Jenni Osborn

Week 8 – the hardest one yet!

Last week was so hard, there was so much emotion washing through my head and heart. From the joy of my youngest turning 11 and the remembrance of the start of his life to the sadness of losing a member of my wider family on the same day and the stress and anxiety brought on by the Prime Minister’s pronouncement about the return to school. It has been HARD.

I found this graphic published on the Waves of Wellness FB group really helpful in recognising that many of the things I have been experiencing are to do with anxiety

It was a bout of dizziness on Wednesday that brought me up short – I have suffered with this in the past, always coinciding with times of high stress and anxiety. Suddenly, this clarified it for me and helped me realise that it’s OK, it’s just stress and it will pass.

Right now, more than a more ‘normal’ time, emotions are right by the surface, only kept in check by a very thin layer of something and that something is going to be different for each of us. Mine is avoidance, if I deny that it’s hard then it won’t be hard. If I refuse to engage with hard emotions then they won’t be there or at least I won’t have to feel them. If I bury my head in my latest project then I can wait for the storm to pass over my head without having to experience the storm.

Except that this is not true, our emotions are meant to be felt, to be expressed and to be let go of rather than ignored or subsumed. On Thursday I wrote a raw, heartfelt plea as I was on my last shred of that layer covering my emotions and immediately had not only a lot of encouragement from friends and family but also found encouragement through various online means that soothed my fractious and exposed soul. It is good to get our emotions out there, to talk or to write them down, to say them out loud because in doing so they get the attention they need and we gain the ability to process them.

If you are struggling find a (healthy!) way of expressing the emotion: talking, painting, screaming into your pillow, jumping up and down on an empty egg box, go for a walk or run, write it all down, scribble it all out again. You’ll feel better, I promise!