When the Stress Subsides…


Perception changes, and new doors open to possibilities and these seem to Just magically appear. Nothing in particular is appearing but I can see how they would when the the worry thoughts have subsided. I just feel that I’m existing in more space, a bigger wider space. It occurs that I’m not suffering so much for now.

It’s still very early days for me, about 2 weeks without daily anxiety and stress. There have been little peaks throughout the day here and there, and I notice how toxic they feel physically. If a problem comes up and I worry, it hurts bad. I’m becoming good at letting those go more quickly, none of it is life and death, and I’m guarding this new more stable, and enjoyable state of being.

I’m amazed at how simple it was to do. I was scared to. I Just cut out a whole swathe of work, halved overnight my work, the endless staff issues, the organisation required for projects, the bills, the pressure to keep 8-10 guys in work by getting and lining up work. Half the expenses. Half the clients to deal with. More choice of which clients I take on. More attention the the one project happening, so my attention isn’t split in so many directions.

I’ve yet to see how sustainable this is income wise, will the reduced work be enough to support me? I don’t know yet. I do know that my burnout was real and required immediate action, and so I’m trusting this process.

Don’t answer the phone very often. It takes me days to reply to most emails. I read a lot of empowering material. I sit a lot. I take vitamins and supplements (vitamin d, multivitamins, 400/200 epa Omega 3 fish oil, l-theanine), and quite a bit of paracetamol for this nagging pain of tennis elbow.

What unnecessary activities can I cut out, is what I’m doing. I so need to just recover and slow down.

I’m already noticing differences. Even after 2 or 3 weeks.

  • I’m actually starting to enjoy the work again.
  • I’m going slow slow slow though.
  • Naps as and when I want to.
  • Shorter walks in the park if my energy is low which it is often.
  • I’m enjoying nature more, sitting by the river, walking through the woods.
  • Listening to more music I love than the news.
  • Savouring the company of the dog.
  • Eating pretty well and not so much.
  • Drastically cut down on alcohol the last couple of weeks.
  • Definite improvement in wellbeing from that. Just simple things.

It’s really fascinating to notice the difference between saturated by stress and anxiety and not. Being overwhelmed, I was running on automatic pilot much of the time. Focussed on myself much more too. The brain was in ‘what’s wrong’ alert state and looking for what could go wrong. It’s hard to be fully present with other people when in that state I notice. You are never really fully here. Almost as if you are watching yourself. You know how to behave and you do that, but it isn’t very free or creative or spontaneous.

So happier. Yes, happier. As I was explaining to a therapy client the other day we need to be gentle as we ease into happier states. Any changed states for the better actually. If we are not used to them, they can feel uncomfortable initially, we need to get used to them.

When the prison door is thrown open after decades we don’t just race out and embrace the freedom. It’s more tentative. Well it is for me anyway. How to be happy, to find a way of expressing that which has been dormant though is at the core of my being, just covered over.

Once confidence has been gained more risky behaviour can be tried out. I’ve signed up for some free form dance starting in September weekly! Terrifying, but I do so love dancing on my own. It will be interesting taking the step to do it in front of others. So that’s a while away, just in recovery just now, and off to the sofa to lie down.

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