I was talking to a friend recently. I was saying how hectic my week ahead was going to be. Knowing what I was up to he queried how a 4 day week could possibly be classified as being busy. I gently pointed out that my ongoing recovery still involved therapy and regular bouts of mindfulness study alongside working for myself. He graciously conceded the point but I also felt a little awkward, after all I’ve been lucky enough to work relatively steadily when many are struggling under highly pressured environments or out of work entirely – 4 days, surely that’s easy.

The reason I was so busy this week was because I had 4 days of training delivery. Routinely I wouldn’t book my time like this but I had an existing client to honour and I also wanted to get the new Mental Health First Aid Training off the ground for myself and my friend / colleague Charlotte Walker.

I’m pleased to report that the MHFA went really well. I was concerned about how my own mental health would hold up under delivering a subject so close to home but actually with Charlotte’s support (and a really eager group) I got through both days albeit very very tired afterwards. Unfortunately I still had two days of delivery left in the week.

Having been very aware of the physical and mental toll the week was likely to take I planned plenty of steps towards self care. I watched my diet, kept on with my yoga practice and drank plenty of water. Additionally I took the decision to draw back from social media. I even stopped answering non-urgent emails in the business (something which it pains me to do). Basically I went “missing in action” for several days whilst I concentrated on the important tasks.

By the end of Thursday I was really struggling and had to face up to the reality that I had maybe bitten off more than I could chew. I regrouped and headed out on Friday aware that I didn’t have much left to give. It was a tough day and I resisted the groups request to work through lunch citing that we all needed a “mental health break”. A few hours later my week was over.

As I sit here on Saturday afternoon slowly recharging I’m facing up to a few hard truths about how far along I am in my recovery. When people connect with me on social media, during my sporadic forays in to London or in the course of my limited amount of work they don’t realise the effort it takes for me to be consistent and focussed. I’m doing my best but it occurs to me that after a busy week I’m missing “inaction” and by that I mean the inactivity, the time to reflect and process, to build my strength and resilience. I really need those periods of rest in order to function well in the world.

Next week promises to be a little more relaxed, therapy Monday followed by blood donation Tuesday and a meeting on Wed before two days of training delivery at the end of the week. It’s a more balanced week and hopefully will allow me more space and time to recover. However if you see me out there on social media please feel free to tell me to take a rest.


About Jon Bartlett

I'm a coach, blogging on things that occur to me, that I want to share and any other fun stuff I find lying around in the real world.
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6 Responses to MIA

  1. Thanks for sharing this Jon, it’s difficult for others to understand my limits especially when sometimes I don’t see them myself. I recognised lots of what you describe. Recently, I had a week like that, by the end of it I couldn’t do anything, even think clearly. It was a bit scary but the forced ‘inaction’ over the weekend did work and was a good signal to me that I need to pull back more regularly, recovery is a long path, lots of us are treading it with you.

  2. pwillcox says:

    Morning Jon. This post is ace, thank you for writing it and sharing. What I see here is someone who has the level of self awareness that is needed (I think) by so many at the moment. ‘Being busy’ can leave us so drained unless we take the proactive steps to reflect through what exactly it is that making us ‘busy’ and what we may(not) want to do about it. Enjoy your balanced week sir!

  3. amiecrews says:

    What a great read and thanks for putting yourself out there. There’s one thing, about withdrawing and recharging that struck me and that’s…. just doing it.
    We all know we should, or need to but how easy is it to continue to get swept along with life?
    Glad the MHFA went well too, 4 days of delivery is a lot anyway without it involving such an emotive topic for 2 of them!

  4. Hi Amie

    As you say, it is very easy to get swept along. We all need to make space. I really like how your twitter feed shows you stepping out and exercising, a good prompt for your followers.


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