It’s not all rainbows….

So from the moment I got up this morning, I should have known it was going to end up in tears! I tumbled out of bed at 5.30am to go for a long cycle run to clear my head, hoping it was going to make the most amazing start to my day. Looking for my wallet; so I could take a bank card with me (just in case), i began to stress out quite badly because despite looking everywhere, it couldn’t be found! Panic ensued with a memory of making my daily trip to the local supermarket the day before, and this was the last time I saw it! I had to give up looking – instead reckoning I would get away with paying using my i-watch.

I then realised it was asking for the card logged on my i-watch to be confirmed after a recent reboot! Could this get any worse……..😑

A mile away from my house and I have to stop and check internet banking to see if my card has been used…. only to find that there are two unknown transactions! I now spend the rest of my cycle (35 miles) worried sick about my wallet and cards and the thousands of pound of debt someone is going to get me in after coming across my wallet and making contactless payments all over the place! I love a good catastrophic twist to my head stories!

What was lovely though was having a bit of time to spend ‘being in the moment’ and focusing on what was right in front of me. As I passed through country lanes and admired gardens, beautiful houses and wonderful scenery, I was struck by all the rainbow pictures all around, either in folks windows or painted on stones. They were everywhere, an image of thanks to the front line workers, in particular the NHS staff during this difficult times of Covid-19. 🌈

But despite the tranquility of my cycle run, and all the beautiful rainbows in view, I had to return back to the madness. It was going to be one of those days! Kids arguing, computers not connecting to wifi, in fact wifi disappearing into the abyss. Everyone wanting me at the same time, for the stupidest things, for example wanting to show me the weirdest videos on social media, or asking me to make cardboard boats that can carry 1KG of sugar! What???

All I want and need to do is work! I attempted to make a video that explains to pupils throughout the schools that I work in what my role is, so that during lockdown they still feel they can get in touch, only to find that after recording (5 attempts later, as I have had every recording interrupted by knocking on my bedroom and bathroom door when the kids have found me) it has disappeared from my computer and there is no trace anywhere. Furthermore the supper I started cooking this morning to try and be organised is sticking to the bottom of the pan……

Despite this being a really tough day, and not feeling like I could do anything right or complete any tasks, I had enough in my tank to take myself away from everyone and everything, I managed to get in touch with my creative self as I am currently repairing and rebuilding a stone wall, completed a metre or so and calmed myself right down to the point where could breathe again without forcing it, and I didn’t want to activate deadly revenge on anyone or anything.

The thing is we all have days like this. Days where nothing goes right; in fact they go continuously wrong and you feel useless, worthless, pointless and you want to inflict pain either on someone else or worst still yourself. These are times when we need to get back in touch with ourselves, realise what is going on for us, and take perspective.
Is it that bad? What am I in control of? How can I make this better? What will happen if I walk away and try again later (except when mince is sticking to the bottom of the pan….)

Breathing is key, because we forget to breathe. Subconsciously our breathing gets quicker and shallower and we do not take in enough oxygen to comfortably go about our business, which is when our limbic system takes over and we begin to panic, because we believe there is something wrong with us. Our cognitive brain has shut down, fed up with being overworked and our nervous system – that works 4 times faster – is leading us a merry dance. Again breathing is key at this point, or we end up parting with expletives we didn’t even know existed and create verbs that make no sense. (that is a story for another day)

I use and teach a technique called A-B-C, and you can find a video on this on my YouTube channel. It allows us to firstly stop. Use different parts of our brain, which kick starts the frontal lobes – the thinking part – while taking deep breaths and flooding our bodies with oxygen which acts as a natural calmer. This also allows us to quieten down the limbic brain, thus ridding the need to panic, and the fight-flight-freeze response. It is a quick 3 min exercise that pays dividends and can prevent the biggest arguments, the worst melt downs and more importantly help us to remain in control, even in a life that we know its not all rainbows.

I wish I had used A-B-C in the morning while looking for my wallet….. I found it during the evening ……..
put past just where it is meant to be kept. 🙄

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