With so much written in the wellbeing space I’m a natural sceptic about lots of non-expert people doing very well out of ill-informed recycling of advice. Of course it’s big business amongst the busy, stressed and self-loathing. Generally I’m of the belief that I know what’s best for me and will listen, reflect, test and review my decisions – my way!
So when people talk of keeping gratitude journals and finding three good things on a tough day, I am equally sceptical. So much of this is ‘money for old rope’ – this is something resilient and self-aware people do a lot unconsciously.
If you looked at my diary, the last few weeks have been average. I’ve not worked much harder than usual and there haven’t been too many curve balls. However, I think I’ve become accustomed to how draining every week is.
Running your own business is exhausting. Even when things are ticking along, people de-rail you all the time. You’re constantly managing other people’s emotions whilst trying desperately to maintain an even keel. In addition, you’re making dozens of decisions a day. Whether it’s a safeguarding query, whether to commission some help, run a new project, try something new, spend some money, change a system, try a new approach, speak at an event, weigh up whether to meet someone – it flies at you – and this is just the ‘big’ stuff. All the time you’re actually trying to keep to a schedule, stay healthy, get your own work done and if you’re really lucky, bring in some business and create a positive workplace.
And so I turned to gratitude after a few utterly draining days. And as was usual when I was a teacher, it was the people where I found it.
I now try to write three things down every week on my private Trello board. I don’t dwell on them – things moves too quickly for that, but there is always something to be grateful for.