How to Recover from a Rough Week
It’s 7am in the morning; the alarm’s just rung, your eyes can’t open, your body doesn’t want to get up; the items on your to-do list start to dance around in front of your eyes; you recall that painful conversation with X last week; you recall the intense realization you had during your yoga class recently; it’s all already too much - and you haven’t even left your bed yet.
It’s Monday, and you’re off to a bad start - you feel it and there’s no way you’re getting out of that funk (or at least, that’s how it feels like).
We all have them.
Rough weeks, bad weeks, intense weeks, call them however you want - but by definition, they’re hard and they challenge you, reminding you that no matter how much progress you make in all areas of your life, there’s still a lot to learn.
Often, when it happens to me, I don’t realize it until later during the week; it’s just so easy to get lost in the flow of negative thoughts - and stubborn me really doesn’t want to make an effort to stop, pause and admit that there’s something I can do about it.
So I stay in my cranky, irritable mood and complain in my head for another couple of days.
But when I do realize I have the power to soothe my mind and to turn things around, or at least understand why I’m feeling down & low, I have my go-to steps.
May these 5 suggestions inspire you to create or add to your own soothing practices.
1. Make yourself a comforting cup of turmeric tea or turmeric latte
If you live in a warm place, then you might want to go for a cold turmeric tea. Just add turmeric, lemon, a pinch of black pepper (helps your body take in the turmeric more easily!), a pinch of cayenne, fresh ginger and you’re good to go. And like your yoga, over time you’ll find your own perfect recipe!
In the winter, you can add everything in the blender, replace cayenne pepper with cinnamon, and a couple of cashews to make it a latte. You can even add a cinnamon stick and cardamom pods for extra health benefits. Tadaa, you’re ready!
2. Meditate in a cozy space
It’s always better to have a dedicated space to meditate (it helps your brain remember it’s that time of the day) and in a seated position but you can allow yourself to be flexible at times. What matters is that you find comfort and answers.
Trust that over time, meditation will be a tool
you always turn to when times are tough.
So maybe you get on your couch, bed, on the floor on a carpet, next to your cat/dog; sometimes it feels better to meditate in a place that feels warm rather than on your yoga mat or yoga space. If you’re new to meditation, here is a meditation workbook for you to find what you like, what works for your lifestyle & needs.
3. Play soothing mantras on repeat
They’re really soothing music and singing along to Sanskrit (and other Indian dialects) lyrics is surprisingly very comforting, reassuring and in a way, alleviating. They make you feel less alone, somehow, and help you feel more grounded and clear your mind. To get a playlist ready to listen to, download my meditation workbook - there’s a playlist included for you to work with.
Mantras make you feel like you’re in a cocoon,
held and nurtured until you’re ready to come back out.
4. Get on your beloved mat without expectations
Truly tune inwards and do a short body scan before getting to move. Connect to your breath. What does your body need? Where does it feel stiff? Is movement something you’re craving? Or maybe child’s pose sounds like heaven right there. Keep listening to the mantras mentioned above, sing along if you feel like it, hug yourself (do hug yourself!).
Below is a tiny bit of my practice last time life felt a bit too much and overwhelming.
You can see my lips moving to a mantra song :-)
5. Fellow woman, check what part of your cycle you’re in (YES!)
Your menstrual cycle has a very strong influence on your mood and energy levels. When I filmed this video above, I knew that any hour then, my period would come in. It helped me be more gentle with myself, and throughout the whole day after this practice I kept reminding myself of that - some things are in your control, but some things you can’t change. Your period tires you out and it’s the perfect moment to remember that you’re allowed to take time off, rest, indulge in all the child’s poses you need.
There you go, yogi, I hope these help you find comfort and release some tension (and everything else that needs releasing). Please share what you add to your practice when you feel down and overwhelmed - I’m always looking for new ways to heal on my yoga mat.