Of course feeling down is normal. We’ve all had those days where our mood isn’t quite right. Haven’t we?
For me, last Monday was one one of those days.
I was working at home on Monday and I’d had a pretty good weekend. I’d spent time with a friend and gone to a gig on Saturday night, with laptop firmly switched off. I then spent Sunday catching up on writing and getting through my to-do list which I now enjoy. Who wouldn’t love writing about beach huts!?!?!? It is now one of my favourite activities each week. Oh yeah, I’d also had the small satisfaction of seeing our very bright ice-cream themed beach hut Millie, featured in the Sunday Times as a Towergate 2016 Beach Hut of the Year finalist. All rosy in my world….. wasn’t it!?!?
So why was I not feeling great? I was actually more than a bit surprised that instead of feeling great, I was feeling down!
Feeling Down – Realisation
One of my Monday jobs was to prepare for a fortnightly accountability call with some fellow business owners taking place on Tuesday evening. The first question asks you to score yourself out of 10 for the prior two weeks. I scored myself a 4… yes, a 4 out of 10!
Just writing down a score of 4 when the paperwork then asks you to write down your achievements for the prior two weeks, it all felt at odds. As I looked back on the list of achievements, I couldn’t work out why I was giving myself such a low score. I honestly felt quite stupid and the penny dropped that I wasn’t just having a case of the Monday blues.
I can’t deny that I’ve had an amazing few months with great ‘wins’. However, those months have been full of hard work, long hours and stresses too. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved every second of it and the rewards have been great BUT I couldn’t ignore that both on the day job and beach hut front, it has been hard and emotionally draining work. It’s also not over.
I still have a huge to-do list but of things that I really just need to get done along with a great big list of future ambitions and goals. On Monday, that to-do list was over 100 items long.
That pressure to continually push forward has slowly but surely crept up on me, leaving me feeling a little flat.
I genuinely think that society has programmed us to believe that we’re not supposed to ever feel low. If you were to look back over Millie’s Beach Huts social feeds this week I’m not sure you’d ever have guessed before reading this blog that something was up. I certainly never gave anything away re my feelings on Monday and I suspect that’s due to the pressure of presenting an ‘idyllic life’.
There is this view, particularly on social media that your not supported to ever feel low or be sad or even frustrated! Instagram alone, encourages you to ‘beautify’ your life through photographs.
I’d even go a bit further and say that as a female, those expectations are even higher. You are meant to be that superwomen, holding down a great job, juggling family (and pets), up at the crack of dawn for exercise with a diary full of social dates whilst keeping up with the latest fashion and diet fads.
We are driven to prove that anything is possible and that we just need to “Lean In”. Not only are we pushed towards wanting it all, we are expected to be able to consistently deliver that ‘perfect’ view of life.
So there I was on Monday – slowly realising that it was me making myself feel that way. I have been running so fast and working hard to get to some goals, that I’d’ started to also expect all of those superwomen traits from myself.
Feeling Down but Avoiding Burnout
On the good news side, I feel I’ve become an expert at knowing what do when feeling down. Having had severe bouts of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) in the past, I’ve had to keep an eye on my health since then and know I need to avoid the risk of burnout.
This week has quickly become a ‘me’ week with a focus on putting myself first and I’m definitely back to myself after just a few days. That spring is back in the step and motivation galore!!! Yipee!!! (Yes I am annoying when excited and motivated.. but well, I wouldn’t be me if that wasn’t the case!).
As always it’s always those small simple things that make a difference to me:
Being More Open about how I was Feeling
About six months ago now, a line in an email from the very cool Chris Marr, really stood out to me and after months of deliberating, I quickly signed up to being a member of The Content Marketing Academy Community.
“You are the Average of the Five People You spend the Most time” – Jim Rohn
An important step for me this week was to just say it out loud. I owe a huge thank you to both my Business Coach Emma (from Coaching Rockstars) and also Racheal and Jack for putting up with my moan on our accountability call this week.
Saying it out loud to people that not only you trust but are inspired and motivated by is so important. For me, it gives me the permission to feel ‘not ok’ but also at the same time ensure that you don’t dwell on it for too long! Immediately the pressure and guilt of feeling down lifted.
As I said at the start, feeling down is normal and we all have those days. People will understand and will share their own experiences. They may even tell you to stop being so harsh on yourself (see I did listen!).
Being that bit more open helped me remember that it is ok but also by talking through what I was going to do, made me accountability to others to do them. There was no crawling under the duvet allowed this week.
Diet and Exercise
I’ve made huge progress on my diet and exercise this year. Or should I say I had, until the last 5 weeks.
I’ve been spending so much time down the beach huts doing renovations myself, that it really has just gone on the back burner I really couldn’t remember the last time I’d been out for a Canicross session and had been making excuses around prioritising exercise. But it was an excuse – running is completely different to walking Millie in the local park with a phone somewhere nearby.
Diet, exercise and mindset all go hand in hand with me. When I let one slip, the other also goes. Queue one home delivery, food plan, logged back on to weight watchers app.
Queue one home delivery, food plan, logged back on to weight watchers app with a step on the scales on Tuesday morning (phew haven’t put on). I’ve even made it out for two Canicross sessions this week and will be out again today. I felt great after the first run and again in a place where I can’t understand why I hadn’t been making time.
I’ve set myself another 10% weight loss goal over the next couple fo months and will share the highs and lows with you through my weekly Monday news (you can sign up directly here).
I love a list. Though perhaps not one with 100 things on it and with some of those things feeling very much ‘stuck’ on the list.
If I’m honest, I’ve been pushing so hard to launch my new beach huts and new offers whilst achieving perfection on everything else. I really was setting myself up to fail and had started to avoid the list! There was now that constant ‘niggle’ that I wasn’t taking control of my to-do list and getting those things done versus the next big thing.
So I’m taking control and allowing myself just to focus on getting rid of that list. Whether I do it, delete it or find another way/someone else to do it, I am now back in control and not letting more items get added on.
I’m also back to pro-actively using my Bullet Journal as a means to track and show exactly how much I do achieve every day. I would love to start to add in daily gratitudes which I think would help me lots. Though that would be adding to my todo list and for now I need to prioritise.
Not punishing myself for Shifting Down a Gear
I’ve watched two movies this week and had time out for ‘me’ but I’ve had to push myself to be ok about shifting down a gear.
When I look back on this week, I may not remember any life changing days but I know I that these weeks are more valuable than those weeks where I’ve had to pull out the stops. It’s a week that will have given me the energy and space to fuel those I’ve had some space to think and prioritise and get back into the right mindset to move forward.
I am responsible for making sure that I have time out to think and re-energise. I enjoy being creative and the slowing down will allow me to think!
So Yes, Feeling Down is Normal
So why am I telling you all of this? Wouldn’t it be easier not to share and everyone think it’s all wonderful? Yep, you are right, it would be easy but it also wouldn’t be honest or reflective of who I am. I am made up of all those experiences – good and bad.
If just one mum, business owner or teenager reads this and realise that they aren’t the only one who has the odd down day, then it’s been worthing writing. As I keep saying, everyone can have an ‘off’ day and feeling down is normal. Let’s not increase that pressure on everyone to live up to the world we are creating on social media.
Now… anyone for a quick Sunday run? Millie is definitely ready to get out there!
Vicky (and Millie too) xx
Life's A Beach Hut
Be the first to be notified of beach hut news, free stuff, release dates and special offers.
Whether you hire or own a beach hut - join me on a road trip to the beach.