Recently, I had an emotional wobble.
During a session with my coach and mentor I suddenly broke down and couldn’t stop myself from crying. It came suddenly; it was unexpected, uncomfortable but somehow cathartic and necessary.
I am lucky that my wobble didn’t last long and I bounced back after couple of weeks, but despite being in a much better place emotionally, I keep going back to that morning and thinking about what lead to my outburst of emotions and what I could have done to prevent my meltdown.
I have thought long and hard whether I should share this. There is that feeling of not knowing how others will react to your post, whether you will be judged, be seen as weak... I am hopeful however,that my experience and my learning will resonate and maybe even help someone.
Here are some things that I think impacted my mental state and what I should have done to manage my wellbeing better.
Listening to my body
I admit, I am guilty of often ignoring the signs my body is sending me. I think, subconsciously I was aware of what my body was telling me, but I chose not to listen.
I had a lot on my mind which was causing me stress, I was overtired and sleep deprived, I was dehydrated, not getting much exercise and in general not giving my body much chance to relax and recharge.
My mentor gave me homework of introducing some “rituals” to my daily routine that would help my emotional and physical state and wellbeing. Since then I have made some small changes but they have made a huge difference. Simple things like going to sleep earlier, being more mindful and grateful, listening to meditative recordings, allowing myself to have a break, doing something for myself that makes me happy and relaxed. Every now and again, I do find myself going back to bad habits, but I am much more aware and in tune with my body.
Talk about it
Shortly after my wobble I saw a friend I haven’t seen for years. I told her about what I went through and one of the things she said was “I would expect anyone to have a wobble but you”. I asked her what made her think so and her reply was: “You are strong and always so positive. You also are a coach so you have a lot of tools up your sleeve to prevent you from feeling this way”.
I agree, I am one of those people who tends to look at the bright side and sees the glass half full, and yes, I have a lot of tools that could help me, but I am also a human and I also have moments of weakness.
If I didn’t say anything to my friend about how I felt and kept it to myself, she wouldn’t know what I was going through. Those that know me will know that I am quite expressive and extraverted, therefore I actually feel energised when I can talk things through and share how I feel. I am aware though that there are a lot of people out there who are much introverted, more reflective who think things through and talking about their emotions feels unnatural and fills them with dread, therefore they are less likely to talk to someone.
Imagine you are wearing a rucksack on your back – each negative emotion, feeling, stress is a stone that you put in your rucksack. Over time, you may find you’ve collected a lot of stones and your rucksack starts to feel heavy, causes you pain, discomfort, and starts to drag you down.
Find your way of effectively offloading and emptying your rucksack to cultivate a healthy mind and spirit. If talking through is not your thing, take time to think what would be the most helpful way of letting go of your negative baggage.
We all have some struggles, but not all of us will show it, share it or admit it. This leads me to my third point.
Don’t believe everything you see
These days we are exposed to often glorified, censored version of lives seen through a glass screen on our phones or tablets. There is a lot of external pressure pushed on us through social media and it is very easy to fall into a trap of comparing our lives and situation to those shared by others whose lives seem to be so much better, happier and more fulfilled. Is that really the case though? How often do people share things that go wrong, the fact they might be unhappy, lonely, stressed or depressed? What we see doesn’t always reflect reality. I think it is fair to say we all have some challenges, life is not always perfect and we are not always full of beans.
I know my life isn’t always perfect, I would be lying if I pretended it is. I also know that I am the only one responsible for my decisions, my thoughts and I am the only one who can take action to make my life, health and wellbeing better.
I chose to expose my recent emotional dip. Some people may think that talking about your feelings is a sign of weakness. In my eyes, opening up and talking about your emotions makes you human, shows your authenticity and real strength.