How I stay motivated - even when life's really hard.
I’ve just faced one of the toughest weeks of the past two and a half years so far.. even tougher than lockdown closing the entirety of my service businesses last year.
This year so far has been the hardest I have ever known on my farming journey. Winter almost broke me when everything that could go wrong did go wrong!
Relentless heavy rain, drains collapsing, feeding cattle on the yard, the farm drive being washed away on to the main road below us and the constant ever present pressure and stress of getting the funds together to pay the bank.
The week started great, especially after the busy weekend I’d just had. Things were positive and going well even though there’d been a delay with legal paperwork due to the solicitor forgetting all about it! I wasn’t feeling nervous about being back in court on Thursday for the final time at all. I had all bases covered.
Or so I thought…
On Tuesday cracks started to show on one of my funding sources, it was looking increasingly likely it would fall through and despite countless hours on the phone, meetings and planning it did fall through resulting in a £30,000 shortfall and putting my farm back in danger of being repossessed.
I can’t put in to words the shock, stress, panic, fear and pressure I was under, it was exhausting and all consuming.
I’d got so close but yet so far to closing this chapter of my life.
I wanted to get in to bed and just sleep until it was all over but with a farm, several businesses to run and no support whatsoever, that just wasn’t an option.
Feeling utterly depressed, dragging myself out of bed everyday with the stress now manifesting into physical pain, fighting anxiety and panic attacks was hard, but I had only one choice… to keep going regardless!
I knew the only way I could keep going was to take the best care of myself and my mental wellbeing, I knew if I started to crack the whole thing would tumble down around me and things would get a million times worse.
So, how do I stay motivated through times of stress?
The first thing is self-care. One of the keys for me to stay consistently motivated is to make sure that I’m doing the simple things that make the biggest difference in terms of my energy, my health, and my cognitive prowess.
Meditation is a must for me every single day, last week I meditated twice a day an hour in the morning and again in the evening after my shower – this helped me keep control of those negative thoughts that creep into our heads when we are trying to sleep, resulting in a restless night, little sleep and feeling exhausted the next day.
Exercise. It’s one of my favourite ways to make sure that I stay energized. It’s one of the things I do to make sure that my brain is operating at top capacity and I’m staying positive.
Diet. You may have read on the blog before that I rate diet highly through healing, I feel the same through stressful times. I pay close attention to the things I’m putting in my body that help to lift my mood and help me stay energized and motivated.
Time for me! I make absolutely sure I save at least an hour a day so I can soak in the bath with a healing bath soak or sit with an aromatherapy candle, de-stress herbal tea and good book. I’ve put together some wellness packs that I use to lift my mood and help me stay positive.
Finally, I surround myself with positivity and inspiration. Positive people, positive suggestions plastered all over my office and home, essential oils that lift the mood, aromatic herbal teas, flowers from the garden, my Scottie dogs, uplifting music, TED talks on YouTube. Purposely seeking out and looking for positivity keeps my mind away from drifting to any kind of negative thinking.
I stay well away from social media, the news and anything I know that could trigger any kind of negative thoughts and emotions which quickly bring down my mood and make it incredibly hard to see the good in anything.
So, you’ll know when I’m going through tough mental battles and life stresses because I won’t be on any social media until I know I’m on top whatever is happening.
It takes a lot to tip me to that point these days. I’ve developed techniques that stop me getting emotional and sending me spiraling down the depression slope.
I would say your entire life’s work and your family’s home hanging by a thread is a pretty big trigger to a mental health crisis!
I have found an amazing thing happens from practicing the above simple five techniques, I get incredibly creative and usually manage to find a solution to any problem. I did find a solution to my huge problem and through some ingenious thinking (and growing an even bigger pair of balls to hold my nerve) I had the problem solved within just a few days by leveraging and getting all I can out of all I’ve got.
To find out how I overcame a £30k shortfall and earned that money in just a couple of days you can watch the video diary here.