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New Mum, New Role and a Pandemic

October we celebrate Mental Health Month.

This is a time to reflect on our own wellbeing and to acknowledge how mental health is affecting those around us. October gives us the opportunity to raise awareness for mental health.

2020 has been a year I will never forget.

I became a new mum, took up a new role at SACARE as Business Development Manager and I was confronted with a 100 year pandemic.

Throw all this into the mix and I would say my mental health has been tested and fragile.

Sometimes I think about the image of a duck on water looking very cool, calm and collected, but underneath the surface it’s paddling frantically. I would say this has been a metaphor for my year and my mental health. 

I have always seen myself as a resilient person and someone who can work under pressure and thrive off it, however this year added a few extra challenges that my mind was not quite equiped to deal with. The rainbow of emotions joy, happiness, despair, worry, anxiety, sadness and back to contentedness have physically and mentally affected me. 

The realisation that maybe my mental health was struggling came from a moment I had during an appointment with my GP. Let’s just take step back. Like everyone else during the height of the pandemic I became a hygiene warrior, cleaning every surface possible.  With the trusty Glen 20, no virus was entering my home.  Unfortunately, the Glen 20 flared up my asthma.  Two weeks forward, I was armed with the right medication and it should have been under control… unfortunately this was not the case.  

So, there I was at the GP with a four-month-old in her capsule and I am sitting on the bed with a ventilator attached to my face. Now, I have used one of these many years ago and know how quickly they can relieve a mild asthma attack. However after 10 minutes my breathing was not any better, if anything I thought it was worse, and then the penny dropped…

It was not my asthma, but something else that was affecting me physically, it was my mind. Throughout all my physical symptoms I did not for one-minute think about my mental health.  I took the ventilator off and said to the nurse, “it is my anxiety”.  

Mental Health month may be an important month, but it’s also something that we need to actively think about individually every day. I am sharing this, because sometimes we can quickly jump to the physical issues, but we can forget about the underlying issue in our minds.  How we feel emotionally, psychologically, and physically… all these feelings are intertwined. 

For me, what helped shift my mindset was connecting with my family, exercising, laughing and focusing on being in my new mum bubble relieved my anxiety, but also being able to understand where my mind was at and acknowledge that mentally I was not ok.  For me they were not massive changes, but small micro-movements in my daily life. 

Take a moment right now and check in with yourself.  Ask yourself “are you ok?” and if the answer is anything but yes…  what do you need to do change that?!

   Business Development Manager

Our THRIVE Life Goal Mentoring is a program ran by a Diversional Therapist and supported by SACARE's THRIVE Therapy Services to assist people to achieve their meaningful goals.  This program supports people who need a little extra encouragement to participate in their lives through activities that improve emotional wellbeing.  For more details, click here.