Extracts from this article were published in Minutehack
It is possible to "have it all". I know that, I do.
I mean I worry about my next pay cheque - especially after a big lump sum of stamp duty just cleaned out my savings, I can't go on holiday as much as I like because I need to budget, my less "glamorous" work involves me getting down and dirty with a paintbrush as my husband and I "flip" property...and I don't like DIY, my laundry never seems to be done and everything is covered in dog hair, I would like to see my friends a bit more than I do - but I live quite far away from them, and I have things I still want to do with my life and need to work out how. Oh and I've recently lost weight and I miss cake and chips - a LOT!
But my current lifestyle is made up of choices I prioritised - and even hoped and wished for - at one point, and I would not swap it for the world.
1. Use gratitude to focus on the here and now.
Try this "gratitude stretch":
This simple act focuses you on the "here and now" rather than the "should", "could", or "might have been" and can be a good reminder of your own strength and that of the support around you. Even now you can stretch your arms and think of one thing you are grateful to have; stretch your legs and think of one person who you are grateful to (including yourself...or a pet!); and as you stretch your full body think of one aspect of your day you are looking forward to...no matter how small.
2. Run a check on your interpersonal Self-Care options
· Do you have a small group of people you can call on for support?
· Do you nurture relationships with people who make you feel good about yourself?
· Are you able to set appropriate boundaries in your relationships?
Surrounding yourself with people who bring out the best in you is essential at all times in your life. If these relationships are not there, then see if you can adjust your salon.
Having the "Tinkerbell" need for attention in me, I do like being able to talk about my work - I'm really proud of it. I'm a consultant psychologist and author with a regular guest expert slot on a motivating wellness show on Sky and then I get invited to guest on radio and in articles, as well as earn money as a speaker, trainer and coach.
Some of my friends are great at asking me what I do - and I for them - others less so. The former I adore celebrating their successes and take every opportunity to see even if they are further away so it takes more of an effort. I don't just hang around with the people who are "convenient" if neither of us are really getting what we need.
3. Try a “modern learning” audit and find out:
· What is currently available for me to learn and develop for where my career will be in 3 years time (the world is changing fast, be mindful of your direction)
· How much of this is available “on demand” or “free”?
· BUT - remain aware of your finances – get into the habit of knowing (and working within) your budget – running up debt, and then getting into more to feel better about it is not the answer
I try and keep on top of my CPD and developments in my field. I am of the "Old fashioned" approach of apply for a job, utilise the resources, do what you are told...so carving a role for myself as a freelance consultant psychologist is out of my comfort zone. But I have a website, I have social media, I have a YouTube channel - I've got something to say and until the old-fashioned opportunity arises, I'm still going to find a way of saying it.
...and I keep a finance tracker, AND a second stream of income (property - family business).
4. Do you have someone to challenge you?
This can be a coach, a friend, a partner, perhaps even what you read online, or a virtual support...a sort of human "spirit guide" (guide for your spirit perhaps, to see it another way) - ideally someone whose opinion you respect who asks the right questions and makes useful observations rather than tries to tell you what to do. The difficulty with a partner is sometimes agendas may come into conflict, and you may not want to be completely honest for fear of hurting the other needlessly. Friends are great as long as you are able to do the same for them, and coaches - well - it depends on your finances...and how good a fit they are for you.
However, this is one of the most important elements of "having it all". If you are reflective, you are able to pinpoint when you feel a little derailed and your "guide" can help you explore what you're feeling. If you are focused in one direction, it might mean you are losing sight of others - again that guide can remind you to re-focus on your priorities whist they are simply being "overlooked" rather than falling into neglect. The key to this relationship however, is honesty, and the drive to bring out the best in each other - above any other agenda.
5. Reframe your outlook - the glass is refillable!
The reality of my life is while I may have to start saving again, I have my dream home...and that takes care of the holidays too because I love being there! (Check out my article in My Weekly on getting that holiday feeling at home!) I have to get my overalls on, but that second stream of income enables me to enjoy doing psychology my way! So I'm covered in dog hair - but the pleasure I have from that soppy little animal is limitless. I do like social media for engaging with what my friends are up to, and I miss chips and cake, but (as controversial as this may be) - I lost weight to look good in the clothes I've always wanted to wear and I wouldn't swap that feeling for the world!
Every time I begin to think "I wish..." or "I wonder..." I remind myself of what I have - and smile. I have everything I ever wanted...and the potential for more.
Audrey is a Chartered Psychologist (CPsychol), and the author of "
The Leader's Guide to Mindfulness " (2018) and "Be A Great Manager - Now" (2016) She is a CPD Accredited speaker, trainer, and qualified FIRO-B and NLP Practitioner. She is the founding Development Coach and Training Consultant with her training consultancy CLICK Training, and the resident psychologist on The Chrissy B Show (Sky191), the UK's only TV programme dedicated to mental health and wellbeing. She consults, coaches and often presents at National and International conferences in the fields of leadership and team cohesion, as well as being part of the Amity University conference panel. She currently lectures in Personal Development and Mindfulness and provides psychological consultancy in these areas to organisations.
Website: www.draudreyt.com Insta/Twitter: @draudreyt