I was seriously tempted not to write a post today. It would be the first time for a year that I would have missed publishing a post at the weekend. I thought about ditching the post because I have a tonne of other stuff to do and many other stresses to contend with. I thought “who would actually notice if I just skipped one week?” The answer I came back with was – ME. I would notice! I have set myself a challenge to write one post a week and I am determined to keep it up, so read on for a bit of an explanation!
There are various work related stresses that have arisen over the past couple of weeks. I guess as I have become more successful then there have been more demands on my time and an increase in tasks that are difficult to put off or avoid completely. Coupled with that, a serious family illness in my family has really knocked me for six and left me confused and scared about the future. I am now slowly getting my head around this. So I thought it was about time I took some of my own advice. What would I say to a client who was in my situation? Probably the following;
- Feel your feelings, do not bottle them up. Cry if you want to cry and feel the sadness, it’s healthy.
- Talk about things to your loved ones and your friends. A problem shared is a problem halved.
- Go easy on yourself. Give yourself time to indulge and look after that Child that is within us all.
- Realise that feelings take time to work themselves through. There are no quick fixes.
- Get out and do things when you feel you are really struggling.
- Exercise is a great way to pick yourself up. The natural endorphins help improve mood.
Ok, I admit that I haven’t done the exercise thing, but the rest of the list has been followed and I feel that I can manage and I will be OK.
The situation did get me thinking about how we British deal with stress and anxiety. That message “keep calm and carry on”, the stiff upper lip, is embedded into our culture and does serve a purpose at times. It has allowed me to get on with working and do what I have to do despite my sad feelings. I also believe, however, that it needs to be balanced with permission to feel our feelings when the space and time is right. This may be at home or in the company of supportive friends or your counsellor.
As for the anxious feelings, well I was very impressed with Russell Brand’s response when Piers Morgan asked him whether he will make mistakes in the future (as he seems to have the ability to do in his own inimitable way). Brand’s reply was “I don’t have to worry about that right now, all I have to deal with is you sitting in front of me”.
“The past is history, the future a mystery, but today is a gift. That’s why it’s called “the present”” (Kung Fu Panda)