I have discovered something new recently.
It has taken me by surprise I must admit. And that something is stress – or lack of it!
Obviously, this is an issue that comes up a lot for me with my client work as a counsellor and a coach, but personally I have managed stress, been aware of stress increases and underlying reasons at times and then this – a total LACK of stress! And this stressed me – concerned me! Why? Because I thought I was ‘bored’ with my life, my business, my everyday stuff – when, in fact, it isn’t that it’s boring it’s stress-free for the FIRST TIME ever I think!
But I know I enjoy my work; I have changed aspects of my life to what I wanted and thought I needed, and re-evaluated things this last 18 months! And I did realise a couple of months into my year out travelling what stress-less was and how stressed I must have been for years if that is how I felt away from it all – my own timescales, no pressures but me, no demands that I had to fulfil etc etc.
And that’s the thing about stress – it creeps up on you, builds steadily until one day it can just debilitate you. Positive stress is motivation and drive; negatively, it is overwhelm and uncontrollable – or unmanageable at best.
But this lack of stress felt, well, boring! Now I have realised what it is I have been able to re-assess how to manage it and work with it! And I have realised the potential I have to make a better, happier, more relaxed and yet full life after all the demands placed on me over the past years. Working backwards, a single mum of two school-age children running a business/starting a new business, and a home; part time work alongside the business and juggling this and continuously building the business with networking, planning, client work, marketing and more.
This is what happens to most of us! We just add on more, keep working with it and through it day to day, surviving at times and making it work at others!
So what a discovery to find what stress-less feels like! Maybe once upon a time when I was in my young days before children I had little else to worry about but myself, had money in my pocket and a steady job to attend daily.
So this is the thing – it’s about awareness. About steps and action to manage it. And then about changing the things that make that stress less than positive and motivating (stressors can be practical demands on your time or heavy workloads, juggling family and work, environmental like cold or noisy that distract from the job in hand, or psychological around status and events or situations you are in like redundancy, bullying etc)
Once upon a time when training I did hear about stress for people who have everything – time, money, support, opportunity etc. and people didn’t believe me. Well, now maybe this is it – what to fill that time with, what more can money buy if you have so much, or no problems (or purpose?) when everything is running along smoothly and easily!
My daughter, when I was talking about this briefly to her, laughed and said yes, probably that’s it – and the exciting thing now is that you get to fill in the bits and build more into your life that you want to!
This is ‘flow’ perhaps – things in place, re-evaluation complete, moving forward steadily instead or urgently…
Anxiety creeps in of course with needing a constant stream of new clients if I do my work well (and I do!) or create something new that works alongside this, and also the social and leisure time I have now the girls are independent and away from home – reading, creating, thinking, taking my time over things that I couldn’t before!
Now that is exciting….!