Hi everyone, Ash here
At the beginning of the month, when we set the focus of Foundations for January, I told you about my buzz word for 2018 - Balance. We asked you to create your own buzz word (or sentence) for the year, something that will resonate and keep you focused on what really matters. Reflection, as long as it doesn't become a distraction, is important to improve and restructure foundations, so let me tell you about the first 2 weeks of 2018 for me...
As always, I will be honest... The first week of January was not the best. My mood was low, I felt exhausted and there were many maintenance issues at work that were completely out of my control, but for which I felt entirely responsible for. I also think that following such an amazing end to 2017 I was on a bit of a 'comedown'... I needed to take action so that I didn't let the negative mood spiral. After all this was the reason 3 years ago that I started practising mindfulness as I recognised the signs that I was not coping well with my continuous low moods at the time.
Acceptance - I accepted that it was probably normal to feel a 'comedown' after a period of excitement. The body needs to rest and recover and this is exactly what I needed. The comedown was my body's way of shifting from the crazy end to 2018 but my mind wasn't quite keeping up and was confusing this with feeling sad and low. I made the decision to keep my weekends free all month and spend time doing what my body and mind needed most - rest.
Organisation - I needed to give my mind space to rest and, for me, this only happens when I am organised and ahead of deadlines. So I made a conscious decision to be more pro active and resist procrastination - I am even starting the SMASH emails a few days in advance now (this was drafted on Sunday!) as normally I would always do them on the day!
Talk - I opened up and admitted I was feeling down. My husband, a couple of my best friends Sam and Iva, a fellow General Manager and even a couple of the SMASH crew heard some of my 'complaints' in the first 10 days of January and all offered good advice or just a friendly ear. Just talking about some of my concerns out loud helped me find a solution (or realise that I was being a little dramatic at times ). Talk to those you trust and feel the weight lift from your shoulders...
Action - I re-read my final email from December and remembered my last line 'In 2018 I promise to fly higher than ever before'. I have so much to be grateful for and continue to practise gratitude daily - before bed I tell myself 3 things I am grateful for from that day. I messaged some of my nearest and dearest to tell them how amazing I think they are. Sam and I had a business meeting and ideas flowed from us - we experienced more and more excitement about what we have planned in 2018 and even created a brand new class after just 15 minutes of brainstorming! We launched SMASH Run. I had dinner with good friends, I spent time with my Godchildren and arranged to go home at the beginning of February to see my family and spend time with my biggest inspiration - my Mum.
All of the above helped me get to my comfortable and confident place again. I am almost certain that a year ago it would have taken a lot longer to reach this point, yet further proof that training my mind as much as my body is really working.
Here are my suggestions if you are experiencing any similar kind of low feelings right now -
Accept what is happening and take the action needed to become balanced again. Continue to work on your mental health and keep your mind and foundations strong. It will never always be easy to just 'shake it off' but the stronger your mind, the less time it takes to realise what it is you need to do to be the best version of yourself. This can take time, and sometimes it needs to be small steps in the right direction, but always know that you are a work in progress. Love the amazing times and practise gratitude for the low periods - this is making you stronger
With the smooth, comes the rough and then back to the smooth again - enjoy the ride!
Thanks for reading, we are really grateful for you
Sam and Ash
P.S. The last 10 days have been amazing and I am feeling fired up again - look out world!