Your breaking point.
As a woman, I know firsthand what it feels like when you've reached that point of no return.
Where all you want to do is hide under the covers and cry that “ugly” cry – you know the one... where your shoulders shake, snot runs from your nose, and sounds come from your throat that don't necessarily sound human.
Or you want to disappear into your closet and pray.
You just want the world to go away - to just recede into the background...
Or maybe you find yourself standing in the front of the fridge at midnight eating all of the leftover cake balls from Christmas.
Breaking points can take many forms and at this point in life, I've experienced most all of them.
While what triggers the final implosion may vary, the causes are often the same.
Taking on too much at home or the office until we crumble underneath the weight of it all...
Or mistakenly thinking our issue(s) isn't as big a problem or challenge as it really is and assuming we can fix it without help from anyone else.
Help. I know. That seems like a four letter word to some of us.
Unfortunately and all too often, we tend to believe that if we ask for help, it makes us weak or somehow less of a women, mother, wife, employee or professional.
But seeking help, especially when we truly need it doesn't make us weak; it makes us human.
So if you're feeling frustrated, or as if the world around you is spinning out of control, there are things you can do to get you back to center.
9 Strategies To Rebound When You're In Crisis
When You've Reached Your Breaking Point:
1. Stop what you are doing and breathe.
I mean that literally.
Stop, count to ten and breathe deeply in and exhale slowly out. Repeat.
Deep breathing sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax.
And while you're slowing your motor down (a phrase my mom used to use when we were kids), this also gives you a chance to calmly reassess your situation.
After looking at the problem from a calm, clear perspective, it's quite likely you'll discover things are not as bad as you thought.
In the case that they are bad, you have an opportunity to think more clearly and rationally to formulate a solution from a place of calm and stillness.
2. Write down the things that are causing your stress.
When you get them out of your head and onto paper (or type out in notes on your phone), they aren't as scary.
Put them into two categories, things you can control and things you can't.
Let go of the things you can't control and formulate a plan of action for the things you can.
You may find that taking even the smallest step will make you feel better.
3. Identifying the sources of stress.
Along with writing down the things that are causing stress in your life is identifying the stressors.
We often overlook our stress-inducing thoughts and behaviors.
For example, always worried about meeting deadlines of a job or business, but continually procrastinating?
Maybe your procrastination is causing the stress, not the role itself.
Overbooking yourself can also lead to feeling that your life is always crazy.
Say yes to the important things and learn to say no to the others politely.
You don't have to go to every happy hour mixer or volunteer for every class party or work project.
It is perfectly acceptable to say no.
Be sure that when you're writing down your stressors, you write how they make you feel and how you deal with them.
Taking ownership of your stress factors will help you to eliminate them.
4. Talk it out.
When you've reached your breaking point, taken all you believe you can take, and you feel yourself approaching that point of no return where your emotions are about to boil over or explode, call up a trusted friend and vent.
Sometimes, just getting it out relieves the pressure.
However, if your problems are more significant than what your friends can handle, it may be time to seek a professional to talk to.
A life coach, a therapist or even a psychologist can be a source of help in assisting you to get your life back on track.
Many of them offer free fifteen-minute consultations to determine if they are a good fit for your needs.
5. Ask for help.
Often asking for help is the hardest to do but the most necessary.
Worried about walking the dog?
Ask a relative or friend if they can help.
No one around to help? Hire someone.
Same goes for the pile of dishes in the sink.
If even simple tasks become overwhelming because you have too many or because you need to focus your attention elsewhere on more pressing matters, consider outsourcing them.
With all of the different online services, you can find just about anyone to help you with whatever you need.
Services like Care.com or Angie's List even offer background checks so you know you are getting help you can trust.
6. Get your juices flowing.
No, I don't mean making a smoothie but if it helps go for it.
I'm talking about good old-fashioned exercise.
Go for a run, take a walk, enjoy a bike ride.
Work your body. Rest your mind.
When we move, we get our endorphins pumping.
Endorphins are the brain's way of making us feel good.
And if you can't seem to get away, don't let that hinder you.
Do some jumping jacks, deep knee bends or simply walk in place in your office.
It will get the endorphins going and make you giggle as you think about how ridiculous you look.
But be sure to take those cute heels off first, an emergency room visit for a broken ankle will only cause more stress.
7. Do something nice.
When all seems hopeless, show kindness to someone else.
It doesn't have to be a grand gesture, just a few kind words will go a long way.
Like someone's shoes? Tell her.
Think your coworker is killing it? Compliment her on a job well done.
Seeing someone else happy and knowing you are the cause, will make you feel better too.
8. Change your game plan.
There is no reason to stick to a strategy that isn't working.
Contrary to popular belief, there's no rule that says you can't change your mind.
Identify the things that work for you, that propel you in a desired direction, that get you closer to your goals and the things that make you happy.
Then eliminate or change those things that don't.
Sometimes a new direction makes all the difference.
9. Cut yourself some slack.
Love yourself. Forgive yourself.
As women we have enough outside sources making us feel inadequate, don't join in.
So what if you don't finish your to-do list, try again tomorrow.
Ordered take out for the 3rd night in a row, who cares?
Life is not perfect, and neither are we.
Embrace your imperfections and rock your world as only you can do.
Bonus for those of us who believe...
Often, when we're in trouble, we discount the power of prayer and the importance of our constant conversation and communication and relationship with God.
Whether it's (mistakenly) thinking that if we're in trouble God must not know about it or he doesn't care, we're wrong.
Or if we (again mistakenly) believe it's up to us alone to try to "fix" things, we're wrong.
If you've truly reached your breaking point, talking to God about it just might help. One thing's for sure, it certainly won't hurt...
Have you reached your breaking point? If so, tell me about it in the comments. And as always, if you've enjoyed reading this post, please share it with your friends and family. Thanks!
Kimberly Clay is the founder and creative force behind What She Say. She’s a business professional, writer and editor who’s been creating and managing digital content for nearly twenty years. Her work is now focused in the areas of self-improvement and personal development, and she is passionate about helping other individuals, especially women, to find a path for living their best life.