What a topsy-turvy six months it’s been.
I know life is unpredictable, but it seems we have been bombarded with a proliferation of global terror attacks, political campaigns seemingly built on division (and fuelled by fear), homelessness issues in Auckland, growing instability in the workplace, and a general anxiety around the rising costs of living. It as though a blanket has draped over, preventing us from seeing things clearly.
I am a typically optimistic and upbeat person, but acknowledge that the above-mentioned issues have dominated the media and mood of those around me.
When you’re caught up in the thick of these conversations it can feel very hard to get out of them. Perspective gets lost and a pervading sense of insecurity creeps in.
In my current workplace I have worked alongside many colleagues who have grappled with the challenges of a complex, changing organisation. Don’t be mistaken. The transformation is significant. I have seen a plethora of responses ranging from despairing, confused, anxious, excited, pensive, to curious.
As a person who values empathy, my energy levels have definitely been put to the test. I quickly want to be able to soothe and support others, but this is often at the expense of my own energy.
Right now I feel exhausted and a tad jaded. There. I’ve said it. This evening I don’t feel like doing much at all. My head aches. I simply can’t be bothered.
My old self would retreat and allow myself to internalise all of this heavy pressure. Even though I wish to be alone, I messaged a few friends and quickly received affirmation and support from them. I also had a supportive chat with a trusted colleague. Wow, how good it feels to to let people know how it is for me.
Thankfully my partner provided dinner and cuddles. It’s gestures like these that remind me that it’s okay to feel vulnerable. There is always someone who cares and is thinking about you.
It is so important that we turn to others for support when we’re not feeling our best. There are people who have our best interests at heart but they can’t truly be of use to us unless we give something of ourselves. Yes, I feel blah tonight but I know these feelings will dissipate. I am lucky to have friends I can chat to and that they will encourage me when I am doubting myself.
So in response to all the mental health campaigns that encourage people to talk to others… Take heed… CONNECTION IS VITAL. Despite the pain that humans can cause each other, we have a huge capacity to provide solace and comfort to others too.
If you notice someone is struggling or doesn’t seem their normal self, then check in with them. Ask them how they are. Listen to them. Start talking.