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:
4 Comments Add yours
Hi Andrew – plenty of aroha is right. You engender as much of it as you give, and we will miss you so much from our funny gang of musketeers in the Exec. I just joined your blog today, so what a lovely surprise to read your post, and to see you taking steps to rejuvenate yourself – body and mind. I’m imagining you’ll come back somewhat invigorated, and with a determination to regulate yourself a little more than you have been. I look forward to seeing you in that space, and hope you have a wonderful holiday where the sun shines every day and the slide guitar plays. Maybe a bit of saxophone somewhere there, too….
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Thank you for your spirited words Jennie. I totally appreciate what you’ve said and I wholeheartedly look forward to hearing a saxophone somewhere! There are a neat bunch of people in the Exec and hopefully I will drift in again in the future x
And you would (or should I say “will”) be welcome back with open arms. We’ll get a saxophonist in for the occasion… or a slide guitarist. You choose ;-).
I hope you have a wonderful holiday. Soak up some UV and go boogie boarding, the best stress therapy ever in my experience! There’s something about water 🏄 that resets the mind and puts things in perspective. I’m not sure why. Sometimes feeling small in the grand universe and seeing fish and wildlife 🐟 just reminds us that some stuff is trivial and not worth worrying about, because the fish don’t worry about paperwork and meetings and deadlines.
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