Self-Care for Unravelings

2. emotive self-care 7. relational self-care Jul 04, 2021

Have you ever been through an unraveling? An unexpected, life-changing event that forces you out of your comfort zone? If you aren’t prepared, unravelings can take a devastating toll on your health. This article dives into the best types of self-care for unravelings.

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The Unraveling

Unravelings are natural. We all experience them from time to time. Some unravelings are small. Others, however, are life-changing.

Unravelings come in many forms:

  • Loss of a loved one
  • Divorce
  • Job loss
  • Decline in health

My unraveling came several years ago when my ex-husband and I decided to end our marriage while drinking coffee on the living room couch.

I sat facing him, my face expressionless.

We’d scheduled the conversation days in advance, hoping it would give us enough time to consider the weighty decision at hand: stay or go?

Those were the only two options.

But our silence divulged the answer to that question long before any words were spoken. It was clear that we’d both arrived at the same conclusion.

The question was no longer what, but how.

A few days later a for sale sign glowed like a white ghost at the end of the driveway. The house I once believed would be our forever home would soon belong to another family.

A few days after that, I found myself standing in line at the county clerk’s office. I blinked back tears as I watched the clerk stamp a blurry case number on my court documents.

As more days passed, sadness came in waves. And then came paralyzing spells of anxiety.

Where am I going to live? How long will it take to sell the house? Will I be able to afford health insurance? How long will it take me to drive to my nearest family member? Will my car make a transcontinental trip? Self-care. Self-care. Self-care.

But somewhere in the middle of all the chaos, I heard myself say this out loud: “No matter what happens, everything’s going to be okay.”

And I believed it.


My restitching began after that conversation on the couch. That’s when I immersed myself in self-care.  

I realized that I wasn’t ready to make any big decisions. I need time.

So, I took a big risk.

I bought a Sprinter van, pared down my possessions to only what would fit inside it, and bought myself time to figure out how to move forward with my life.

That 43-day adventure led me through 20 states, spanned more than 10,000 miles, and gave me space to reimagine my future.

The trip forced me to rethink everything.

I realized that sometimes the process of letting go is more about holding onto the things you love most.

Travel is good medicine

During that cross-country trip, I grieved hard.

I wrestled with forgiveness.

And I slowly reclaimed my sense of personal sovereignty.

What I know to be true is this: self-care is powerful. In those fragile in-between spaces when you feel shattered and broken, self-care is what helps you find the beauty behind your suffering.

In my memoir, Go: One Woman. One Van. A New Beginning.,* I wrote about my unraveling and shared how I used self-care to create a new beginning.

Buy Go: One Woman. One Van. A New Beginning. on Amazon* and Barnes & Noble!

Self-Care for Unravelings

I’m grateful that I discovered self-care when I did. Today, I’m more grounded and resilient.

Here are 5 of the best types of self-care for unravelings:


Crying is an underrated form of self-care that is highly therapeutic. It helps diffuse and release intense emotional energy. If you feel a surge of intense energy, don’t suppress it. Let it go.


Therapy can be incredibly empowering during big life transitions, when grief and anxiety often interfere with your judgement. Finding a good therapist can change everything about how you experience life-changing events. Reframing painful experiences can help you move through the grieving process with grace.


Journaling is one of the best ways to process uncomfortable feelings and emotions. Using the pages of your journal, you can process your thoughts and feelings without judgement.


Nature has powerful healing energy. For me, spending time in nature is a form of therapy. It’s a way for me to reconnect with my intuition and ground myself in reality. In nature, there are few distractions, which makes it the perfect place to think and solve problems.

Originally published on 5/30/2018.

Have you experienced an unraveling of your own? How did you restitch your new beginning? Share in the comments below.

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*LivingUpp is a participant in affiliate programs, which means we may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases on links to Amazon and other sites at no additional cost to you.