Aloha people! On Friday I am flying out to Hawaii. Sun, surf, sea and sky… it is totally my idea of Utopia. Please excuse me while I imagine a sun soaked beach with a slide guitar serenading in the background… as you can guess my head is already in vacation mode.
I am very grateful to have the opportunity to travel, especially as I get to spend this trip with my immediate family. The trip comes off the back of what has been the most challenging year I have experienced in my career thus far.
This year I chose to undertake two different secondments, both with a high focus on supporting people through a turbulent change process in my workplace. I know I have a natural strength for empathising and facilitating the development of others, but I underestimated how the challenges are amplified when an environment is dowsed in uncertainty.
During the year I was also involved in numerous activities including being a member of my industry’s National Executive Committee. I also supported my family through a few personal issues too.
Psychologically I feel as though my mind is crawling towards a finish line. I guess the idea of getting on that plane has created a sense of anticipation, albeit a tired and fatigued one at best. I am not going to beat around the bush. My vase is empty and I feel exhausted. I guess some may call it burnout.
The warning signs were tiredness, pain in the body, strained eye-sight, and headaches. It later manifested into low mood, an inability to focus and concentrate properly, and a lack of interest in pursuing activities. I would snap and take it out on my partner. I definitely felt my mental health was sliding downhill about two months ago.
I remember the moments when I began feeling resentful towards others and then myself. At worse I would blame myself for not being good enough and began doubting my abilities and talents.
Having experienced depression in my early twenties, I was able to recognise these were unhealthy thoughts and realised I needed to do something about it. I was determined not to let myself suffer in silence.
Fortunately I was able to tap into friends and family who were able to help and ‘boost’ me in different ways. If you happen to be reading this post, then I say a big THANK YOU to you. Your kind words, pearls of wisdom, advice, jokes and laughs mean a lot to me. I find it so amazing that there is a huge amount of aroha out there.
Conversations with others have helped me to put things into perspective. I have opted out of some of my commitments. I am reminded to look at the big picture rather than stay in a funnel. I have been told many times to take care of my SELF. People are way more understanding than we are lead to believe.
So here I am, sitting in my lounge reflectively typing and happily thinking about the cool Hawaiian breeze…
Here are some useful links on managing positive mental health: