The Jolt When you Step Back into Work

The JoltWhen you Step into work

In my Blog “Return to work – No you can’t.” https://nicolahughescoaching.wordpress.com/2015/11/15/return-to-work-no-you-cant/

I describe stepping into work like stepping onto an elevator. It doesn’t stop, it keeps moving just like your job has while you’ve been away. And when you have stepped on you got a jolt as you readjust.

The jolt onto an elevator is small.

You might not even notice it.

This Blog is about my Jolt as I step back into work.

IT IS NOT A SMALL JOLT!!

It’s a great big ruddy jolt that’s left me shouting, “Who took my life, I’ll have it back now please!!”

Ok, I’ll stop being a drama queen.

But here is a little context. I am writing this after day two at work. I work two days a week. I have two children. The childcare is a mix of grandma, childminder and preschool. We had a horrible double dose of chicken pox the week before and some family issues that wiped me out.

And hello work.

I loved being at work. I talked to adults without interruption from small people, I made a cuppa when I wanted and drank it before it went cold, I only had to feed myself at lunch time and no one followed me to the toilet and shouted, “Don’t make a loud noise mummy!” (The biggest pickle says this when we are in public toilets and he’s referring to the hand dryer that he’s scared to death of BUT he always says it when I’m sat on the public toilet and not when I’m washing my hands which in my mind would be a much more appropriate time to make his request! Ruddy kids!)

I still feel a little wobbly about the actual job I am doing and I wonder if I can remember how to do it. Plus the system has dramatically changed and I know I’m going to get frustrated with that. But I have an inner peace and good support at work and I know it will be fine.

What could possibly go wrong?

I thought the jolt I would experience was stepping through the office door. No, that was fun. The jolt was stepping in my front door when I got back. I had been gone all day. I didn’t know what had gone on, who needed what. It felt like trying to jump onto a very fast moving train. In truth it probably looked like any usual evening in the Hughes residence. But I didn’t know what to do?

I felt surplus – no one needed me

I felt guilty – I didn’t know what my children needed

I felt jealous – Someone else knew what they wanted

I felt trapped – I didn’t know how to make it right or at least workable.

I felt hungry – I didn’t know when I was going to eat my tea

I did what any self-respecting woman on a mission to be more fulfilled would do.

I planned my escape!!

I thought I’d get a new job and work 12 hours straight so I could avoid all of this. I thought I could change my childcare arrangements, I could quit my job and eat beans on toast for life.

Then, (a few days later)

I realised that I hadn’t given much thought to anyone else. So I asked and I kept asking.

I strongly but kindly said I wasn’t okay with some things. I set boundaries.

I offered possibilities. I was flexible.

We stated the obvious. We all need feeding.

We allocated jobs.

We renegotiated.

We said we would keep trying.

I enter Week 2 of work much happier.

So what is your Jolt? Are you living it right now? Or are you waiting and dreading and guessing what it will be?

Whatever it is and however you are feeling if you need help I know I can help you.

You don’t need to dread it. Just imagine how much easier it will be to have someone who understands walking along side you through it.

And if you’re living the jolt right now and can’t see a way out. There will be.

Whatever the situation you are in, if you can’t see the wood for the trees and want some help getting out or to find a new perspective get in touch with me at Contact@nicolahughes.co.uk and we can arrange a

FREE introductory Coaching Session for you.

When you have done that get on Facebook and like my page www.fb.com/nicolahughescoaching so you can keep up to date with my musings and information.

Lots of love to you

Nicola x

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All Self Care Advice is Crap!

Daily Quotes

 

Apart from this, this is golden!

 

Seriously it’s gonna take a lot more than a hot bath and a walk to fix my monumental mess.

 

Do you feel you’re heading down a slippery slope but feel helpless to stop yourself?

 

Are you usually pretty resilient but this time somethings got the better of you?

 

Do you get a bit sick of self-help advice because whoever writes it must be a hermit who doesn’t have two kids a dog and a tonne of responsibility?

 

Keep reading because I am on your side.

 

It’s not that you don’t think a bit of mindfulness would be wonderful it’s just not possible and I know you aren’t making excuses, your life is a total balancing act and you’ve got a wobble on.

 

Even though you know a hot bath would be nice or 15 minutes to read a magazine would be luxury and a pub lunch alone with your partner is essential for harmony. The reality is the bath always has kids in it. There are no magazines because what’s the point of buying one, and a pub lunch!! Are you kidding? No baby sitter.

 

What are we exhausted, yet supposedly empowered women meant to do?

 

Self-care advice suggests you say NO

 

I’ve looked at my diary and tried to say no to things. I can’t delay the biggest pickles start at pre-school. I can’t cancel the smallest pickles birthday party. Could possibly cancel friends coming over for lunch but I don’t want to so I buy a massive lasagne and deal with the guilt of not providing a nourishing home cooked meal instead.

 

Self-care advice suggests look after yourself

 

I go to bed early but get woken up several times and wonder if I should just give up sleep altogether. I take vitamins. Have a good moan and a cry. Try to eat healthy but that involves more preparation. So spend time wondering whether I should eat healthily and use up energy preparing healthy food or buy pizza and feel rested but bloated and skint. Hubby intervenes and buys fish and chips and says fish oil is good. Good call hubby!

 

Self-care advice suggests yoga

 

Err no! I can’t do a keep fit class or go to anything else either. Nothing against them but I am rarely free from the pickles or I’m at work.

 

Then I had a revelation that helped me much more than any self-care advice ever has!

