This post is going to be very honest and come from a place deep in my heart and soul. I think that for a variety of reasons, many of us have reached a breaking point (or a few) since the beginning of the Covid 19 pandemic. I hit a breaking point last week.
It was the trifecta of conditions:
- The weather was so darn cold, and we have no upcoming vacations planned. I hadn’t been outside for exercise in a while, which is what gives me huge doses of positive energy.
- About half the people I know had Covid at that moment or were in quarantine.
- It was about ⅔ of the way through basketball season.
My 10-year old son reminded me that this is a very hard time of year for me every year. (Kids are so wise!) My husband is gone a lot coaching basketball, and I have to admit that it is so much easier when we have two parents with four kids instead of one. He does his best to juggle everything and creatively get as much time with his family as humanly possible. For example, last week my 3-year old even found himself in the team huddle after a big victory.
I can handle his being gone a lot for a couple months, but there is always a point each year where I just break. My moment came last week as we were driving back from a game that was 30 minutes away from home, and I just wanted a quiet and calm ride home, where I was hoping that at least two of my four kids would fall asleep.
Instead, everyone was incredibly loud and hyper. After a few calm warnings for them to keep it quiet, it was like they didn’t even hear me. Yelling was not the method I wanted to use to get them to quiet down at that point because I was not wanting to have mom guilt. When we got home, I let them all know that they would be putting themselves to bed. Mommy was not going to put them to bed that night.
Even though our going-to-bed process is pretty quick and simple, we ALWAYS put them to bed and pray with them. They did not like it one bit that I would not be putting them to bed. There were some tears (including from me) but they eventually went to bed by themselves.
As I laid in bed, a cascade of emotions flooded me in a very short amount of time. First irritation and frustration, then sadness and hopelessness, then guilt. I grabbed my phone and texted my husband: “I don’t know how much longer I can do this.” I set my phone down and started breathing deeping and praying. I heard an immediate reply but didn’t look at it. I needed to keep praying. After my prayer, I looked and saw that he said “I’ll be home in 5 minutes.”
Then I suddenly realized that I needed to go and say goodnight to my kids.
My frustration had turned to love….like a deep deep feeling of love and gratitude for these amazing creatures that my husband and I created. So I said goodnight to them while continuing to cry and apologized for my reaction to them in the car. They forgave me and also apologized for their behavior, and all was well.
Ever since this breaking point and one of the most roller coaster emotions rides I have been on lately, everything has been getting better. It was like I needed to get to a low point to get a slap on the face and be reminded of my faith. God going to help me through this, every step of the way.
While I realize that this might seem overly dramatic, there are so many details that haven’t been shared. Illustrating my breaking point story has several intentions in order to help us all be resilient. Hopefully, my story can help others to feel like they are not alone in realizing that sometimes it is just so hard as mothers to hold ourselves together. We can fall apart…and we can all be put back together and emerge stronger.
There is another thing that contributed to my breaking point, and that was in regards to my career, and how I was getting ready to launch my Virtual Exercise Class Membership. It is hard to put words to describe all the emotions behind this work. While mostly a positive experience, the feelings of self-doubt and imposter syndrome were showing up in my subconscious more than I would like, and they still do.
To be honest, I think my breaking point came right in the middle of me being in a funk.
If you can relate to any of this, stay with me here. While I still might be in a funk as I write this, I am close to being out of it. I was able to turn around and head in a positive upward spiral pretty quickly once I reached that moment of sending that text to my husband.
I came up with a really cool saying a few days after this breaking point. Of course, it was after I taught a cardio dance class! We know that our brains work better and endorphins are released so the creative juices are flowing like magic.
Based on many conversations I’ve had, I believe that many of us are in a funk so….let’s get funky to get out of our funk!
Here are three lessons that I have learned or have been reminded of after going through this experience. Perhaps these lessons can help you when you need to get out of a funk.
1.A Mindful Pause is Golden!
When I went into prayer and gave myself the quiet space breathe… to surrender….to open my heart….to listen, that is where I shifted my emotions from more negative to more positive. We need to take advantage of these moments where we can Stop, Breathe, Think and Choose. These are concepts that my friend and colleague Cami Smalley, owner of Guided Resilience has taught me.
2.Communication is Vital!
Instead of going through this experience alone and keeping the feelings hidden, I shared them with my husband right away. We talked in person just minutes after I texted him and continue to check in with each other. I have shared this story with several friends and clients since which has invited them to share with me about their similar struggles. We help each other by lending a kind, listening ear so that the other person can open up and talk about their experience and feelings. We don’t always need to give advice. In fact, sometimes the best thing we can do is just to listen without being distracted and reflect back what we are hearing.
3.Pets, exercising outdoors and laughter are the best therapy for me!
Wow, in just 30 minutes, I took many steps (literally) towards getting out of my funk just a few days after my breaking point. How? I went on a walk outdoors, in the sunny, beautiful winter woods with my dog, my daughter and her friend. I got Vitamin D, a good cardio workout, and quality time with my dog and daughter while seeing them filled with joy. They made me laugh at how dramatic they were being about it being “such a long hike!” (It was barely a mile!)
Have you hit a breaking point lately?
Maybe you hit mini-breaking points often. What lessons have you learned from these experiences? How have you pulled through with resilience and strength?
Are you in a funk?
If so, what funky things are you going to do to pull yourself through it and out of it? If you are like me and find dancing to be helpful, I invite you to join me for a Fit Mom Moment. For a quick hit of sunshine and joy, click the video below and dance to “The Sound of Sunshine” by Michael Fronte and Spearhead.
The Fit Mom Connection Virtual Exercise Class Membership could be just what you need to get through a funk with some very effective workouts that won’t overstress your body. My approach is to encourage my students to do their best quality movements so that means my classes are shorter (30 minutes avg.) and not filled with excess repetitions. Exercise should be an experience that you enjoy and that feels like a gift you are giving your mind, body, and spirit. I would be honored if you’d considering joining this community.
As always, I thank you for taking time for self-care so that you can give your best to others. Mothers….let stick together and emerge stronger no matter how many funks or breaking points we have.