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How to avoid a breakdown

How to avoid a breakdown

This month’s blog looks at the tricky issue of mental breakdowns and how you can take steps to avoid them.

Imagine you are a machine, and none of the parts of this machine are maintained or looked after. This machine is overworking every day. It is inevitable that eventually, it will break down. We are a human-machine and depression can occur when that machine has broken down. You may be maintaining one aspect of your human-machine or none. To ensure you do not break down, you have to be maintaining all aspects of yourself. These are physical, emotional, mental and social.

Physical: It is common knowledge that we should be having regular exercise and eating healthily. The hardest part is switching the knowing to the doing. Do this by taking baby steps. If you cannot get to the gym, grab your coat and go for a short walk for 10 minutes. Next day, build it up to 15 minutes and so on. Walk on the spot as you watch TV. Run up and down the stairs. Anything that will get you moving briskly at regular intervals in the day.

If you cannot manage 3 healthy meals, aim for one a day and then build from there. Or commit to drinking more water or cutting down on alcohol and caffeine. All these steps will nourish your physical body and increase your limited store of energy.

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Emotional: It is easy to overlook the tirade of emotions that are felt as you are battling with the practicalities and multiple demands that a crisis brings. The most common ones are sadness, anger, hurt, guilt, frustration, fear, uncertainty, confusion, disappointment and helplessness.

Imagine a bottle within you filling up with some of these emotions since the critical event. Is your bottle full? If so, how are you going to empty it.? The easiest way of doing this is by writing out how you are feeling every day. You can write unsent letters to the people concerned with the emotions or imagine they are sitting in an empty chair and verbalising your feelings at them. Both these techniques will help you to ‘empty’ your emotional bottle safely and without any repercussions from those people. Doing this every day will ensure it does not fill up again.

Mental: With lots of things to attend to, your mind would be racing and on overdrive. It is important to calm and slow it down. Find solitude in your day to practice breathing and mindfulness.

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Social: Make sure you speak to someone from your circle of family and friends every day.  It may not be for any practical help but just so as you feel connected with other people and the outside world. Strike a conversation with someone in the park or in the shopping queue. Instead of withdrawing from the world, be proactive in staying in touch and having regular human face to face connection.  

AUM Wellbeing Consultancy is running online courses and one to one coaching.

Contact us for more support on 07888747438

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