Have you ever been through an unraveling? An unexpected, life-changing event that forced you out of your comfort zone? If you aren’t prepared, an unraveling can be devastating to your well-being. This article explores self-care for unraveling.
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Unravelings are natural. We all experience them from time to time. Some unravelings are small, mere snags. Others, however, are more life-changing.
Your unraveling might come in many forms:
- Loss of a loved one
- 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 cross-country 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.
I knew it from deep within my soul.
My restitching began soon after that conversation on the couch. That’s right around that time that I began immersing myself in self-care. After many agonizing journaling sessions, conversations with trusted mentors, and may sleepless nights, I realized that I wasn’t ready to make any big decisions.
I needed time.
So, I made a temporary decision instead.
I bought a Sprinter van.
I pared down my possessions to only what would fit inside it.
And I bought myself time to figure out how i wanted to move forward with my life.
That 43-day adventure led me through 20 states, spanned more than 10,000 miles, and gave me the space I needed to reimagine my future.
The trip forced me to rethink everything.
And 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 independence.
What I learned from that experience 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.
Self-Care for Unraveling
I’m grateful that I discovered self-care when I did. In so many ways, it saved me. It allowed me to grieve without boundaries. It allowed me to explore new possibilities for my future. And it taught me that there are elements of grace within every life challenge.
As I reflect on those moments, I’ve found that these are 5 of the best types of self-care for unraveling:
Crying is an underrated form of self-care that is highly therapeutic. It helps defuse intense emotions. It helps release negative energy. While crying is often seen as a sign of weakness, it’s a natural way for the body to move through difficult moments. Don’t resist or suppress it. Let it flow.
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. Spending time in nature is almost a form of therapy. It’s a way for to reconnect with your intuition and ground yourself in the reality of the moment. In nature, there are few distractions, which makes it the perfect place to think about and solve problems.
Healing takes time and a whole lot of self-care. If you’re navigating your own unraveling, self-care can help.
Information on this website should not be interpreted as providing or replacing medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. All content is intended for adults over the age of 18. 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.