Its all new right now and that has its challenges
It’s a New Year in many ways (Rosh Hashanah) a new season – Autumn and it’s a new term heraldling change and pressures for many parents, pupils and students.
Summer is over, the school holidays have finished fading to distant memory as we pass the autumn equinox signalling change to shorter days of light and ushering a gradual drop in temperatures.
For many Autumn is a welcome season with magical colours reflecting back to us in surrounding nature, harvesting of produce carefully nurtured over the months and spectacular sunsets.
It can be a tough time rebalancing and spinning many more plates. Getting used to new routines such as new schools, new terms, new timetables, new commuting routes, new routines for carers, more colleagues back to the office to a back drop of almost constant ‘noise’ from the media impacting upon our mood, emotions and energy. All of this adds considerable weight to the hidden, mental load.
What is the mental load?
In short, the doing of everything. The mental load is hidden, defined as “… the intersection of the two (cognitive and emotional labour): preparing, organising and anticipating everything, emotional and practical, that needs to get done to make life flow.” (Melissa Hogenboom, The hidden load: How ‘thinking of everything’ holds mums back, BBC. 18th May 2021). The sheer weight and volume of organising and social organisation required at home, work and in life happens away from the visible.
Anything from planning what to wear for school, birthdays (family and work) pick ups, collections from various places including pharmacies for carers, what to eat on what day, what to buy on the weekly shop, household finances, booking a plumber, cleaning through to ensuring the milk and bins get put out on the right day. Making sure we remember the Pandemic when additional roles were required of teacher and playmate. This is what goes on in the background to make life work.
Left unattended and without constraint can lead to almost constant pressure on our self care ‘dashboard’ pushing the metrics into overwhelm causing many common concerns I find with clients, particularly those who are mums. Concerns such as anxiety, worry, stress, self doubt resulting in depletion of energy, confidence and self worth can lead to inner conflict whether caring, working or running a business.
What can we do?
There are many tips to reduce the mental load on the internet. This blog will focus on the more mental side rather than the practical.
The mental load is constant, it never ends. Share and make it visible, awareness is key and communication essential. In NLP the ‘L’ stands for language, to get the message across right, first time.
When faced with constant pressure and thinking it is important to find and take a few minutes for self. Do something just for self which takes your complete attention. A recent client spent time, the first time in months playing a piano and found the all encompassing experience cleared her head, other clients have taken some time for interests such as drawing, macrame, pottery, yoga or walking to create a space to breathe.
Regaining a sense of control and empowering self can be just what is needed in rebalancing. In NLP we can use a variety of approaches including Time Line Therapy® to release major negative emotions and overcome self doubt as well as hypnotherapy to improve sleep, relaxation and reduce stress.