I don’t know if it’s the change in the weather. Or the busyness of things in the last few weeks, but I’ve definitely felt that my energy levels have waned somewhat. I realise that a day running a training session or a day of back to back coaching/counselling sessions; definitely takes its toll. I have to say there have been times lately when all I’ve wanted to do at the end of the day is lie down in a darkened room and sleep.
There are times when we all experience that lack of energy and a real sense that we’ve got nothing left to give. When it’s time to recognise that we’ve hit empty, or rock bottom and it’s time to re-charge. As someone said to me recently, describing how this felt for them, “it’s like I don’t even have the energy to speak.” When we hit rock bottom it’s a sense of collapse and that there’s barely the energy to do anything more than function as the most basic level.
When we feel in that pit, when everything feels like it’s too much and we don’t have the energy to do much it can be hard to see where the foot holds are, to help us get out. It’s in these instances when good self-care and our sense of self resilience come into their own.
According to Mind (www.mind.org) there’s a whole range of things that we can do to boost our sense of resilience;
Make some lifestyle changes, so that you feel better able to cope with stresses and pressures when they come up. Making time for friends; being assertive about your boundaries; relaxation and interests or hobbies that you love are all things that can help with that.
Look after your physical health, which is about getting enough sleep, exercise and making sure to eat healthily. Often easier said than done, but I get the importance of each of these!
Give yourself a break. This includes making time for breaks; be that micro breaks in a busy day or ensuring that holidays and time off are marked in the calendar before anything else! I’m currently reading “How to have a great day” by Caroline Webb. It’s one of those books that’s dead easy to read and is packed full of practical ideas. I’m about three quarters of the way through and the message that’s struck me, squarely between the eyes, yet again is the importance of planning, what she calls DELIBERATE DOWN TIME. Nobody’s going to give us our ‘downtime’; it’s something that we have to claim for ourselves.
Giving yourself a break, can also be about being kinder, less harsh on yourself; recognising what you’ve achieved (no matter how small) and forgiving yourself when you make a mistake. There are times, when we’re stressed when we talk to ourselves in ways that we’d never dream of talking to others. So, maybe next time you’re feeling down think about talking to yourself like you would to someone that you care about!
Build your support network, remembering that social connection and interaction is vital to our mental wellbeing. Whether that’s taking the plunge and talking about what’s troubling with friends and family or seeking some professional help, remember ‘it’s good to talk.’
In an online poll undertaken by YouGov in August 2018, 74% of respondents said they’d felt so stressed that they’d felt overwhelmed or unable to cope. That feels like a huge, very sad statistic but one that echoes with so much of what I see, feel and am part of every day.
If you’re feeling at rock bottom, overwhelmed, lost, despairing or just don’t know what to do next; please get in touch. Let’s have an initial chat and see if we can work together to find a way forward that’s right for you!
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