A longtime GSG reader came to my 12 Steps to Whole Foods class recently. (Which I’m teaching again on June 6. In Orem, Utah.) She’s just been hit with a double whammy—literally the two biggest life stressors there are, all at once. An unfaithful spouse and consequent divorce…and loss of a full-term baby.
She’s depressed, devastated—and those around her have no idea what to say. Or how to support. Her children are reeling, too.
My background as a therapist (my advanced degree is in social work) merges with my nutrition background, which merge with my own similar challenges in life. That explains my next comments…..
She asked me how I survived my own crisis related to losses much like hers. I told her, “The main thing is, I never let go of my nutrition, and some basic self-care. Sure, take care of the kids, but put the oxygen mask on yourself first! Yoga is non-negotiable. Ditto running. So is a daily quart of green smoothie, and no free-fall into junk food hell. Show up at social events. Even if you’re not feeling it…just go anyway. You’ll get through it, and be happy again—and those things will help. Depression lies to you and tells you it’s permanent. There IS happiness on the other side of this, and I found it, and so will you. It’s just hard to visualize it right now.”
I checked out with her if she’s doing X, Y, and Z, to make sure she’s functional instead of spiraling downward, and I learned she’s let go of some important self-care that will get her through. I asked her if, before she went to bed that night, would she just text me that she made a list of the things she’d LIKE to be doing, if she weren’t so depressed.
She did so, that night. It’s a starter step.
I’ve been through those biggest life stressors—divorce, and loss of a child. (Though mine were just several miscarriages—not loss of a full term baby. It’s also important to note I wasn’t married to a cheater, and my divorce was my choice. Thus, both of her losses dwarf my own, not that anyone wants to compare. Hard to imagine hers as worse, since both were devastating for me. My heart is hurting, for this GreenSmoothieGirl friend.)
I hope you’ll take note of this, if you’re suffering, too. I’ve climbed out of some of the hardest things people go through, things I’ve talked about on this blog, and things I haven’t. The mighty little green smoothie has everything to do with HOW.
I hope when life hits you hard—as it does, now and then—that you tend to these important things:
- Your self-care is more important now than ever.
- Always get your endorphins—break a sweat every day, however that looks for you.
- Do yoga. Period. I mean it. You’re literally wringing toxins out of your nervous system.
- Pray, or meditate, or both.
- Drink a quart of green smoothie a day—more greens, less fruit.
- Avoid sugar, alcohol, caffeine, and other things that exacerbate depression.
- Find things to be grateful for, and turn your thoughts to those, every day.
If you’re in a really tough place, right now, please make a list of this kind of coping, rebuilding, and self-love stuff you know you need to be doing. Tape it to your mirror and don’t take it down until you’re doing all of it.
LOVE to you. I’m praying for you.