 

The Comfort Zone

 

I learnt about comfort zones, stretch zones and panic zones. The tasks in comfort zones feel safe, it’s easy and familiar. In the stretch zone it’s a challenge, you might feel a little panic, a few butterflies and some stress. And tasks in the panic zone you probably shouldn’t be doing because you feel extreme panic and stress just thinking of it.

 

As a passionate life coach I’d usually be talking about getting out of your comfort zone and developing yourself but not today.

 

Not when you are tired.

 

I realised that most of my day operated in the stretch zone. Even putting a load of washing in the machine was like the rat run trying to avoid being grabbed by small hands and moaned at.

 

I’m not sure about you but I can’t avoid my stretch zone, it’s good to have stretches and in theory when you’ve done it a few times it graduates to the comfort zone.

 

This is not true for the tasks that involve my little pickles, they are so unpredictable (and gorgeous) that they always add this unknown entity to life. I wouldn’t be without it but I have to admit I like to know what’s going on so I find it a stretch and I think it always will be.

 

It would be really easy to feel inadequate because I can’t handle the stretch of these simple parenting tasks. But that’s who I am.

 

My advice…I hope you don’t think its crap!

 

Nicola’s Self-care suggests: know your comfy place.

It might be that staying on the sofa all evening once the kids have gone to bed is your only comfort zone event of the day.

 

Or an hour to check your virtual world makes you feel safe.

 

Or eating a big piece of chocolate restores all the wrong in a day.

 

When I realised I needed to do these things instead of get my sorry butt to Pilates (a stretch zone for me – no pun intended). It was like I gave myself a huge permission, like a get out of PE letter from my mum!

 

Instead I looked at how I got comfort and where I felt safe.

 

If I’m not stressed and life is balanced then I’ll stretch myself some more because I’ve got a lot of things I want to achieve and sitting on the sofa isn’t going to get me very far.

 

But I really need to recognise those times and seasons and so do you.

Give yourself a get out of PE note and do what you need to do to recover from this season, because it is only a season.

All will be restored soon and you can carry on with your mission.

If you know your life needs some adjustment or you feel out of balance contact me as I’d love to offer you a free session to see if coaching is the right fit for you.

Email me at contact@nicolahughes.co.uk

And join me on www.facebook.com/nicolahughescoaching

Lots of warmth to you, Nicola x x

Also featured on www.lorifitzgerald.co.uk

Warning! Being Vulnerable Might Get You Cookies

Warning!!

Do you wonder how much to share with people? And when asked if you are okay do you answer by rote, “Great thanks” but deep inside you want to keel over?

Do you need some help or advice but don’t want to appear weak or unknowledgeable?

Are you more comfortable asking people how they are rather than telling them how you are?

Read on,

It’s time to move out of your comfort zone.

A few weeks ago it was really tough. My two pickles went down with Chicken Pox at the same time. As this happened a big dark cloud arrived over my head. Partly because of the pox but also because I had a lot of other things going on as well.  The pox and sleep deprivation meant I didn’t have the usual resolve to send the cloud on its not so merry way.

I was sinking.

It was very early or late o’clock and I decided to do what any self-respecting mother of two would do when at her wits end.

I told Facebook.

(Friends not groups)

And I kept telling Facebook through the early hours and the next day.

I made myself vulnerable!

I got words of wisdom, tonnes of sympathy, personal messages that made me laugh and mostly I knew I wasn’t alone. Because at stupid o’clock with a screaming baby and no solution I felt very alone.

I later told Facebook I was off to the docs and tongue in cheek suggested someone bring me coffee.

Someone did.

When I came out I was met with a beautiful smiley face, a hot coffee, a bag of cookies and a warm hug. I dissolved. That kindness gave me the energy I needed to get through the day.

A few other people offered to make our tea that night. I politely said thank you but I’d planned a simple tea. I immediately wondered why I couldn’t just say, “Great Thanks.”

Did I feel needy? Undeserving?

One lady must’ve seen right through me. “Great, save that for tomorrow, I’m bringing pasta round for tonight.”

The cloud over my head at the start of the day had dissolved by the end of the day. The situation hadn’t changed much but people had been immensely kind.

So what did I learn?:

There is a difference between being vulnerable and needy.

A needy person never gives but constantly demands of others, complains, never seems to try and work it out and are constantly stuck.

They are weak.

A vulnerable person has inner strength. They can share their weaknesses and struggles honestly. They aren’t stuck forever they are stuck now.

I also learnt that being vulnerable attracts people. I’m not suggesting that you be vulnerable just to attract people because that would be needy. But people are attracted to people who are honest and talk about their stuff openly. People realise that it’s not just them that struggle, others do too. It is hard being that person but it is who I am and it’s a good thing.

And finally, cookies can change someone’s mood radically and show them they are not alone. I was so uplifted by my coffee and cookie experience that I decided to pop to a friends with a bag of cookies as I knew she was struggling too. She was so thankful. Her situation didn’t change, she continued to have sleepless nights but knowing someone cared made the day more manageable.

So, what are you meant to do with all this information?

Go and buy someone some cookies. Honestly, do it!

Be vulnerable. I know you have plans to be successful and achieve great things and you think you need to portray strength to do this so people will trust you.

You are on a journey. Part of that journey involves being a real person with real stuff going on.

Work with me.

Pop me an email at contact@nicolahughes.co.uk or join the community of like minded women at www.facebook.com/niclahughescoaching

Enjoy your cookie buying trip

Warmth to you

Nicola x x