5 Things To Do When The Universe Is Testing You
November is trying to kill me.
Or at least it feels that way. I'm feeling like the universe is totally testing my strength right now and I'm not sure what the outcome will be, but I'm optimistically (and stubbornly) looking through the fog, searching for the light at the end of the tunnel.
To begin, I broke my tooth. I'm currently awaiting my procedure at the end of the month which will be painful, scary, and expensive.
Next, if you've been following me on Instagram, you probably saw my foot propped up on a wheelchair as I waited to be seen in the ER because I sprained my ankle on Tuesday and it was swollen to twice the normal size.
I'll back up and explain that because I did it in the dumbest way and in the least convenient place possible.
Gretchen and I were walking in woods at the conservation area in Port Hope and I was walking over a bit of log that was sticking up in the path. I stepped up with my left foot, slipped because it was kinda damp, then landed hard on my right foot, rolling it, and I hear a nice loud POP as I did whatever you do that means your ankle is sprained. Something about a ligament I think??
Either way. It sucked. And I kinda scared Gretchen. I had fallen off to the side of the path, I dropped the Tim Horton's tea I was carrying, and I was doing my best not to scream every expletive I've ever learned. Some in German and French too.
We were in the middle of the woods so I had to hobble back to the car, and I spent about 10 minutes driving around in the parking lot to make sure I brake hard if I needed too because of course I'd injure my driving ankle. I was ok enough to drive home, so I did.
Later that night, I realized that the swelling in my ankle was actually way worse than I thought, so I made the decision to go and get it check out at the hospital, to rule out a break. I went, they squeezed it, they decided it was a bad sprain, and I went home with crutches.
So yes, picture me, with my broken tooth, limping around on crutches with a swollen ankle, and the grossest hair possible because I haven't really figured out how to balance well enough to have an effective shower and wash it so it's a disaster right now.
I'm a pretty optimistic person, so I've been doing my best to just ride this wave of wtf so I don't start feeling sorry for myself because that's icky and tends to spiral in a bad way if you let it get out of hand.
So, I thought that since I'm doing this for myself, maybe I'll share a few of the things that YOU can do when you break a tooth and sprain your ankle and Trump becomes president and you're out of coffee and your car breaks down. Because those days happen to the best of us ;)
Here are 5 things you can do when the universe is testing you. Because YOU ARE STRONG. And you'll get through these tricky times too.
1. Phone a friend.
Or text them if the phone freaks you out, or go out for coffee, or just be with another person who can either commiserate if that's your style, give you some tough love, or who will just listen and nod and give you a hug.
I tend to forget this option because I prefer to be alone most of the time, but even for a seasoned introvert, there's no denying the comfort of someone close who gets you and who is willing to just be by your side. Even if it's just for an hour while you regroup. Just don't forget to be this person for them when the time comes.
Laugh your ass off. Watch a movie that makes you laugh until you almost pee, get your kids to tell you terrible jokes, go to 90s karaoke, search YouTube for "funniest cat videos ever", play chubby bunny. I don't care what you do, but find a way to make yourself smile and laugh. Give that diaphragm a workout, girl!
If all else fails, fake laugh until you real laugh. No joke. Just fake a laugh as loud as you can (in the privacy of your own bathroom or basement or car if you must!) until you find yourself laughing as the pure hilarity of laughing at absolutely nothing.
Drink a big glass of water, make your favourite pot of tea (something without caffeine if you're hankering to relax), have a hot shower, soak in the tub, swim in the ocean, splash cold water in your face. Water is key and I promise you it'll make a difference and help you clear your head.
4. Brain dump.
Grab your favourite pen and paper, or pencil and envelope, or crayon and construction paper -- just find some kind of physical, tangible method of writing and empty your mind. Write every weird word and sentence, idea and thought that comes into your mind. Just get it all out where you can see it and stop letting it roll around and make you ache.
You'd be surprised at how helpful this can be because once you start, your brain gets excited and starts to purge things you never knew you were hanging on to at all. You never have to read this stuff again and if you want, you can burn it or shred it or do whatever feels good in the moment. Just get it out onto paper and take a deep breath.
5. Be gentle with yourself.
Sometimes it's incredibly difficult to handle what the universe dishes out and if you find yourself unable to pick yourself back up, please talk to someone. Call a family member, a helpline, or your doctor. There is no shame in asking for help because you are not alone and we need you in this world.
Thanks so much for reading, friend. If you have any other ideas or things that work for you, feel free to share them below. I'd love to hear from you.