My New Normal
Updated: Jul 1, 2020
Myself and my brain have been awake since 4 am with whizzing anxiety fun and thoughts. As opposed to previous low mood anxiety, at present, I am faced with a whizzing mind of fun and positive things. Unfortunately, both have the same effect at spiking my anxiety and the physical symptoms that go along with that. On waking early and feeling 'fuzzy of the brain' I went through the following process
scrolled through Twitter, Instagram, and FB (obvs)
sent Physio Matters / Jack Chew some banter about Liverpool FC WINNING THE PREM
played my Harry Potter game (yes you read that correctly)
read emails / reminded myself of the 1000 things I need to do today
remembered I hadn't done my 'homework' for my therapy session... standard
put my phone down, got up, made tea and sat in my favorite yellow chair
started writing my blog
Over the last 12 weeks, I have had 8 CBT sessions and they have been great at helping me control these peaks of anxiety. At a time where I would wake frequently like this and spiral, I now feel calmer and able to tackle it a little easier. The emotion, anxiety, heart rate, and stomach ache are still there, but I now feel able to challenge my thoughts and try and at least semi reason with my brain.
This process today, has allowed me to reflect on the past 4 months since setting up the FB Covid 19 Therapist Support Group and an amazing network of colleagues, friends, and opportunities this has provided. From a small group that started with my clicking all my physio friends on my FB account, to a fabulous community network of 2500 professionals, I am thrilled and overwhelmed by all the positive feedback we have received so far. I am a positive person and get great joy from helping others but I must also remember I am a sponge and like us all, need to take time out for myself. As I have discussed in my previous posts, as I enjoy my work so much, I throw myself into projects as I gain so much energy from being involved. In the past, this has been of detriment but I am proud to sit here typing today to say that I have turned a corner and now feel I can recognise and work with this emotion in a productive way.
The past 3 months and success of the FB group has presented me with some great opportunities to present on webinars, talk to groups, be involved in meetings with our professional body, giving a sense of feeling that I am in some way doing something to help in this current 'unprecedented' time we are all facing.
Through reflecting, writing this blog, and following 2 cups of tea, I now feel like I have channeled an anxiety peak into something positive. I am not too proud to say I am very pleased with myself and the proven progress I am making on my mental health journey. I have always been lucky and have a fabulous network of friends and family who support me, but I now feel like I have a newly extended close-knit group who have recently been amazing. This group of people (old and new), not only helps me run our FB Support Group but have my back, are always open and honest, are upmost professionals and I am very proud to call them my friends. A funny bunch with hugely different/varied opinions, but we have created our own new dysfunctional family that I don't think at the moment I could do without. They have all helped me more than they know and I am very grateful for their support both professionally and personally.
FYI: I am not sure I gave any of these people a 'choice' to help me moderate and run our FB group, but they all seem to be still there and so I am taking that as a binding contract ;)
Shout out and thank you to these fabulous people: Lucy Macdonald, Geoff Twinning, Nikki Mac, Mike James, Charlie Macall, Jack Chew, Jac Coleman, Paula Clayton, and Scott Gormley!
To my fellow physios and therapists trying to deal with epic amounts of change and new normal at the moment; If you are facing difficulties, struggles and are overwhelmed, please remember:
this is VERY normal
you are not alone and many are going through the same things
take a break and be kind to yourself
reach out to someone you can talk to (in and outside your friendship group)
focus on the simple things you do well
don't complicate things
don't compare yourselves to others
keep talking and sharing
Blurt Foundation - one of my favorite and fun websites if I need some help :)