It’s a conversation that we’ve all got used to.
“How are you mate?”
“Yeah, alright thanks, plodding along, taking it day to day. How are you?”
“Yeah same thanks”.
We’re all very aware that there’s so many people going through tougher hardships than us, that it feels weak, unnecessary, and self-indulgent to say anything other than, we’re fine thanks. We sit in it, an uncomfortable feeling that something isn’t quite right. We keep it held in in silence, and it gradually gets worse and our chest tightens. An unbelievable heaviness layered with the guilt that your problem isn’t as bad as everyone else’s. The clouds continually stay murky, with a Teletubby sun just around the corner who wants to show its laughing baby face.
If you don’t know me, I’m George. A Rebel trainer, who’s known amongst the Rebel Army for having a laugh, and making jokes out of awkward situations. Or I would if we were allowed out of our houses. Why the bio I hear you ask? Well, the answer to your silent question is just this. Those clouds can cast a shadow over anyone, no matter how chirpy and extroverted they may appear. And whilst I don’t have the answers, I can share the steps I take when my isolated weather takes a downturn. I’m in no way an expert, just someone trying to come to terms with their emotions.
1. ACKNOWLEDGE IT
I can tell quite early in the day whether I’m going to be feeling low. It can be anything from not having enough sleep (isolation with a six month old who doesn’t like sleeping is an intoxicating mix), to a certain feeling in my gut. Sometimes just saying out loud that today is going to be a bad day but tomorrow will be fresh, has helped me take everything in my stride.
I’ve tried to hold it all in. I’ve tried to be “strong” and laugh and joke about everything. I’ve gone days bottling it all up because I didn’t want to affect those around me and in all honesty, it didn’t help. I was moody, snappy and just someone I didn’t need to be.
Crying helps. Sometimes all it takes is sitting on your bog and having a sob. Get those emotions out in the air and have a poo at the same time. Glorious.
3. TALK TO SOMEONE
This goes hand in hand with saying it out loud. For some reason, just talking it over dissipates the tight grip on my chest. I’m very lucky to have an incredible network with my three f’s – fella, friends and family. Even friends I’ve made through social media have been a blessing when I’ve felt it’s a problem that might not make sense to those closest to me.
Whilst it might feel like you’re alone in this storm, chances are, a hundred other people just a conversation away, are feeling exactly the same. It’s not that you’d want anyone to feel bad, but just the idea that you’re not a failure for feeling the way you do, can turn that day around.
Obviously, I’m going to say this. I’m a fitness instructor writing a blog for a gym. It works. Go for a walk, do some squat jumps, do a class (online or in person when it’s allowed), compete in one of the challenges on Rebel TV. Get the sweat rolling down your face and those endorphins will get you gagging for the next workout.
Shifting my mindset with exercise has changed more than I thought it would. I used to exercise for what I looked like – dangerous for someone like me, who would then beat myself up when I didn’t get the results I wanted instantly. Instead now I have a better relationship with my body (helpful after a c-section), and am grateful for the movement it can achieve, instead of the way it looks in a mirror.
I’m not, in anyway, saying that you shouldn’t work out for aesthetic reasons. If it works for you, keep cracking on. If it doesn’t, try shifting the ‘why’ you workout, and it might make all the difference.
5. HAVE A REST DAY
Both mentally and physically. You’ll achieve more on the days that you’re active. I love a list. I’ll list everything that I need to get done in a day and beat myself up when it’s not done. Somedays are not going to be big hitters for getting stuff done. Chill. Have a cup of tea. Watch Drag Race. Check in with yourself.
Disclaimer – I’m awful at this. I have to put rest on a list. Then I feel like accomplished something when I tick it off. But hey, nobody’s perfect.
Most importantly, don’t feel like you are any less of a human for having feelings. Talking about them will not take away from anyone having a harder time than you. If anything, it might even help someone else in the long run.
All my love,
Mumma G x
Follow George on Instagram here.