If you numbed yourself with food and beverage over the holidays the way I did, this is the episode for you. I am sharing my three primary recommendations for what to do when Christmas gets derailed by Covid and how to bounce back to your higher self.
Okay well let me begin with a little bit of background here. We have a blended family so when the girls come home for the holidays, they spend time at two houses but primarily sleep at our house. Their mom’s place is a one-bedroom town home with a loft so there is limited space for the girls, a boyfriend, and a dog. Our home is more spacious but still only a 3-bedroom home, so it is not like we have any extra beds sitting around.
Flash forward to Monday evening when my husband starts to complain about a sore throat. In this day and age, we can’t even get cold symptoms anymore without it being a big problem. My sister-in-law gave us a rapid at home Covid test because we could not find one anywhere on the north shore and it came back positive for Covid. Talk about the worst timing ever. My anxiety immediately catapulted into the stratosphere with all kinds of fears, doubts, and worries about how this would impact the holidays and who else would get infected…and how sick would they get. It definitely felt more complicated with the two households being intertwined.
So we donned the masks, distanced Bob, and off he went to one of the guest-rooms, which meant one of the girls had to sleep at their Mom’s. Not an ideal situation but we were still dealing with it okay because we were still holding on to the hope that the at-home test was a false-positive. We were anxiously waiting on his PCR test he took that afternoon and desperately hoping for a negative result. Meanwhile, the kids and I had to search far and wide to find a place to get tested and we finally found a makeshift Covid Testing center in a close by suburb. We were thrilled to discover that we all tested negative for Covid and so did the ex and her boyfriend. Unfortunately, Bob’s PCR came back positive as well so there was no denying it anymore… Christmas was getting derailed by Covid. Luckily, his symptoms were mild, and we have all been vaccinated and know the whole situation could be way worse.
This is where self-love comes into the picture because I could be really hard on myself for how I dealt with all of this. If I am honest, I became super anxious, kind of bitchy, and started to feel pretty down. I was super grateful Bob was not really sick, but I just could not put a dent in my anxiety no matter how much I walked or meditated. I was in fight or flight mode as if my survival was at stake. I just felt like I was buzzing with negative energy and wanted to feel better. Soooooo I knowingly reached for food and beverage to numb the uncomfortable feelings I was experiencing. Instead of keeping my diet healthy and restrained, I ate lots of flour and sugar. I also drank wine throughout the week instead of waiting to treat myself on the weekend. I knew even when I was doing it that I was not making a good choice, but I decided to rely on my subconscious auto pilot at this point and refrain from making conscious decisions. Naturally, this was not a good long-term solution because it just succeeded in making me feel even worse in the long run! Short term though, not gonna lie, I felt a sense of relief when I decided I could let my higher-self take a break and go back to old habits and patterns.
Now typically, this could trigger a lot of self-loathing and disappointment in terms of how I dealt with the situation in the past. I used to be pretty hard on myself and would focus on the one thing I did not do up to par, instead of all things I did quite well. This was my mode of operation for decades until I became more self-aware. I mean it is easy to love ourselves when we are at our best and feeling pretty pleased with how we are showing up to the world. It is a whole different animal when we are giving ourselves love because we accept our human limitations and understand that this does not compromise our worthiness in any way. This is truly the way to get back on track with our higher selves and that love inside us that is always accessible if we stay out of our Brian BS. Long story short, I am circumventing the self-criticism and negative emotions this time and choosing love and forgiveness instead.
Before I go any further, I do want to say that I had so much fun with my stepdaughters on Christmas day. Bob woke up feeling good Christmas morning and even though it was not the scenario we wanted, we still managed to have a really good time. We popped open the champagne, made lots of food, and sang and danced all day. We had lot of laughs and I really enjoyed my time with them. Would it have been as much fun without the champagne? I know this answer might not be one you would expect to hear from a life coach, but I daresay it would not have been because we were all feeling so weird and derailed by Covid rearing its ugly head. I understand that if I was truly evolved, I would have accepted the present moment as it was and would go with the flow without deferring to any vices. Well, it turns out I have some evolving to still do because I felt and feel unapologetic about drinking too much this Christmas. Yes, I have a little regret about feeling gross and pickled now, but all in all I did what I had to do to get through a Covid Christmas. I managed to escape my anxiety and have some major belly laughs so I am choosing to take that as a win. It’s all about the way we are thinking, right? Thoughts trigger feelings, those lead to actions, and that is how we get our results. My primary thought about my actions this Christmas is I forgive myself for being human and having limitations. Period. No beating myself up, no dwelling on my shortcomings, just getting back up and dusting myself off to get back to this amazing game of living consciously.
