The Woman Behind the Business - part 3
You've returned! Or are you just visiting for the first time? Welcome to Part 3... have you read part 1 and part 2? If not, take 5 minutes to catch up maybe...
This part is all about the thing that brought me to Yoga and Movement in the first place; my mental health. I think most of you know I've managed a mental health illness since my early teens - and I'm confident in using the word 'managed' now, because I feel it's more often than not, under control. That's thanks to medication, an amazing support network and my passion in movement, fitness and wellbeing. I don't really want to repeat myself too much for those who already know - this blog exert isn't about that, but if you want a little history, you can read more in the article I wrote 'My Brain is not Broken.'
This is mainly to bring you up to now - how I am and how I manage my anxiety on a daily basis. Most people don't believe me when I tell them my story, because I'm so happy and joyful and confident. I am - I know that for sure, but that's not necessarily every day or every week and it's certainly something I work on constantly. Some of you work on your physical appearance, some of you work on your balance, some of you work on your writing skills. I work on maintaining optimum mental health. I do this through Yoga, movement, lifting weights, running, educating myself on mental health and more recently, meditation.
During the last 8 weeks, I've been up and down emotionally and a couple of weeks ago I hit a low. I felt 'flat,' 'deflated,' 'demotivated' and I couldn't really put a finger on why. I've loved being at home - less travel, less rushing about, more time with Gino and my cats. I love my own company too - never feeling bored and having nothing to do - there's always something when you own a business! But I didn't feel quite right. Family were concerned - obviously - and there was this feeling of being watched - just in case everything quickly went downhill... One night in bed, Gino asked me how was I feeling and what did I think was causing my change in emotion, but I didn't know. I did however turn around and tell him not to worry - it could be a lot worse - I could be feeling anxious and panicked.
That was a breakthrough for me during this period. 'I could be feeling worse,' and boy did I know it. So I accepted the 'deflated, demotivated' feeling and knew that it would pass, and it did. Lots of you reached out to tell me you were feeling the same - and THAT was reassuring even more! I do know however that there's a lot of anxiety, panic and other mental health related concerns that this lockdown has caused, including the worst case scenarios. I received a phone call this week informing me a fellow Yoga Teacher had taken his own life. I'm still in shock. I feel like I've cried out the last 8 weeks of pent up emotion and my head just keeps saying 'why why why?' I've been there, in that dark place where your mind tells you some serious untruths and the memories came flooding back. I've talked about it, I've analysed it and I know in my heart of hearts, I will not go back there.
As well as the physical methods to keep my head in check and my new found love of making time to pause and reflect, there's one technique I use that has really helped me - TALKING to my anxiety and feelings. When people come to me these days for support with their mental health, this is THE method I ask them to work on - talking to your thoughts as if they're the third person. It takes a bit of practise and you need to let go of feeling a bit stupid, but it works for sure. If you're struggling at all, or you're feeling a wave of something, stop and talk to it. I like to say (and even out loud now that I don't care what others' think) "c'mon then anxiety - what's the worst that you can do? What are you trying to achieve today? Be prepared to fight - because I am not letting you spoil my fun."
I usually end up smiling and reminding myself that I am more determined than it. I have overcome so much already and through the challenges have become stronger and more resilient. I bring myself back into the present moment, repeating my 'little chat' several times if necessary, until the feelings subside. Maybe give it a go - and remember that practice makes perfect. ;)
If you're feeling a little out of sorts right now, reach out to me or if you're lucky enough to have family and friends you can talk to, then open up. There is nothing wrong with what you're experiencing and you are more 'normal' than you imagine. Most importantly, you don't have to manage it on your own. Be brave and accept that this makes you the amazing person that you are. I know I certainly wouldn't be who I am without it.
Next week, I'm sharing my journey into teaching - where I started and where Sass Yoga and wellbeing is now. Stay tuned for more 'The Woman behind the Business' next week - and if there's anything you're curious about or want to ask - then do - you should know how honest I am by now! Drop me an email.
If you want to check out my Yoga and Movement classes online, discover more about what's involved or maybe just choose to book a space and find out that way!