- Have you ever had those days where you feel like your tank is just on empty, you are running on fumes and you are a little bit worried and you don’t know how you are going to get through the next 24 hours let alone life!
- Alternatively, do you every feel wired and overwhelmed like your to do list is never ending and you have 1000 things going on in your head and your actually not sure which one to prioritise and you start sinking into the deep abyss of despair, procrastination and FB scrolling.
Yeah man I am right there with you. A lot of my clients and women I know say to me (this has happened more than once, so I feel like it’s a thing now) how do you do it? or some version of that. ‘That’ being; Be a Mum of two wild little boys, play footy, run a business, work in that business have a part time job as well to get those bills paid as well as trying to make a marriage work. I don’t know if I would go as far as to say they think I am a bit of a super woman, but they do think I am working at a level of crazy that is not achievable for themselves. Spoiler alert. Me doing life well and kicking its ass is not always the case and not always something to be idolised, revered or to congratulated. Sometimes this is just dumb! Yeah I said it..sometimes I’m just freaking stupid with the amount of work I take on and I have had to constantly review and make adjustments to this so that my family comes first and my health and well being is maintained. I just wanted to open up the door a little bit for you there because this week I was just at point A and that made me want to talk to you all about how I manage this and engage in that little big thing called self care. Also over the last week we have just had Suicide Prevention day and R U OK DAY. Suicide and Mental Health initiatives that I love and would like to take the opportunity to look at how do we look after our selves so that it doesn’t get to the point of a serious Mental health issue or even Suicide.
Let’s have a look at both points A and B. When you are here you are bordering a little town called burn out which not only emotionally saps but can have a serious impact on your physical well being as well. These are not points of early warning signs if you have reached here you have gone too far and you must turn back. Both our Mental health and Physical health are interconnected so if you are experiencing adverse symptoms in one then you are going to see an impact in the other or in many cases you won’t know what came first it is very chicken or the egg-esque.
Ok so regardless of whether it was the chicken or the egg here are some other signs that you may or not recognise that are signs you have reached these destinations.
- Low mood
- Anger and irritability for no apparent reason
- Lack of sleep or wanting to sleep more than usual
- Lack of appetite or increase in appetite
- An overall feeling of exhaustion or anhedonia ( finding no joy in anything) .
- Feeling nervous for no reason
- Feeling anxious to a point that nothing can calm you down.
How is this playing out on a biological level – Cortisol levels (stress hormone) would be sky high for an amount of time they are not suppose to be this high for. This has effects on our Cardio Vascular system and exposing our body to this for prolonged periods could lead to a high risk of cardio vascular disease obesity and just general illness such as colds , sore throats etc as our immune system is most likely not working at 100%. Our sleep becomes disrupted which then feeds back into the above our body and muscles start to feel heavy because they are taking on the stresses and start to move into not ideal positions in an order to ‘protect ourselves’ . Think shoulders hunched, tight muscles sore back.
What can we do?
First of all have a look around you at the people in your circle and your village. Are these people, people that you would trust to pull you to the side and say, ‘you need to stop’ or just, ‘what’s going on here how we can do this better?’. I know personally every time this happens it sneaks up on me and it’s not until someone says, ‘hey Jac we are worried about you’ that I go … Oh shit I did it again. I have gotten better at my own awareness of the situation but sometimes those people can reel you in before it’s too late.
Ok so here is something you can work on and is non dependant on others.
This blog is called white noise because when we look at point B I like to think of it as getting sucked into the white noise of our mind (I may have taken this from someone else) and their lives overwhelm and anxiety. So as an ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) Practitioner this is one of my absolute favourite exercises to do.
Take a bit of paper.
Find a quiet room.
Take a pen.
Sit comfortably in that room.
Set a timer for 5 mins.
For that entire 5 minutes write down everything that comes into your head every thought. INCLUDING The thought that ‘I am not having any thoughts my mind is blank am I doing this exercise right!’
Following that 5 mins look at everything you have written on that piece of paper and highlight A) the things that really matter and B) the things you can control.
I bet you 1 hundred dollars (yes I did proof read this but I left 100 like that because I was like wtf was I thinking that’s hilarious haha) there’s not a lot of high light going on but that is the white noise that is going on in your brain that is sucking you into spaces that keep you from living your deadliest life. .
How do you get out of these spaces?
This is actually another favourite of mine but not always accessible to everyone but it is totally accessible totally the Marvel fans out there. Also please don’t do this if your prone to ear infections.
Go for a swim. Float on your back so your ears are submerged and focus on your breathing. It is peaceful under water and you can. Let the thoughts in your mind float away and don’t engage in them and just enjoy the peace. It’s a great environment to learn how to practice mindfulness as water can reduce external sounds significantly.
As always team I hoped you have enjoyed this blog, found it useful or connected in some way . We would love to hear your feedback about all things team Storm so please get in touch.
Please note I have worked as a Mental health clinician for over 7 years I am not a Psychiatrist or GP if you recognise any of these symptoms or signs please contact your regular practitioner for further treatment or advice. If you need someone to talk too please contact life line 131114, Mens line 1300 78 99 78 Kid helpline 1800551800 (up to 25 years old ) or Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636.
Until next time