Over time, I regained a much better version of my body, mind and spirit and although I would not wish the symptoms of panic, anxiety, stress and depression upon anyone, the reality is that it is likely to happen (if it hasn’t already) to some degree and if it does, here is my advice…
…Let the dark night come!
Just to recap, in part one I shared my journey to and through a majorly scary period of burnout, breakdown, anxiety and illness that hit me hard in 2011. I was a seemingly healthy nutrition and fitness professional but had forgotten that health was not just about the physical and that soul food was just as, if not more important than food-food. And so the universe took it upon herself to abruptly remind me that I had to start nourishing my soul and move forward on a more authentic path.
So what did I do to ensure full recovery…?
Ultimately, I made a conscious decision to get better and I used all the knowledge I had on everything that I could possibly do that would be good for me and put it all into practice.
If you remember, I had some serious nutritional and hormonal imbalances that like the chicken or the egg debacle, it was not clear which came first – the stress or the deficiencies, but either way I had to correct these. The quicker I built my physical health back up the quicker I would be able to have the strength to get back to normality.
…litres of of raw organic juices gave my body the ultimate fast food hit of concentrated vitamins, minerals and enzymes which are the foundations of balanced metabolic processes.
Food can only do so much nutritionally these days; many foods are depleted and are not supportive enough for an already depleted body – so I took Nutri-Calm, a combination of B-vitamins and chamomile to literally calm my nerves and high the levels of cortisol that had imbalanced me so much. I took Super Omega-3 fish oil to replenish my tragic fatty acid profile (omega-3s are crucial for mental, immune and hormonal health) and I took a high quality vegetarian protein powder – I was seriously lacking in lean body mass, the cortisol and adrenalin had eaten through my muscle mass like corrosion acid through metal, but I also needed proteins for optimal hormone balance as well as muscle rebuilding.
Then, once I knew I had the right nutrition in me….
…it was the only exercise I could manage for months and it made me feel a little more normal being active and getting out into nature. I tried to walk bare footed wherever I could to (hippy alert…) feel more grounded and connected to nature.
I learned to meditate
…first through guided hypnosis that I downloaded from the APP Store and then eventually I was able to do various meditations on my own.
I practiced relaxation
…I made this as much a part of my daily routine as cleaning my teeth. Deep breathing practices, or just listening to relaxing music and taking myself away from any stimulus that was too intense. I remember I couldn’t watch anything fast moving, violent or dramatic on TV for a long time, it just made me feel so off balance! Hence ‘easy does it’ was my motto.
I began reading again – for me!
…I don’t think I had read a book that was not work related in over 3 years!
I slept when my body told me to
…siestas became a thing! Not so much when I was at work (though I was tempted), instead when I returned to work, I lined up a 15 minute guided meditation for my mid morning and afternoon breaks to rejuvenate my energy in a relaxed way. This proved as good as a power nap.
I received acupuncture and energy healing
…both of which were phenomenal for my heart palpitations. The energy healing I received from a Barbara Brennan Practitioner in Liverpool was brilliant. It wasn’t massage and it wasn’t Reiki – I still don’t know how to describe it properly to give it justice, but I guess the closest would be to say it was shamanic.
I became actively more grateful
…I was truly shocked, looking back on how negative, toxic and dark a lot of my thinking had been in that 2009-2011 period. Outwardly I had very little to complain about and so much to be grateful for and yet I still managed to get lost in a long ‘dark night of the soul’. The truth is that everyone experiences moments, periods and sometimes even a lifetime of mild depression and struggle, but gratitude, though it is not a ‘fix-all’, has the ability to shed light on all darkness and is a necessary foundation of all healing.
Over time, I regained a much better version of my body, mind and spirit and although I would not wish the scary symptoms of panic, anxiety, stress and depression upon anyone, the reality is that it is likely to happen (if it hasn’t already) to some degree and if it does, here is my advice…
Let the dark night come…
Be honest with your feelings and if you are not happy make changes. If you have been heart-broken, see the grief all the way through – face it and feel it fully so that you can move it into the past. Don’t ignore or suppress emotions and be sure to nurture yourself in times of pain. Be kind to yourself, be honest with yourself and keep moving forward – feeling and learning until the transformation is complete.
If you have to breakdown to breakthrough – embrace the transition. It is not a curse to fall apart but in fact a blessing from the universe – the greatest and smartest entity that has plans for you of a life far better than anything you can fathom up in your mere-mortal brain.
If you are anxious, fearful or in pain – sit up and pay attention to the lesson that is about to hit you over the head (often from behind) and be honest about where this anxiety is coming from.
Be conscientious and take inventory on your life, your relationships, your work and your self – your deep authentic self.
Question yourself: Are you happy? Are you healthy? Do you love your life and those in it with all your heart the majority of the time – the key word here being ‘majority’ because it is true that we can’t be happy all of the time, in fact it’s not good to be. We have more than one emotion for a reason. It is important to feel sad and low, stressed and challenged as these feelings teach us the value of happiness and that balance is important for growth. But when negative stuff just goes on too long and starts to effect your physical health you know the balance is way, WAY off.
A good friend once said to me the most important, yet simple measure in any relationship or situation as to whether it is serving you is the ‘Simile / Frown’ test. If you find you are generally frowning MORE than you are smiling then it’s time to either make a change or make a move.
Since 2011, I’ve made many changes and many moves. That’s the beautiful unpredictability of life – we all have a path and a purpose. Intentions can be powerful in shaping what your life looks like, but ultimately the lessons and assignments that are in store for us will show up whether we like them to or not – so we must embrace them, they always happen for a reason.
Crashing and burning in 2011 was a big lesson for me and I have learned so, so much because of it. Without this experience and everything that has happened since, I would not have been lead to the opportunity nor had the courage to travel the world while working remotely, coaching amazing clients and mentoring my phenomenal team of nutrition professionals in their own endeavours.
I am forever grateful to all the loves in my life – especially those who were there through the big transitions, I love you all! And of course, it goes without saying, a massive Thank You to you guys for listening to / reading this blurb. I really hope my experience helps others to at least know they are not alone in their challenges. We’ve all been there to some extent but our past is not or destiny and we can all have the best life possible as soon as we let go of fear and listen to our inner guide. The journey may be long, it may be hard, but it will always be worth it.
In Health & Happiness
Have you experienced something similar to Emma?
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