My latest bout of Red Alert came last year when both my parents became ill and I was travelling back and forth from one hospital to another visiting and sorting out medications. That’s the practical side of it. The emotional upheaval of having two elderly parents in hospital was extraordinary. The eventual loss of my father affected my ability to drop off to sleep, or remain asleep for very long. There was too much disturbance and upset in my nervous system and I just couldn’t find rest by myself.
Add to that a marriage, a new house, and a new job all in a very short space of time… this wasn’t the time for me to grit my teeth and hope it would pass or write it off as another phase. It was the time to get extra support, which I did, and it helped enormously and probably shortened the period of not-sleeping by about a gazillion years. So even after practicing and teaching Yoga for over 20 years, I was still human. Possibly even more so in that that I had to let go of layers of deep muscular tension.
My extra support, and the support that I now offer to you is through the therapeutic application of Craniosacral Therapy. (how cranio helps with sleep – insert for how cranial can help to follow), Yoga Body Rolling and Scenar Pain Relief Therapy. These one-to-one sessions can offer relief from hormonal and menopausal symptoms , trauma resulting from accidents and emotional upheavals, long-term and on-going stresses or recurring illnesses that don’t seem to improve.
What exactly is Red Alert mode?
It’s not a medical term as such, but it should be. It can be defined as when our reserves are so low and there is such an overwhelming amount of ‘life’ pouring through us that we just can’t cope. We go into what is known as survival mode and activate our Fight-Flight-Freeze stress response. It’s ok if we are in this mode for a little while. OK but not ideal. The problem is when we get stuck on Red Alert, as so many of us do. On Red Alert, our bodies and minds, feel like they are constantly on high alert, adrenaline is pumping through our bodies and we can be like a bull in a china shop, charging through our lives with no thought to the effect it is having on ourselves, our colleagues and loved ones. That’s the fight response.
The flight response looks a bit calmer, but it feels like there’s no-one home. Nothing gets done and we get stuck in a state of dreamy procrastination. The problem with this state is that in our no-one-home state we miss out a lot and our lives become humdrum and unsatisfactory. Depression and anxiety are common in this state and we can spend years wasting precious time. The freeze response is even more serious. We are literally frozen in time, reliving the event over and over again with no apparent way out. Our muscles are contracted, our ability to think clearly, or indeed to even find the words to express what we are feeling is severely comprised. We become distant in our relationships which leads to isolation, despair and disconnection.
Last but not least being in Red Alert results in lack of sleep which compounds the feelings of anger, depression and make each day weary and tiring as well as affecting our physical health.