It’s mental health week here in the UK, and I’ve found myself on a bit of a roller-coaster ride with my emotions. It’s been one of those odd weeks where my mood has been up and down and generally all over the place.
If you’re anything like me, you have a pretty damn active ‘inner voice’. She constantly has an opinion about everything, and, much like the Disney Pixar film ‘Inside Out’, she’s able to push all the buttons and pull all the levers whenever she feels I should be feeling a particular emotion. Sometimes it’s helpful and positive; a lot of the time, not so much. “You shouldn’t be eating that” = shame, “That person doesn’t believe you” = defensive, and “Why can’t you just do this? It’s easy for everyone else” = defeated.
When I’m not paying attention to my mental health, neglecting my hygiene, putting too much pressure on myself, double booking myself, or just generally sitting in bed watching crap TV and pretending the mound of clothes on the floor doesn’t exist, I increase the likelihood that my anxieties, fears, and worries become amplified. When your inner voice is so active, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with all those thoughts and, if not interrupted, that can become a vicious cycle.
I think the reason this week has been such a mixture of up and down for me is because I’ve been doing just that; putting a lot of pressure on myself, overthinking, neglecting my helpful habits, and beating myself up. But I’ve also been surrounding myself with positive, interesting, and empathetic people. I’ve been engaging in authentic, personal, deep conversations with fellow ‘spoonies’, coaches, and friends. I’ve been reading good books, listening to podcasts, and watching TED Talks. I’ve been reminded several times a day of the beauty of humanity, and how the little things really can make a huge difference. Whether it’s going out to the local park in the sunshine yesterday with my sister to take new photos for my website (check them out!), or today, getting back to the Tai Chi class I went too once a few weeks ago, but was too self-conscious to go again (I took the photo above of some beautiful flowers on my walk home from the class today!). When we’re feeling overwhelmed, it can be easy to stop doing those little things that have the power to help us. The more we focus on the little things, the more we top up our resilience.
Something I help a lot of my coaching clients with is feeling overwhelmed. Some people think that coaching is all about doing. You need to have a goal and you need to achieve it. Whilst that is helpful, sometimes the goal might not be that cut and dry. It might be beneficial just for today to gain clarity, or to reduce feelings of anxiety. Coaching can help you find out what contributes to feeling overwhelmed, and what little things help bring you back.
Find out what your triggers are, and what little things are important for you to prioritise when you’re not feeling good. Reach out if you need support, talk about it if that helps, and most importantly, remember that your inner voice doesn’t always have the answers!
What are your little things? Send me a message, I’d love to hear from you!