On Handling Stress and Traumatic Events

I'm not going to lie, I've been feeling fairly blah today. I've been swinging between bursts of quiet tears, feeling queasy and general fatigue for most of the day.

In all honesty, it's been quite a full-on and challenging week, with some of the financial realities of building a new business with no more day job behind me becoming a little tension point for our little family. I've been applying for "in-the-mean-time" jobs over the past month, but the truth is that I would love to find a position that I'll truly enjoy and be able to stretch and develop some of my skills. In other words, if I'm going to work a day job, I want to work somewhere I'll be surrounded by people, and genuinely support others. So I've been searching and applying for jobs left, right and centre, all while supporting the Girl Gang and collaborating on some other awesome stuff behind the scenes.

Thankfully, I've been working on communicating where I'm at, and Jordan has been really supportive, but totally honest and realistic about our situation.

So why so blah? Why the stress? This doesn't sound all that traumatic! Kym, you're being crazy.

Well, I'm a firm believer that we all have things which make us uncomfortable (and having been consistently employed from the age of 16, this is a HUGE shift for me), and that's okay. This had all been bubbling away under the surface and impacting my sleep, but I was handling things fairly well.

 On Tuesday afternoon, while sitting in traffic and waiting at a red light, I witnessed an attempted carjacking - as I posted on Facebook, I definitely have a knack for being on the scene when crazy shit goes down.

As soon as the lights changed, I moved off to the left and pulled over to call the police.

Thankfully nobody was seriously hurt.

Yesterday, I went into the Police Station to make an official statement, and I have to say that I was impressed. The very first thing the Senior Constable who I was speaking with asked me, was if I was okay. She let me know that if at any point I feel as though I would like to speak with someone, to get in touch and she could refer me onto a counsellor.

While I'm generally feeling okay about what I saw, I do think that it's important to recognise that yes I witnessed something traumatic, it's probably added to the stress I was already balancing. If there's anything that I'm trying to bear in mind right now, it's that it is totally okay to not be entirely together or on top of things afterwards.

It's at times like this, that Real Self Care is paramount - but it's also a reminder of why maintaining regular self care practices is important.

I know I talk about this a lot, but if there was one thing I could teach the entire world, it would be that we don't have to be 100% okay all of the time. It's okay if we're not okay, but it's important to tune into how we're feeling, and to figure out what we need.

For me today, I honestly needed the sleep.

I needed to cry and hug it out.

I needed to spend the day at home wearing my boyfriends clothes.

I needed to take a ridiculously long shower.

And then, I needed to get out of my own head, and do something constructive like tidying up the apartment, hosting a coaching call and preparing for tonight's online workshop.

For me today, Real Self Care has looked like surrender and not just forcing myself to push through. There is something really powerful about just trusting the way we need to feel in any given moment. I intend to continue being conscious of my thoughts, feelings and words moving forwards, and most importantly to reach out for additional support if needed.

On the job search front, I'm still putting myself out there while working on my coaching, doing as much as I can each day - even if that's just applying for one new role each day. I know that things are going to be okay, and ultimately stressing myself out about things beyond my control is neither constructive, nor healthy.