It’s been a while since I wrote about the things that have been going on in my life and since asking a few questions on my IG stories it seems like you guys want to know about how I’m getting on track and staying positive.
So, for those of you who don’t know me, my marriage fell apart 2.5 years ago. Not a big deal considering 1 in 3 marriages end in divorce these days. The thing is it hasn’t really been that easy and there was a time not too long ago where I felt the lowest of the low. Extreme feelings of sadness, loneliness and helplessness which culminated in anxiety and depression. Not the best place to be when you’re a personal trainer, meditation teacher and health coach. It’s my job to motivate and uplift others and I’ve always been labelled as the ‘happy person’. It was like I was living in someone else’s skin, I didn’t feel like me at all and I wouldn’t accept this would be me forever either. I had to get out of this hole and start feeling like my happy self again.
Once the dust had settled after the upheaval of separation (selling my tiffany diamond to pay my rent, going through the expensive court process despite my resistance and being separated from my dog for over 9 months to name a few) a whole new wave of emotions came to the surface. Now it was more: how and when can I afford to freeze my eggs?; how and when would I find a new man?; how and when could I finish my studies. I guess a more practical approach to:
‘now that that’s over, how do I move forward?’
I would say this stage has been the most difficult, I had a really desperate and unhealthy mindset. A tick the box approach, when really that never works. I had to trust that things would unravel the way I wanted them to. I would call it the ownership stage and it’s only now I’m starting to enjoy it, it’s empowering. Not so much in the beginning though.
For many years I allowed others to determine my happiness. I.e: If my ex was in a bad mood, I would end up in a bad mood. I would often say ‘yes’ to things when I meant ‘no’ and then be annoyed about it when really it’s my doing. The constant ‘people pleasing’ and inability to stand up for myself at the fear I might lose a friend/lover. I met this random lady recently and we got chatting (love a good chat) and she said;
‘you only really know a person when you say no to them’
..this really resonated with me and there is so much truth in it. Saying ‘NO’ when you mean ‘no’ is so important and if people don’t like it you don’t need to apologise or feel bad. Stand your ground and feel confident in your approach.
I was put on medication for anxiety and depression and I ended up walking around like a zombie. I couldn’t ‘feel’ anything anymore. My sex drive was non-existent and even basic emotions like laughing seemed forced. Again, I just couldn’t accept this was the life for me. I’m an emotional creature by nature and I felt like I was missing out on life. I couldn’t connect with people or have a meaningful conversation.
I quickly came off the medication and went back to journalling. This time though I kept a mood journal. I am notoriously sensitive just before my period so I documented all of that. I noted down every time I felt, sad, lonely, angry, upset along with when I felt happy, full of energy, uplifted and abundant. It was extremely interesting and really helped me become even more self-aware and in control.
I started doing alternate nostril breathing when I felt stressed and this calmed my nerves. It was also a great alternative to meditation which I didn’t feel like practising during this stressful time. You can find out more abour alternate nostril breathing and other alternatives to meditation here.
Eat your way happy
I’m grateful that I love healthy food so going on a ‘diet’ is never really much of a chore for me. I had started reading about foods for stress, anxiety and depression and I implemented more of these foods into my diet:
During my phase of anxiety and depression, my diet had slipped completely. I was buying chocolate, sugary drinks and had cravings for bread and deep fried food. This is NOT me and I find it so interesting that this could definitely be linked to the way I was feeling.
Although there is no prescribed diet for depression research shows that certain foods cause inflammation and chronic inflammation affects the brain and thus the mood. Unhealthy foods such as fast food and sweets can increase inflammation possibly by influencing the health of our gut. So for the health of your tummy, body and brain try to avoid heavily processed foods and instead rely on a diet that is rich in fibre and colourful. I know this may seem like the logical thing to do but when you are feeling low and all you want to eat is hot chips it’s hard to break that cycle. Start with baby steps like a green smoothie for breakfast or a salad or poke bowl for lunch. I can guarantee you’ll feel better for it.
I’m in control
I had this tendency to always seek others approval and always ask other people’s opinions despite knowing how I really felt. I’ve stopped that. I had to do some deep soul searching, sit down and re-define who and what it is i want to achieve. Of course, ask your bestie for his or her input if you are stuck with something but….
“…back yourself, goddammit“
When I think about all of the business ideas I’ve had along the way that have been crushed by someone else’s opinion it literally drives me insane. Ironically, these ideas have been pursued by other people and they are killing it. Don’t watch someone else live your dream, go out and do it!! Now that you’re single, it’s even more of a reason to live by your rules! GO FOR IT!
This ownership phase has been the hardest so far. There has been lots of quiet contemplation, self-doubt, vulnerability and desperation. You need to claim your life back and do it on your terms. Whatever it is that you want to achieve just put your mind to it and go out and do it. Trust yourself, you’ve got this!
Re-building your life after a break up is really f***ing hard and there is no handbook. Think about all the amazing things you have in your life. For me, I constantly remind myself how lucky I am to live in Australia, have a gorgeous dog, have meaningful connections and conversations with my tribe and the knowledge that I possess which can help myself but more importantly other people.
“I have turned my loneliness into freedom and my desperation into enthusiasm”
Who knows when I will get my eggs frozen, meet someone else or finish my studies? Does it really matter? These things will happen over time and I’m happy for that journey to unfold….and if they don’t happen it won’t define me.
Enjoy ‘now’ and trust the evolution of your being and the journey of your life. That’s all you have
Namaste x x
If you want more details of Food and Mood, click here
This article is NOT medical advice and nor does it suggest to be. If you are struggling with anxiety or depression please get medical help or contact Lifeline here.