Poise instead of panic in the face of adversity

It’s been a hectic few months in the life of The Happy Plan. I’m still in the process of moving house, things at work are busier than ever and I’m experiencing a lot of personal changes at the moment too. If you asked my husband, I’m sure he’d tell you that I haven’t been managing my stress levels all that well, and I’d probably have to agree with him. I wish I could sit here and say that I have approached this myriad of pressure with a serene calmness and a ‘go-with-the-flow’ attitude, but I haven’t. I think adopting this type of approach will always be a work-in-progress for me, no matter how many internal talks I give myself or how many mantras I chant.   

As a self-proclaimed over-thinker, over-planner and big-time worrier, putting a positive mindset into practice really is a big challenge for me. I’ve already written a little about the techniques I use to help me combat anxiety in my blog post Hello anxiety, old friend’, but I want to delve a little further into personal resilience here. 

Personal resilience is described as “the process of adapting well in the face of adversity and significant sources of stress”. I’d always thought that personal resilience was about making it through to the other side, still standing – no matter what. I thought I had surely cracked this pretty well? But on reflection, I’ve never really given too much thought to the ‘adapting well’ part of the process. 

To the outside world, I imagine that I give the impression that I have a lot of resilience, particularly in my professional life when the work never stops yet the deadlines continue to be met. Many people who know me well, would probably describe me as a fairly resilient character having been through various challenges in my life, and yet I still manage to function and be present and productive at work, and hold down loving relationships with friends and family. But not many people see the direct affect that juggling these pressures has on me. I save that special version of myself just for my husband, much to his delight. The lucky bastard!

From sleepless nights and bouts of insomnia because my brain won’t stop racing, the stomach crunching anxiety that leaves me feeling isolated and panicky or the spiralling negative thoughts that leave me in a cold sweat, when I seem to be in this “funk” I have no fail-safe method to pull me out and catapult me back into the present with a can-do attitude. 

There is a lot to be said for making it through difficult times, and sometimes even if we don’t do it particularly well, the fact we still do it should be applauded. Nevertheless, I’d like to work on doing it with a little more poise, if not for my own mental health but for my husbands. So that’s the promise I am making to myself as we head into the last quarter of the year: I am going to channel strength and happiness to find a different approach to coping with the pressures of life… here goes. Wish me luck!

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