If you follow me and my story, you will know that having a good #LIFEworkbalance is very important to me and I encourage others to do the same. However, towards the end of last year my #LIFEworkbalance, became unbalanced… This happened for a few reasons, all of which I knew about and had planned for, and most importantly, I knew it was short term and necessary.
The main reason was a big fund raising event I was organising for my social enterprise Embrace PFC CIC, an 84 mile walk around the Norfolk Coast, to raise money to support more people in our community.
You may have had a similar situation yourself, where for a period of time you have just had to knuckle down and get on with it and make some sacrifices, which is OK, providing we know there is an end point. Not having an end point and this becoming the new normal is when pressure, starts to become stress.
Knowing I was going to have a pretty tough few months, I booked myself a treat at the end, a trip to Cambodia for a month, time for me to relax and regain some all-important me time and bring some balance back to my life.
I had a wonderful time away and was ready to head home and get straight back into my business and ‘real life’.
The thing is it didn’t quite go to plan, getting a cold at the end of my trip impacted on my return. I took a little longer than expected to get over the jet lag and back into the swing of things, and I don’t mind telling you that it got me down a bit… something that is important to me is having integrity, being real and true to myself, so I don’t mind people I work with knowing that sometimes I struggle too; I think it allows them to be really open and honest with me.
Then things got back on track, the cold slowly went, business was going well, I was working with clients as planned, doing my regular exercise, catching up with friends, and things were really going well, my #LIFEworkbalance was back and I felt great.
Until, I went into the city, heading to a meeting and… bam… I trip up on my way into the venue and I know straight way that I have quite badly damaged my knee, this was not in the plan!
To cut a long story short I end up in A&E and had sprained my knee and damaged the ligaments, I could hardly walk and barely even bend it; that was me out of action for a few days at least.
When you are self-employed this can be quite a scary prospect, waiting to find out how bad the damage is, how long the recovery will be and how a split second can cause you an injury which takes you out of play for a period of time. Luckily for me the clients I had booked during that period were very understanding and flexible, they know I am reliable and they knew it must be quite serious for me to ask to rearrange and other work I can do from home, I am lucky because my business offers me a lot of flexibility.
However, this also impacted on me in a big way personally, I had much less social interaction, was unable to get out of the house for a few days and the place that is generally my sanctuary became my prison, I was trapped, lonely and in pain. The things I usually do for my well-being had to stop for a while, I am active, sociable and love to go to my fitness classes or simply grab a breath of fresh air by walking on the beach.
So why am I writing about this? I am sharing this because in life, work and business things don’t always go to plan. We cannot possibly plan for every eventually and prevent bad things from happening, but what we can do, is think about how we manage our reactions, how we manage our fears, concerns, anxieties and responses to events which happen to us which were not planned for. I imagine you have probably experienced something similar at some point.
So what did I do? I made sure I contacted friends, reaching out for support. And turned the situation around and making the most of this time I had to rest, working when I could and being clear in my communication with those around me. I reminded myself that this was temporary, that I would recover and that ‘it is not the end of the world, there are worse things that could happen’, I like this phrase, as it helps me to gain perspective.
I can do this, because I’ve been putting it into practice for years, I have the skills and I can catch myself quickly when I am struggling, I have strategies in place to do so.
So I urge you to think of my story and how you can relate it to your life, your work or your business and how you will react next time something doesn’t go to plan. Do you have strategies in place? What can you draw on to make those tough times that little bit easier?
If you feel like you would like some help, do please get in touch for an informal, no obligation chat, or maybe even book yourself an introductory session, 30 minutes of your time could just change your life!
Until next time,
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