In my late 20s I suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome. I was constantly getting sick or getting better, unable to go out on the weekends, and barely surviving the work week.

Despite how debilitating this experience was, it turned out to be a great gift in disguise. Chronic fatigue brought me to yoga, and without it, I would likely not be practicing or teaching today!

Similarly, every healing crisis, every flu, cold or extended illness is an opportunity to consider where we have gotten out of balance, lovingly release what isn’t working, and open to entirely new levels of wellness and joy.

Here are 10 steps to survive a healing crisis ~ and to emerge happier and more whole on the other side!

1. Forgive yourself. Everyone gets out of balance sometimes, even the most accomplished of yoginis. No matter how much we aim for good self-care, no one does it perfectly. When we let ourselves off the hook for being human, the healing process can begin.

2. Take a pause.  Do you need to take time off from work? Ask someone to watch the kids? Take a mental health day?  For many women, the tendency is to put others first ~ our clients, our kids, our work.  Reverse this tendency now, and you will become a great model to those around you. And you’ll be able to show up at your best when you DO get back to work!

3. Get expert support for your immediate symptoms. Do you need to see a doctor, an acupuncturist, get a massage, or call the advice nurse? Sometimes a day off is the only way to be seen.  Get help to begin to heal.

4. Reach out to friends.  Yes, we need extra naps and quiet time when sick, but we also need to surround ourselves with loving people who will support us in the process of getting better.  Friends provide cheer and laughter, as well as needed insight into next steps to healing.

5. Reach out to wise elders. After getting help with the immediate symptoms and activating your friendship network, reach out to mentors, spiritual guides, a therapist, or anyone who can help you find the deeper meaning in this challenge. Explore what you might learn and release, and how you might grow personally as a result of this crisis.

6. Write in your journal. Track what you are feeling and learning as you go through this journey. Write down any plans for new self-care practices.  Writing will help you to remember your intentions, and make it more likely that you actually follow through on them.

7. Plan in advance for the healing process to take LONGER than you expect.  While some women beat themselves up when first getting sick, I find that others beat themselves up when they don’t recover as quickly as they’d like! Know that you’re not alone, and again ~ forgive yourself ~ in advance, for not being perfect. You deserve rest, truly.

8. Plan extra sweet time and new ways to play. As you reintegrate back into your normal activities and family life, plan for extra playtime. Register for a new yoga class or women’s circle. Put a few  funny movies, special nights out, friend dates, or other enjoyable activities on your calendar. This will help you heal!

9. Write affirmations.  Wrap up the healing process by writing affirmations that you can put by your bedside to remind yourself of your new intentions for self-love and self-care. Read them to a friend, wise elder, or loved one, and then to yourself on a daily basis

10. … This one is blank for YOU! What do you do to survive a healing crisis? Please share with us on Facebook what you got out of this article, and your favorite healing tip. Click to reply on Facebook.