+44 7879 440170 helen@unlikelygenius.com
I have had a bad week. 

I will not hide it. It continues to be a struggle. It should be a great week, an exciting one.

But I am a long way from home and feeling rubbish.

For the first time since going freelance, I have had a wobble, after working non-stop for 4 weeks through the evenings and weekends, and therefore running myself into the ground. By the end of last week, I got stressed and overwhelmed, but there was no way to stop. Stuff had to get done. Deadlines had to be met. And as usual, everything had landed on me at once.

Then add on the travelling this week (going to Finland for a week for work – I know, boohoo!) and I am exhausted, totally wiped out. It’s finished me off, the germs are invading. And I feel alone.

I feel constantly nauseous, I am struggling to eat and my good ol’ enemy imposter syndrome is kicking my butt.

Add to this that one of my beloved bunnies is unwell and so both were in the hospital when I left home to come away for the week (they have to go in their bonded pairs). This took the excitement right out of it. I wanted to stay at home where I could look after them and squish their furry faces.

So it put me in a real funk. I have not been a happy bunny. I was so worried – I still am.

As a result, I am struggling to write about my theme – my favourite things – this week. My brain is just not feeling creative nor in that happy, bouncy place.

As I sat there struggling to think what to write, what I ended up doing instead is sitting and reflecting. I made a plan – what am I going to do to get myself back on track? 

The resulting plan is nothing groundbreaking, but just some things I needed to write down to make sure I do them.

Take time off

I get home on Friday night, and I am not just taking this weekend off work, I am going to take a couple of days or at some least half days next week. And I am going to Netflix binge whilst crocheting and/or napping. I feel like I haven’t seen my sofa in weeks.

Eat well

I need my eating to get back on track. I have fallen into the trap of eating on the run and eating convenient rubbish. And it is not helping. I am really feeling it. The worse I feel, the more rubbish I eat as I just can’t be faffed cooking when I don’t want to eat anyway. Vicious circle.

Walk

I am going to make sure that I get out for a walk at least twice during the week when home. Even if just to the shop or around the block. I need to down tools and get outside. Switch off even if just for 10 minutes at a time.

Reflect on the successes and positives

As everything hit a peak this evening, I went and sat in a pub with a beer and my notebook and unintentionally carried out a little exercise to calm me down and make me feel better. It seemed to help (see below). 

Create a plan for the next few weeks work

I need to get back on doing scheduling and planning. I became too busy to plan the mayhem, but had I done so I may have realised taking on another project was just silly – at least it was only a week long! Updating my plan should make sure I can clearly see whether I have free time for extra projects and when deadlines need to be met. I need to ensure that I am blocking out time for each so I only have to think about one at a time. 

If I don’t have time in said plan, I say no!

Ever the people pleaser and worrier, I am a bit too quick to try and squidge more into an already packed schedule. Hence where I have ended up. If any more work comes through for a new customer in the next few weeks I certainly need to have my ‘no’ ready. I have three projects on the go, and so enough work probably until the new year, if not well into 2020.

No squidging, relenting and people-pleasing. No feeling guilty or like I am letting someone down.

The exercise

This is just a bit of mind fudge that fell out of my head in a moment of stress and wallowing. I think it is a mixture of things I have picked up over the last few years from various sources, as to how to make yourself feel better.

  • Look at a photo that makes you smile.
  • Think of one reason why you are a good person or a good thing you have done lately.
  • Name something you are good at.
  • Think about a fabulous person in your life and how/why they make you feel good.
  • Choose a treat you are going to reward yourself with to pick your mood up.
  • Name something you have achieved today (big or small – it might just be that you got out of bed on time today or remembered to eat).
  • Make a plan of actions you are going to take for the next week to get back on the right path.
  • Be kind to yourself (a last-minute addition after 3 people said this to me today, it must be a Finnish mantra. I think I need to start chanting this to myself.)
  • Finally, go and do something just for you for at least 20 minutes. Whether it is to take a bubble bath, meditate, do some stretches or yoga, read a book or sit with a brew in the garden. Whatever will give you some space and time to stop and reboot a bit.
This type of exercise should really be done daily to have long term benefits, but if you find yourself in an unexpected funk as I did, it can’t harm to do as a one-off exercise too. It’s quite a shortlist, but one that should help focus your mind on some positives, rather than all the negatives we find much easier to list. And it not too onerous when that’s the last thing you could face when feeling like your brain is made of mud.

If you struggle to come up with answers to why you are a good person or what you have achieved, ask someone to tell you what they think. You may even be quite surprised at the answer.
Good luck! And let me know if there is anything you would add to this list as a tip.


Write 52: Week 16
​Theme: A few of my favourite things