Changes Made – and more Needed

Mostly business. I’ve now only got one team instead of two which means only one project at a time, half the designs needed to keep us going, half the clients to deal with and half the amount of things that can go wrong, half the suppliers bills and a lower running cost.

A whole lot less stress for me is the intention. It makes sense to downsize when I haven’t been enjoying business so much. We will have to see if I can make enough to live on.

So I feel relief about this. It was a big move for me, a scary action to take and a risk, but for the sake of my mental health, vital. I will look back on this period as the burn out that it is. Stress overload, decision fatigue, ongoing insecurity. It’s just been too much running a big business like this on my own. And lonely.

My main cause of unhappiness though is spending too much time alone. It’s nearly all day every day, and I would like to address this. Well I am already gradually. What have I done about this so far and what do I enjoy?

  • Just joined a women’s business support group that meets monthly
  • I go to an ‘authentic connections’ group monthly which I love and have made some friends from
  • I connected with an old friend yesterday and met him, his wife and son at a national trust garden, then for tea.
  • I meet my old pal M nearly daily for a long walk in the woods and we can talk about everything
  • I see a therapist weekly. I really enjoy her company, though it’s expensive and has turned into more of a chat than therapy. It was supposed to be me experiencing cbt on the receiving end, and to learn to be a better therapist – so maybe it’s time for another therapist.
  • I have regular long phone chats and visits with my friend S.
  • I talk to my son every other day, but it’s not as good as face to face.
  • I see my friend W regularly for walks, chats and tea and something homemade by her.
  • I go for a weekly walk with my new friend E and the chat is genuine and intimate and he is a positive person.
  • I occasionally go to a singing bowl sound group, very relaxing.
  • I spend Wednesday afternoons counselling clients, I love feeling of use to them and experiencing my caring and love towards them and seeing them feel supported and feeling better.
  • I get my nails done every fortnight, that’s always a good chat, she opens up a lot and shares authentically with me
  • I see G and M regularly, they invite me for dinner every couple of weeks and I’m very comfortable with them.
  • I meet fellow dog walkers nearly daily and have a little chat, these are little sustenance experiences
  • During term time I spend 3 days a month, all weekend with my training group

Little visits for tea and a chat with my mum and U too I enjoy.

When I write all these down (it’s the first time) I see I do have a lot of interaction weekly. In all these experiences I feel well, I feel happy, at ease. Part of a community. Sort of.

It’s just being here at home on my own that my spirits are lower. I’m hardly ever really happy, other than eating dinner, or watching a good film. I do enjoy all the time I spend listening to psychology audiobooks and educating myself.

I practise mindfulness and have learned not to get caught up in thoughts. If I do then they become stories. Anxiety provoking ones. Last night I had an experience of laying awake for hours. I’d fallen asleep at 8pm and found myself wide awake for the next 4 hours.

It’s interesting that at night I’m more vulnerable to scary thoughts arising, vulnerable as in getting hooked up in and believing worry thoughts. I knew it was coming and it did.

I did a bit of a mini Buddha under the bodhi tree experience by watching the ‘attacks’ of scary thoughts come at me. I recognised them as they came, I said inside ‘scary thought and let them go. It went on for a while. There were thoughts I was keeping away though, I was aware of keeping them at bay, too much to face. Not yet anyway.

There are many small pleasures every day, the days are full of these actually. It’s good to ponder on these.

  • The cosy comfort of my lovely bed and feather everything.
  • The joy of an affectionate beautiful dog
  • The experience of losing myself in nature
  • Breathing in the fresh air
  • Discovery of new knowledge each day
  • Have on demand movies and talks and podcasts and books
  • Endless cups of tea
  • A warm large apartment which is easy to live in with quiet neighbours
  • A current lovely client and the last one lovely too
  • Very lovely employees
  • My evening dinners
  • Going to bed early and being awake early
  • Having warm clothes and comfy shoes
  • I have my own unbutton nails for the first time in my life and I’m proud of that
  • Having a shower and washing my hair and the feeling of freshness
  • Comfy everything really, chairs tables sofas cushions.
  • A car that is paid off and keeps on working and taking me places
  • A supply of money that keeps me going and the guys too
  • A view of trees out every window
  • Double glazing that keeps it quiet from the traffic outside
  • A 5 minute walk from the park
  • My bike which I sometimes enjoy riding with the dog running along
  • My house plants and looking after them and my vases of flowers

These comfort me and all help to soften this experience of burnout. The plan is that less work to do will allow me to recover sufficiently for my resilience, optimism energy, motivation, my joy and hope to return. And maybe then the headspace and heartspace to find a vision for the future 🙂

I do think that sharing with other human beings will play a bigger part in that. Finding a cause, a community and tribe to belong to.

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