Taking a Break from Your Daily Routine Can Help You Heal
As a victim of verbal abuse, I know how challenging it can be to maintain a continuous fight, flight, or freeze mode daily. Consequently, even after leaving an abusive situation, my brain and body remained in that familiar state. Therefore, as I moved through therapy, one of the methods presented to me was to take a break from absolutely everything. Thankfully, with intensive therapy and the support of friends and loved ones, I found that taking these periodic breaks from my daily routine was beneficial for my healing.
My Support System Helps Me Take Breaks from the Daily Routine
I am very thankful for my spouse and partner in life, who supports me every step of my journey. He has seen me at my worst and continues to listen and try to understand what helps me heal. In addition, my husband recognizes the importance of when I come to him and need a break.
Unfortunately, not everyone will have a supportive person in their life they can rely on. Finding ways to take this time is critical for many verbal abuse victims to begin healing and re-teach their bodies and minds how to relax and be okay with not being in crisis 24 hours a day.
If you are at the point where your life is a continuous cycle of the fight, flight, or freeze, try taking a break from your daily routine and see if this method can help you.
How I Take a Break from My Daily Routine
For some individuals, this may sound shocking. When this idea first came to me, I was sure that my family would fall apart if I were not there to make doctor appointments, unload the dishwasher, or walk the dog for exactly 45 minutes. Unfortunately, I still have difficulty letting some of these things go when I try to take a break, but it is getting easier.
Sometimes my breaks are going to town for the evening with friends, leaving kids and dogs behind without worrying about dinner. Other times, my break includes a few days camping by myself in the mountains with my dog by my side. They are not always long or last for days, but finding even a small piece of time frequently to stop, breathe, and just exist will be helpful.
It Gets Easier to Break from Your Daily Routine
After years of therapy, it is getting easier for me to recognize times when I become overwhelmed, anxious, or upset. Unfortunately, my default to stressful situations is flight, so instead of going against my instincts, I use them to change my mindset.
When I become angry or upset at home, my first response is to grab the dog leash and get outside with my dogs. But unfortunately, my husband knows all too well my tone of voice and my current emotional state when I yell in a more panicked or upset tone, "I'm walking the dogs."
These small breaks are when I take a moment to forget about the email that upset me, avoid planning my schedule for tomorrow, or rehash a conversation I previously had with someone that left me sad or angry. Instead, I focus on breathing, watching my dogs walk alongside the road, and listening to the birds. I notice where the sun is on the horizon and if I notice anything else during my time outside.
Of course, I cannot run away and go camping in the mountains alone every time I become stressed or upset, but I can make time each day to enjoy the outdoors with my dogs on a walk. On other evenings, instead of cleaning or working on an urgent project, I will paint for an hour.
The trick is to find something that you enjoy that will help you escape, if even for a few minutes. These breaks will help your body learn how to exist in a normal state and benefit healing.
If you have no idea where to start, try small things. For example, taking five minutes to just stand outside in the sunshine or play Solitaire for 10 minutes can work wonders for your mindset. Hopefully, you too can use breaks from your daily routine to help your healing journey in time.
Wozny, C. (2022, May 5). Taking a Break from Your Daily Routine Can Help You Heal, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, February 5 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/verbalabuseinrelationships/2022/5/taking-a-break-from-your-daily-routine-can-help-you-heal