Been there. Done that.
In 18 months; I lost my marriage, business and health and ended up with $88,000 of corporate debt. That was in 1998.
I've been through a meltdown, and what I learned can help you or your friends get out of theirs. As bleak as it may seem, you will get through this.
As crazy as it seems the 'doo doo' of my past has become the fertilizer in my current life. My life is living proof that "Yes! You Can." You can get through this.
NBC had me on "The Today Show," talking about how to get through these tough times...If you had told me that a decade ago - I would have asked you, "What planet are you living on?" But we'll get to more on that next week.
My decent began with a bout of Meniere's syndrome. (I would see you - but there would be three of you, and the room was always spinning). It's a disease that causes some to be bed ridden for the rest of their lives.
I started a design company with $17 and a glue gun (which I brought on The Today Show) and grew it to $1.5 million in retail sales within four years. I had no business training, and like many entrepreneurs my business plan was simple: work hard. My crazed pace of 16 hour days caught up with me. Since I failed to listen to my body's needs, it had no other choice than to shut down. My doctor took away my car keys and put me to bed - for several months. During my 'time out' employees embezzled my designs and my business began to unravel.
Losing my business was like losing a baby. My plan was to build a successful business and then have children. No such luck. Losing my marriage was the final and toughest blow.
During the bleak parade of March days, I hit my bottom.
The woman weeping in her car in the alley so the neighbors didn't hear her - that was me. I looked at my life and decided that I had failed...at everything.
I knew that I was supposed to "love myself." But how? I needed hands on tools to lift myself out of my 'funk'. I was desperate.
Here are some simple things that helped me through my darkest days.
Pick up the phone. Call your friends. Even better go see your friends. Get and give a lot of hugs.
Water is a key element. This is a huge de-stresser. Sure wine and Dr. Vodka numb the pain, but water will help your body over the long haul.
Eating protein is always a vital component in lowering my own stress levels. Studies show that people's eating habits deteriorate under a great deal of pressure. I know my eating habits did. "Stress disrupts people's normal eating habits. When they feel anxious or emotionally aroused or negative about themselves, they try to avoid these negative feelings by turning their attention to food," said Dr. Daryl O'Connor, a researcher at Britain's Leeds University. I have personally found that eating red meat is very helpful for lowering my stress. It is a food that fills me up and diminishes my sugar cravings. (Sorry my Vegan friends.) Please do what works for you.
Even If you are on a budget, you can make the items you consume deeply self-pleasing. Having a sister that lives in Italy has taught me a lot about the power of simple pleasures. If you are no longer going to Starbucks, you can make a cup of coffee that is Drive-Across-Town-Good. Serve it to yourself in one of your most beautiful cups. It tastes so much more satisfying. It sounds so good, I am going to do that now.
Ah! My best china never looked so good! That coffee was so yummy that it made me think of God.
You Are Not Your Stuff
Your essence is so much bigger than that big metal thing you park in your garage or the fine clothes hanging in your closet. Take 15 minutes. Breathe in and out of your heart. If you have a spiritual practice, now is the time to use it. That quiet time focused on Spirit or what I call 'The Great Good" can help you get above the panic of "what the hell will I do now?"
Are you ready to get out of the way and let your dreams have a say? Email Eli at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.elidavidson.com today.
Eli Davidson is a nationally recognized executive coach and motivational speaker. Her book, "Funky to Fabulous: Surefire Success Stories for The Savvy, Sassy and Swamped", (Oak Grove Publishing) has won three national book awards. Eli is a reinvention catalyst, who can transform your professional and personal life from Funky to Fabulous with her ten, trademarked Turnaround Techniques that create rapid and remarkable results.