then I typically do something self-defeating—like lose my cool or binge on food or wine.
In the hopes that I could prevent a downward spiral, I reached out to my closest advisor—Google.
I googled “Yoga for a Sucky Day.” No results. (Probably because “sucky” is not a typical yoga word.)
Then I tried “Yoga for a Bad Day.” Lots of results. And they all start with “get quiet and breathe.” (Yeah…they don’t want to hear my whining B.S. either.)
Running out of options, I decided to walk my furry companion—my Shih Tzu, “Yogi.” (Yes, he actually came from the dog adoption agency with that name.) I hooked him to his leash and walked outside. Like a colicky infant, I was instantly calmed.
The night was brisk, and Christmas lights were everywhere. A crescent moon was glowing beneath the clouds, and the silence was mesmerizing. The scene instantly grounded me.
I was finally able to breathe and get quiet.
Despite all my mental and physical attempts at getting calm—a simple walk outside was all I needed to re-center myself.
What small action can you take to find balance on your difficult days?
I am going to keep trusting in my yoga process—and when in doubt, I’ll head outside with my own little Yogi.
“Be patient. Everything comes to you in the right moment.” ~ Unknown
Author: Donna Yates Kling
Image: Flickr/Mohan Ajmani; author’s own
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina