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Pulling Myself Out of A Rut: Building Mental Resilience

Updated: May 22

Paralyzing memories flooded my senses. As the triggers ripped into my mind like knives, I instinctively, I began to numb myself emotionally.

Until I couldn't feel anything.

As the day progressed on, I found my emotions were unruly and wild. I was more temperamental, I struggled to keep myself going, I found I was overwhelmed and exhausted all at the same time -- and -- I felt I was grasping for some way out of this hole, that was sucking me under.

The deep sadness seemed to know me so deeply. The depression began to encircle me like ravenous wolves. Then, as I sank further, it felt like a devil's snare, from Harry Potter, suffocating me as I struggled to find my way out.

Can anyone else relate?

With all my professional training and also personal healing with therapists, I have found I still get bouts of depression. Yet what I have found is

The greater the resilience the quicker the recovery

When I get drowned by triggers and when I start to sink into a depressive state, I usually do the following:

  • Zone out

  • Burned out

  • Refuse physical contact.

  • Speak little or not at all.

  • Hyperfocus and yet cannot stay on one thought.

  • Waves of overwhelm sporadically hitting my head and heart with lies, pain, and trauma.

  • Retreat into a dark, warm bed

These are my flags. When I start experiencing one of these, I try to catch myself and pull myself back to the present, back to the light, and back to my true self.

Start observing what your flags are and make a list, so you are now aware of the downward spiral that gets you into the mental rut. I promise it will be very insightful for your life.

What if you're in the rut? Now what?

Here are a few suggestions that have helped me get out of my mental ruts:

  1. I allow myself to wind down and to zone out if it is an intense and overwhelming trigger. I allow myself to zone out and I promise myself that I will recuperate and battle this. I listen to my body and my mind and wait. Something inside of me will whisper, we're ready. And then I address and work through the trigger.

  2. If the trigger or habit is minimal, I seek to catch myself in the very first flag that I see. I have made a list of how to counteract each one of my flags, I invite you to do the same. Really ask yourself, what would actually help me when I am in this state of mind?

  3. I don’t force myself to face my feelings, I commit to facing them with grace. I give myself time to process and sift through all the emotions I am feeling. I take the time to sort and address each emotion. I commit to processing my feelings in a way that will support my life and also support the healing I am looking to achieve. I don’t force myself; I give myself permission to process when I feel comfortable, and I commit to processing. If I am not in a place where I can process either emotionally or physically, I commit to carving out a good time to process the emotions felt. *

  4. I take action. Shifting the energy in our body has an immense ability to help shift the energy in our minds. Usually, I change the scenery and I get myself moving. My natural instinct is to go to fetal position and to comfort myself with my warm blanket and the never-ending Instagram shorts, (this is how I zone out). When I am ready, I will take action and shift the energy. I will commit to doing one thing outside the bed (ie. doing the dishes, letting the dog out, picking up one room, folding laundry, etc.) I will choose one. And commit to one. Then without thinking about it further, I will just go and do it. I decide to turn on a favorite song and I just start where I am.

  5. Loving myself where I am at. As I process my emotions, I have to love myself through it. I start with a recentering exercise where I help myself remember my personal and true identity.* I pray for strength, and I ask God to help me work through and heal through the trigger. From here, I acknowledge, diffuse, and process the emotions where needed. I give myself affirming statements like, “good job” or “well done you did it. You worked through_________” Then I continue to motivate myself by speaking words to my heart and mind that I know who I am. My past can be given grace for its imperfection and my present has a power all its own – I can choose what I can create. This is mental resilience.

Wherever you may find yourself in the middle of your triggers or in the middle of depression, I hope one or many of these steps may help you develop mental resilience.

What I have found is that the more I practice pulling myself out of my mental ruts, the more quickly I can get myself back to a place where I feel balanced and at peace – this is what I call my “center”. I want to be centered in peace.

Greater resilience means a quicker recovery.

Give yourself the tools you need to make your mind and heart more capable of obtaining true mental resilience.

*As a life coach I help women to understand and process their emotions, to cultivate their true identity and build their lives with strength and integrity, check out more here>>

If you know of someone who could benefit from this article, please share it with them. If you have any insights or questions, please share them in the comment section below.

God bless!

Article Written by: Kaitlyn Andrews, International Life Coach for Women

A woman sitting in her bathroom, on her toilet sobbing into her hands.

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