We’ve all been there: on the edge of a breakdown. The overwhelm comes, the stress gets to us and our brain goes “that’s enough!” It looks different for everyone, which can make it a challenge to identify when it’s coming. But there are always red flags we can pay attention to. Today we’re breaking down navigating breakdowns because we all experience them and it has a real impact on us, our business, and on those around us. Are you ignoring these red flags?
When we look at why breakdowns happen, we have to think about the importance of taking ownership for why it is happening. Blaming external circumstances, whether it’s the kids, traffic, or other factors, doesn’t lead to constructive solutions. Instead, let’s talk about other reasons why they might happen. Lack of self-knowledge and boundaries, isolation and self-reliance, and on occasion, external circumstances. These behaviors and circumstances impact not only us but also those around us, our family, our business, and our decision-making abilities. Recognizing and addressing these issues is the first step toward preventing and handling breakdowns.
Are You Ignorning the Red Flags?
There are symptoms and warning signs to alert us that a breakdown is imminent. What can be a challenge is that they are different for everyone. Learning to start recognizing the symptoms and warning signs can help us manage them and minimize their impact. These signs can vary from person to person and may include:
- Working relentlessly but not being productive.
- Waking up exhausted despite getting enough sleep.
- Experiencing frantic energy.
- Being short-tempered with everyone.
- Starting tasks but not finishing them.
Additionally, feelings of being overly sensitive or overstimulated, which can be linked to certain times of the year, are worth acknowledging. The most important first step you can make is to name what they’re facing, a crucial step in addressing them when they occur.
What to Do About Them
Drawing on wisdom from a previous episode (Episode 39), the podcast highlights a four-step approach to deal with breakdowns effectively:
- Name It: Recognize the breakdown either before it happens or as it’s occurring.
- Pray: Seek spiritual guidance and strength.
- Feel the Feels: Take time to process emotions.
- Take Action: This might mean resting, seeking help, setting boundaries, or implementing strategies to manage the breakdown.
What you’ll most likely need to do is seek rest and restoration – not doing more. How can you limit what you are doing in your business?
Breakdowns Aren’t All Bad
Breakdowns aren’t all bad: even our heroes in the Bible had them. They reveal our humanity, and remind us of our dependence on God to care and provide for us. Breakdowns can also be seen as signs that it’s time for a break, a change, and returning to a rhythm of Sabbath. They can serve as opportunities to restart, refresh, and hit the reset button in our lives.
Want a great read on the many types of rest you need: Check out Sacred Rest by Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith
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