Alright, so if I did not make it clear how beneficial it is to forgive yourself, let me give you another reason. We treat other people the way we treat ourselves. If we are super hard on ourselves, then we are doing that to other people too. As you can imagine, that is not going to create healthy relationships for you at home or in the workplace. When we are always focused on how other people are lacking or how they came up short, it does not lend toward acceptance and peace of mind. It keeps us thinking from scarcity and we overlook all the abundance around us.
After all this talk of wallowing in food and beverage, you are probably wondering how discipline can possibly play a role in all of this. Clearly, I did not practice discipline when it comes to my diet. If I wanted to eat or drink something the last few days since Bob’s diagnosis, I just ate and drank it. It was sort of freeing to completely lose sight of my self-care goals because I could be impulsive and do whatever I wanted…but that would be a horrible option long term! I would gain weight for sure, and my anxiety would skyrocket if I did that on an ongoing basis. Short little vacations away from discipline with our diet are not ideal but they don’t have to be a huge deal either. Remember, we do not look to the past to see what we are capable of creating in the future. Yep, you read that right. As humans, we always want to define ourselves and what we can accomplish, by looking at our past performance. This is total Brain BS. We don’t just need discipline when it comes to our diet. We also need it with how we manage our minds and our emotional health too.
We need discipline with how we choose to perceive ourselves and those around us. Our brain filters given to us in childhood will tempt us to live from our subconscious. However, we have to have the wherewithal to stay conscious and aware as much as possible so, we can stay tapped into our higher self. This is where all or nothing thinking can cause us a great deal of suffering because we focus on the negative and overlook the positive. For example, even though I got derailed by food and beverage the week of Christmas, I still walked daily and meditated regularly (even often). Because I was able to stay in my center of self-awareness and see the whole picture, I did not just focus on one side of it. In the past, I would have gotten super down on myself for my weaknesses and limitations and not given myself credit for the self-care I did implement. This is really important because our future actions are reliant on how we are thinking. So if we are thinking we do not know how to take care of ourselves, we only look for evidence to support that thought. That can lead to a downward spiral of negativity and repetitive behavioral patterns that do not serve us because we are not self-aware.
The other point I want to make about disciplining our minds is that it requires repetition and persistence and will be a challenge for the remainder of our lives. We will never arrive to being evolved and be done with the work. Our brains will always try to cause us suffering because they think it is helping us to stay safe. If we don’t manage our minds the way we want in any given situation, no worries, I promise we will get many more opportunities to get it right in the future! This is the nature of life; this is the reason why we are here on this planet in human form…to understand that we are not our thoughts or our egos, we are the observer of them. If we can keep that foremost in our mind, it does not have to be a huge deal when Covid derails Christmas and we end up with a (physical and emotional) hangover.
In conclusion, numbing ourselves to get through uncomfortable situations is not ideal, but it’s also not the end of the world. As humans, we have to accept our limitations and not add layers of suffering to the mix by judging ourselves as not good enough in a particular moment or period of time. Instead of beating ourselves up and dwelling in negative emotions, we can opt for self-love, forgiveness, and a little mind discipline as a way back to our higher-selves and a little peace and joy. Join me in the Brain BS Podcast to discuss this further.
If you have already heard enough and you are sick of beating the crap out of yourself every time you come up short, sign up for a free 60-minute consult and see what it would be like to work with me www.thebrainbs.com I can either help you to make the changes you desire and have been resisting OR we can work on you loving yourself exactly as you are. If you are not quite ready for getting that up close and personal, you can join my private Facebook group called The Brain BS Group to dig into this stuff a little bit deeper from a distance. Remember ladies, the only thing standing between you and what you want is your Brain BS!